Dr. Spektor Presents Spine-Tingling Tales #1
Published and © by Gold Key (Western), May 1975
Title: “Cry of the Dire Wolf”
Synopsis: Tragg fights Earth’s first werewolf, who was created by a mixture of alien chemicals and dire-wolf blood.
Artist: Jesse Santos
Review: This lead story, reprinted from 1972’s Mystery Comics Digest #3, has a lot going on: dinosaurs, cavemen (including the debut of Tragg), werewolves and aliens. But, like much of Gold Key’s Bronze Age output, it reads like a hodgepodge. Jesse Santos’ art is quite stylish.
Title: “Mystifying Disappearances”
Synopsis: Over the course of human history, aircraft, people and even whole villages have gone missing without explanation.
Review: This “Ripley’s-Believe-It-or-Not!”-style tale, reprinted from 1967’s The Twilight Zone #21, offers below-average art and no narrative arc.
Title: “Ghost Town”
Synopsis: A rich eccentric buys a ghost town so he can spend his afterlife living out dreams of the Wild West.
Review: This maudlin tale, from 1973’s Mystery Comics Digest #11, offers the most poetic potential but falls short in execution.
Grade (for the entire issue): C
Cool factor: Look at that cover. Gold Key’s comics so often offer the promise of cool …
Not-so-cool factor: … but that promise is rarely delivered on.
Notable: This issue also includes a one-page table of contents featuring Dr. Spektor and an uncredited one-pager titled “The Enigma of Shanti Devi.” … Also includes uncredited one-page text stories titled “The Haunted Tanker” and “The House of Evil.”
Character quotable: “There is great magic in the shining rock!” – Tragg, one who loves silver
Editor’s note: This review was written Oct. 26, 2022.