Friday, September 16, 2011

Doctor Spektor Volume 3

While I'm shilling for Dark Horse Comics I might as well go ahead and mention volume three of their Occult Files of Doctor Spektor collections. This is my favorite volume so far, for reasons that will soon become apparent. The usual suspects are here, well written stories by Donald Glut (pronounced Gloot) and beautiful art by Jesse Santos. Santos had also started painting the covers of the comic by this point in the run and they are gorgeous.
What really makes this a great volume is that Glut was reaching the height of the crossovers he would become famous for and in the defining of the 'Glut-iverse.' The stories reprinted here see occult investigator Doctor Adam Spektor crossing paths with another famous Gold Key Doctor, Doctor Solar: Man of the Atom, and facing off againts an ancient wizard (or what's left of him) who had already caused problems for one of Gold Key's sword & sorcery heroes, Durak. And Durak also crosses time and space to team up with Doctor Spektor, so of course this is my favorite volume. It has sword & sorcery in it. Hello? But it gets even more convoluted. Durak was friends with Dagar, the titular character of the soon to be reprinted Gold Key S&S title Dagar the Invincible, and Dagar had done some time traveling himself, crossing timelines with Glut's caveman hero Tragg. Glut was slowly linking everything he had written at Gold Key and I remember catching a lot of this as a kid and being fascinated and delighted.
Year's later I got the chance to interview Don Glut for and I asked him what was the fascination with team-ups and crossovers. he said:

"I just think it’s fun to do. Probably it’s the eternal fan in me who remembers how cool it was – long before continuity was so commonplace – just to see Green Arrow and Aquaman appear in a comic book panel together, or to read a story in which Tarzan goes to Pellucidar. Now nobody cares even when characters from different companies crossover into each other’s “universes.” I guess I’ve always thought of all my stories (including movies, short stories and novels) taking place in the same universe. Long ago I decided to plant clues in the comic-book stories, short stories, novels and now movies that were all connected. Maybe I was influenced by some of the writings by Phil Farmer…or by someone telling me how the Green Hornet was really the grand nephew of the Lone Ranger. Whatever, I decided to put all of these continuity clues all over the place in things I wrote. Someday, I thought, maybe somebody with way too much time on his or her hands would read something I wrote…maybe one of my Frankenstein novels…and spot references to my comic books, movies, whatever. "

And somebody did! Anyway, in volume three Spektor also has to deal with being turned into a werewolf, and with the return of the Frankenstein monster. And he travels to Rutland Vermont for Tom Fagan's Halloween celebration. If you're someone who enjoys old Universal Horror movies or if the kid in you just loves monsters, I highly recommend these collections of the Occult Files of Doctor Spektor. Good stories and good art and evil monsters. What more could you want?

Oh, if you want to read the full interview with Don Glut, go here:

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