Resize text+=

‘The InSpectres: Volume 1’ – Advance Graphic Novel Review

“A group of major historical figures from the late 19th and/or early 20th centuries teams up to fight something fantastical” is a surprisingly common premise in comics. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I’ve reviewed several titles in that vein over the years, such as Real Science Adventures Volume 1 and the always fun Boston Metaphysical Society series. I’d happily read a hundred other comics with that premise, as well. There are so many different historical figures to choose from and so many different directions a story like that can go. Of course, it helps when the comic in question is compelling and well-written— which The InSpectres certainly is.

We begin in London in 1870, where a very young Arthur Conan Doyle has a chance encounter with a very old Charles Dickens, as Dickens is hot on the trail of Spring-Heeled Jack, trying to stop his reign of terror. Fast forward 30 years, and Dickens has long since died, while Doyle is now renowned throughout the world for Sherlock Holmes. But when another Spring-Heeled Jack attack occurs, Doyle finds himself faced with a very different sort of mystery.

In order to get to the bottom of things and hopefully stop a murderer, Doyle must team up with Harry Houdini, monster expert Bram Stoker, and a ten-year-old Agatha Christie who always seems to pop up at the right moment—whether she’s wanted or not. A few other familiar names come up, as well, throughout the course of the story, but I won’t spoil the surprise.

Their slightly dysfunctional team must follow odd symbols and messages from beyond the grave, while doing their best to avoid local law enforcement. All while it becomes clearer that the mystery they’re chasing isn’t just, “Who is Spring-Heeled Jack?” but “WHAT is Spring-Heeled Jack?”

What drives this story is the characters and how they interact with one another. Their personalities often clash, even as their skills and experiences complement one another. Doyle has his powers of observation and deduction, but his practical and pragmatic nature leaves him woefully unprepared for things like ghosts, vampires, or psychic visions. Stoker, on the other hand, is just the opposite, with an extensively catalogued knowledge of all sorts of supernatural creatures. And Houdini, eager for adventure, can get them into or out of just about any place in London.

All of this adds up to a very compelling story which ends on a major cliffhanger. I’m looking forward to seeing where things go from here, and I hope that once this arc is done, we continue to see The InSpectres team up for more adventures going forward. There’s a wealth of possibilities that could be explored, and I can’t wait to see what this motley team does next.

Creative Team: Jarod Hunter Rice (script, written by), David R. Flores (art, written by), Alex Petretich (colors), Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt (letters), Barnett Brettler (editor)
Publisher: Blue Fox Comics
Click here for updates on the upcoming Kickstarter campaign.

Steven W. Alloway, Fanbase Press Contributor



Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top