The fourth part of the Gold Key revival comes in the form of Doctor Spektor: Master Of The Occult. To bring this sorcerer supreme back to life, Dynamite has turned to the talents of Mr. Mark Waid. I had a chance to chat with the very busy writer about the new series, what else he is working on and what the future my hold for him.
Mark Waid: Being able to rethink and reinvent older properties is a big factor. Being given the opportunity to take existing work and really dig into it and shine it up and polish it so as to show off what made the original concept cool. That’s a huge lure.
BC: Now more specifically, how did you get involved with Doctor Spektor: Master Of The Occult and what was it that made you want to write it? And did it always have the subtitle? Because I remember commenting when the four books were announced that it was the one without a subtitle.
MW: Didn’t have a subtitle when we started kicking it around. What got me involved was a conversation at C2E2 2013 with Nick B. about reinventing all the Gold Key characters, and I jumped at the chance to participate.
BC: Unlike the other Gold Key characters, if you read the history of Doctor Spektor, he has the feel of a 1970s character, but the solicitation for the new series sets him squarely in the current world. How did you go about modernizing him and what aspects of the original character did you feel were essential to retain?
MW: The essential aspect, I thought, was “ghostbuster/adversary of the supernatural who uses his fortune and sorcery resources to combat the dark forces.” It wasn’t hard to update, and I hope we’ve kept the basic spirit of the original. The big departure was making him a little younger and far more of a celebrity. Now he’s a world-famous reality-show superstar who fights all his battles with one eye on the camera.
BC: With this being one of four Gold Key comics being released by Dynamite (Turok: Dinosaur Hunter, Solar: Man of the Atom and Magnus: Robot Fighter), are these book in a shared universe? If so will we get to see the characters crossover and how much coordinating do you have to do with the other writers?
MW: Oh, boy, are they ever in a shared universe. Wait. They…KIND of are. They are, and at the same time, they’re not. I know that sounds sketchy, but I”m being vague on purpose–because, honestly, that’s actually a key (no pun intended) question of the entire Spektor storyline!
BC: Besides your writing work, you have Thrillbent which has an amazing list of creative talents associated with it. For those who haven’t been out to the site, what is Thrillbent and what is your goal for the site/company?
MW: Thrillbent is the digital-comics website I set up with John Rogers, full of free-to-read original comics in all genres by myself and a host of really talented creators who are all experimenting with the digital form. Thrillbent.com, folks–it’s free to read work, and there’s no excuse not to visit!
BC: You’ve written for most of the major companies, were Editor-in-Chief at Boom!, done some high-profile project, won some awards and even bought into some comic shops. So at this point, is there something in the comic book industry that you really want to do that just hasn’t happened yet?
MW: That’s a great question. I know the answer has to be “yes,” (else why get up in the morning?), but I’m not sure what that “something” would be. What else is left? No, I’m serious.
MW: WOW. Okay, still doing Daredevil and The Hulk for Marvel; doing a one-shot Original Sin story featuring the Watcher; relaunching Insufferable and another project over at Thrillbent.com next month; still doing another Dynamite project TBA and another graphic novel for Legendary; man, I need a nap.