Have you ever wondered what Scooby-Doo would’ve been like if the regular series had featured genuine supernatural horror? Well, that’s basically Specter Inspectors in a nutshell, minus the talking dog.
Spector Inspectors is the graphic novel version of the 5-issue comic book series of the same name. Bowen McCurdy (The Long Way Home) and Kaitlyn Musto are the creators of both the graphic novel and comic books. McCurdy and Musto co-wrote them, while McCurdy did the art for both the pages and the cover. Jim Campbell is the letterer here. Oh, and BOOM! Studios is the publisher of this graphic novel under their BOOM! Box imprint, as they were for the comic book issues.
Spector Inspectors went on sale on October 13, 2021. You can purchase the physical copy from your local comic book shop or from BOOM! Studios themselves for that sweet paper feel. Or if you’re fine with the digital version, you can download it from content providers like ComiXology.
Warning: spoilers for Spector Inspectors below. If you have any interest in reading about Scooby-Doo-style hijinks in a genuine horror story, stop here, and come back once the Creeper is gone.
Specter Inspectors: Plot Summary
Specter Inspectors covers the plot of issues #1-5 of the comic book series. The graphic novel stars a group of 4 amateur paranormal investigators with a large-ish social media following who have named themselves the “Inspookters”. The group consists of “true believer Noa, her cynical little sibling Gus, credulous camera man Ko, and skeptical Astrid”. Together, they investigate the town of Cape Grace: described as “one of the most haunted towns in America”, and this is where our story begins.
The story starts with the Inspookters investigating the old town hall for ghosts. They don’t find any ghosts, but they do find a real live demon. Unfortunately, said demon finds them first and manages to possess Astrid. Trying to drive out of town to get a doctor just results in their car constantly passing the exit sign over and over again. Thus, the Inspookters’ mission changes from just finding evidence of ghosts, to exorcising Astrid. And to do that, they apparently need to find out the demon’s name.
The Inspookter’s first stop is the town library, where they discover the ghost of the head librarian. Said ghost gives them intel that leads to the town museum. Unfortunately, the building turns all Winchester Mystery House on them to try and kill them. It gets even worse when some cultists take them, prisoner, to try and draw out the possessed Astrid. Fortunately, they all escape, and get some more intel to boot.
The Inspookter’s next stop is the local well, where they find the ghost of a little boy who shows them a hidden diary in the side of the well. It turns out to be the diary of one Virgil von Brandt. He apparently wanted power, so he traded his soul to try and become a demon by eating one. He’s responsible for Astrid’s resident demon not having a name since he apparently took it. Unfortunately, Mr. von Brandt had done the smart thing and ripped out the page in his diary containing the demon’s name.
At this point, the Inspookters have run out of leads and are stuck. Unfortunately, Astrid decides to hand herself over to the cultists to try and get the demon out of her. Unfortunately, the leader of the cultists turns out to be none other than Virgil von Brandt himself, who has been “alive” for an unnaturally long time by now, and he really wants that demon to complete him. By the time the Inspookters make it to where he’s holding his exorcism ritual, it’s too late. He’s already exorcising said demon to absorb it. The demon actually leaves Astrid’s body willingly to avoid harming her, but now we have an empowered Virgil running around, and he’s basically gone full necromorph. Someone who has gone full necromorph is pretty terrifying, as it turns out.
Fortunately, Gus and Ko rally the other cultists, who turn out to be a bit misguided, and seal off the building with anti-demon magic, trapping what used to be Virgil inside a burning building. Unfortunately, Noa and Astrid are trapped in there with it. They climb onto the roof into the bell tower, but it chases after them. With nowhere to run, Noa and Astrid take a gamble. They try to give the demon a new name to rob Virgil of the demon’s power. It works. The demon goes on its merry way, Virgil falls into a fiery and well-deserved death, and all is well again. Oh, and Noa and Astrid finally kiss, so that’s nice. The Inspookters, now the Specter Inspectors, then finally head out of town towards their next adventure. And that concludes Specter Inspectors.
Specter Inspectors: The Good
Fans of Scooby-Doo will probably like Specter Inspectors. The main cast is arguably the strongest element of the story here. They have a quirky mix of personalities that mesh well with one another, rather like the Mystery Gang. The only thing that’s missing is the talking dog, and well, I guess the demon fills in the role rather nicely.
The story of Specter Inspectors itself though does a great job with those characters. As I mentioned before, it’s like if someone dropped said Mystery Gang right into the set of a Supernatural episode. Seeing these quirky kids fighting genuine supernatural horrors, and making some supernatural friends along the way, feels like the right mix of both Scooby-Doo and Supernatural. The yuri relationship between Noa and Astrid is just some delicious icing on an already tasty cake for me.
Specter Inspectors: The Bad
I think the worst thing I have to say about Specter Inspectors was that it ended. I hope Bowen McCurdy and Kaitlyn Musto write a sequel comic to this one of these days. I would very much like to read about the next adventure of the Inspookters in the future if that’s ever a thing.
Specter Inspectors combines issues #1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 of the comic book series by Bowen McCurdy and Kaitlyn Musto into a single easy-to-read graphic novel. It makes for a more riveting story to be able to read all 5 issues without pause. Maybe with the release of this graphic novel, BOOM! Studios might consider a sequel comic book series? Well. time will tell.
Source: BOOM! Studios