From the mind of Mark Waid and drawn by Neil Edwards, Doctor Spektor is back for the first time since the late 70’s. Doctor Spektor: Master of the Occult #1 is an interesting new take on a while developed genre, with cool twists and depth of character enough to make this reader excited for more.
A number one issue is of course tasked with the heavy responsibility of introducing us to a whole new world and storyline. This is of course a difficult task, but one that prolific writer Mark Waid is certainly capable of. This opening issue walks the thin line between enough exposition for us to understand how this world works, and enough mystery to leave us wanting more. We get a sense of the complicated life of celebrity supernatural expert Doctor Spektor and the mysterious spirit/ghost/memory that he just cannot get over. This story so far, while only in its first issue, is certainly a great introduction.
With a front runner that has no powers of his own facing down supernatural titans, you’re bound to have smart and interesting fights. Doctor Spektor is no exception to this. While much of it is over very quickly, the action sequences come across as well planned and deliberate, packing a punch in their short but effective battles. It also stands mentioning that this creative team is not afraid of consequence in the heat of battle. People don’t just walk away from devastating attacks from super powered entities, a refreshing fact when ordinary humans often come out unscathed in a great deal of fiction.
While Doctor Spektor clearly has conflict with the paranormal world, the more interesting battle in these pages is within the Doctor himself. We see the title character struggle with his fame and success in some kind of tragic inability to handle praise. We also see Spektor struggling to choose between altruism and his own goals and priorities, and often making the wrong choice.
The character development in this issue is mostly introduction, and the characters don’t endure much in the way of change per se. That being said, the characters are well introduced, and all feel very real (or as real as any character in a paranormal comic book story can seem.) Doctor Spektor is a fragmented and interesting man, and his assistant is a strong and interesting woman thrown into a world she doesn’t really understand. Lenny is a tragic and altruistic character that is a great foil for the Doctor. Mark Waid shows that he is strong in the character building department, and I’m eager to see where these characters grow from here.
While much has been said in praise of the writer, the artists also shine in this well executed comic. Neil Edwards and Jordan Boyd skillfully portray a dark and gritty world that is often in contrast to the cavalier and light facade that Spektor shows his audience. In a way the art seems to reflect a deeper troubled part of our title character that few ever get to see. Plus the action sequences are beautifully drawn, with special props to a certain spectacular satellite scene that I won’t soon be forgetting
It’s very rare that a single issue of a comic has me convinced that I’ll be into the series. Usually it takes two or three for me to get a good feel for whether or not I’ll like something. This issue is an exception. Mark Waid, Neil Edwards and Jordan Boyd have me convinced in just 24 pages that I will love reading stories about the Master of the Occult. This is certainly a recommended read for anyone, and as a number 1 issue, makes a great jumping on point obviously. Pick it up this Wednesday, the 28th at your local comic book shop.
Do you plan on picking this series up? If you’ve read it, do you agree with my assessment? Let us know your reaction in the comments.