Dynamite’s Next Gold Key Heroes Launch Is Truly Spek-tacular

A TV legend, a favorite of tabloids, a Wall Street Wolf, an internet mogul... Doctor Adam Spektor is all of these things and more. He’s also a monster hunter, a spiritualist, and a metaphysicist who has confronted the creatures who dwell in the dark shadows—vampires, werewolves, poltergeists, and more. In spite of his success, though, he feels like something is missing... but when he finds out what it is, he may wonder if ignorance truly is bliss!

Doctor Spektor: Master of the Occult, the fourth series rollout in Dynamite Entertainment’s Gold Key Heroes line, presents a hero almost unseen for four decades... until now. But Mark Waid & Neil Edwards have big plan for the Gold Key Universe’s most mystical hero.

What made supernatural investigator Dr. Spektor so appealing to the Dynamite team that this relatively unknown character became a core part of the Gold Key heroes relaunch? “Honestly, the fact that he’s not that well known was a big part of it,” Dynamite publisher Nick Barrucci said. “Spektor is the character who you can say will most be overhauled and reinterpreted for today. When we approached Mark Waid about Spektor specifically and he expressed an interest, we were all on the same page; that made us realize we made the right call in wanting to have Doctor Spektor be one of the launch titles. We knew Mark would be the person to reinvent him—he would keep the core essence of the character, but make him viable for today. I think that retailers and readers are going to be extremely happy with how great this series is.

“Spektor is the toughest one to relaunch. He’s the one who has the least amount of recognition. But he’s a cool character, and that was very important. When you're able to bring someone with the talent that Mark brings to the table, you know that Spektor will get the attention he needs, and he'll be the character that stands out. I think this is going to be the book that sells out the quickest as, even with Mark on board, I'm not sure everyone will order enough.

“It’s a risk, it’s absolutely a risk—he’s not a well known quantity, he’s not a well-known character... but we want him to be one, and that’s why we're fortunate to have someone of Mark’s caliber to launch the series.”

“For Doctor Spektor, the challenge comes in figuring out how a professional skeptic, a famous investigator who debunks and exposes the extra-normal and keeps himself grounded, can function in a world that suddenly hosts superheroes and supervillains,” Mark Waid said. “What do you choose to believe in when your lifelong belief system is swept away?”

While Waid enjoyed the original Dr. Spektor series (“More a fan than a devoted student... Glut was blessed with some terrific art to go with his clever plots”), he felt like some changes were essential to make the book click with today’s readers. “Originally, Spektor was a well-heeled investigator of the supernatural and had a Victorian flair. Unfortunately, since last we've seen Spektor, a lot of other characters have carved out that ground, so I pitched Dynamite on an update that makes Spektor more Criss Angel/David Blaine—a celebrity bad-boy performer with serious money who beats the supernatural with super-expensive science--and makes a good living televising his bouts.”

Has Spektor found a way to capitalize on his occult detective status? Is that how he built his fortune? “Exactly,” Waid said. “His weekly TV reality show is one of the top-rated programs in history. Merchandising is a monster!”

Tabloid bad boy... Wall Street wolf... these aspects of his personality don’t necessarily make Adam Spektor seem like a likeable fellow. Is there a dark side to this character? “There is,” Waid said. “It’s the one mystery he's been unable to solve, and it humanizes him tremendously.”

The references to something missing in his life bring an element of mystery to the character—and Waid has tapped into the character’s comic history for this aspect of his story. “That which is indeed missing will be immediately obvious to Spektor's older readers. That's all we can say right now.”

Is Spektor a solo adventurer, or does he have assistance in his quest? “As odd as this sounds to say, he’s not sure,” Waid said. “You’ll have to keep reading to see what I mean!”

Spektor’s isn’t a debunker a la the Scooby Gang or 1950s DC investigator Roy Raymond. “Spektor lives in a world in which all those ghouls and ghosts and beasts that go bump in the night really exist,” Waid said. “He’s well-versed in the magic himself, but as befits someone of his wealth, he employs a large full-time staff to keep his research cutting edge.

“But there’s nothing supernatural about Spektor—until the climax of Doctor Spektor #1, where the supernatural is thrust upon him, giving him a key to a larger universe. A Gold Key, you might say. Spektor's picking up clues to a much bigger puzzle.”

While Spektor will confront a variety of supernatural menaces, “there’s definitely a ‘big bad,’” Waid said, “and it may or may not have something to do with Spektor's bizarre visions of a dinosaur-riding caveman, or a nuclear man-menace, or a savage mech-destroyer.”

Waid’s plans for Doctor Spektor go well beyond the first storyline. “Big reveals happen in the first arc, but not all the cards are as yet turned over,” Waid said.

Doctor Spektor: Master of the Occult #1 is scheduled for May 28th release. Christian Ward supplies the art for the main cover, while Francesco Francavilla does the honors on the Subscription Variant Edition; a Blank Authentix cover perfect for sketches or signatures will also be available.

In addition, Dynamite will offer a number of incentive covers, including a 1-for-25 Phil Hester variant; a 1-for-50 Jae Lee variant; a 1-for-100 Mark Waid signed cover; a 1-for-125 Ken Haeser “Li’l Spektor”; a 1-for-200 Mark Waid Silver Signature Series variant featuring Jae Lee black-and-white pure line art; a 1-for-250 Mark Waid Gold Signature Series variant featuring Jae Lee pure black and white line art; a 1-for-400 Ken Haeser “Hand-Drawn Li’l Spektor” variant; and a 1-for-500 Jae Lee pure black-and-white line art variant signed by Lee.

—by Cliff Biggers