Spektor, Lakota and Elliott Kane, flee a collapsing castle. Artist: Jesse Santos.


Medium: Comic books
Published by: Gold Key Comics
First Appeared: 1972
Creators: Don Glut (writer) and Dan Spiegle (artist)
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Gold Key Comics is remembered mostly for its licensed properties, such as The Phantom and Yogi Bear. But it also did a fair number of original characters, often funny …

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… stuff like The Little Monsters or Wacky Witch, but also serious material. In the 1960s, following industry trends, the serious ones tended to be superheroes like Magnus or Tiger Girl. In the '70s, when it looked like horror was making a comeback, Gold Key originals included The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor.

Dr. Adam Spektor, a researcher of the supernatural, was introduced in Mystery Comics Digest #5 (July, 1972). He was the only prominent continuing character to debut in that title, which usually featured non-series stories, most reprinted from the company's licensed horror anthologies, The Twilight Zone, Believe It or Not, and Boris Karloff's Tales of Mystery. The story was written by Don Glut (Dagar the Invincible) and drawn by Dan Spiegle (Crossfire). Even in that first 10-page story, he was depicted as more of a hands-on guy than researchers tend to be, given more to adventure than to dry, scholarly pursuits.

Spektor was next seen as star of his own comic, The Occult Files of Doctor Spektor, which began with an April, 1973 cover date. There, Glut's illustrative collaborator was Jesse Santos (Brothers of the Spear), who remained with the character and is now remembered as "the" artist on Doctor Spektor.

That first issue also introduced the doctor's most important supporting character, Lakota Rainflower. She functioned as his secretary and assistant in the office, and there was never a direct statement that their relationship was anything more than that. But she also traveled with him on his many overseas journeys to creepy castles, haunted caves and the like, and he seemed to care about her more than one generally does for the office help. Lakota started out a non-believer in the creatures Spektor tended to encounter, despite the fact that her father was a Sioux medicine man, but the evidence of her own eyes eventually brought her around.

Other recurring characters were added. Most notable was his colleague, Elliott Kane, who, starting in the fourth issue, would frequently show up to help out. Together, they battled all the big-name monsters — Frankenstein, Dracula, living mummies, etc. In #11, Dr. Spektor even became a werewolf, tho he got better in #13. Also, the Dr. Spektor series had far more crossovers with other Gold Key characters than the company's other heroes. Dr. Solar, Man of the Atom, made several guest appearances, and elements from Glut's other series, Dagar and Tragg & the Sky Gods, turned up occasionally. Even The Owl, who'd only had two Gold Key issues on his own, years earlier, shared an adventure with Dr. Spektor in one late issue.

Spektor had no media spin-offs, unless you count another Gold Key comic book, Spine-Tingling Tales, where he played the Crypt Keeper role for four issues, introducing stories that tended not to star regular characters. But he was reprinted in a couple of odd places, such as a bubble gum give-away in 1974, and a Halloween issue of Golden Comics Digest where the cover-featured star was Little Lulu.

After 24 issues, the last dated February, 1977, the series ended. Later that year, one final story appeared as an issue of Gold Key Spotlight. A 25th issue was published in 1982, but it was only a reprint of #1. In 1984, Western Printing, of which Gold Key was an imprint, got out of the comic book business. Doctor Spektor hasn't been seen since.


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Text ©2006-07 Donald D. Markstein. Art © Western Printing.