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Spectre (comics)

The Spectre
The Spectre.
Art by Alex Ross.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance More Fun Comics #52 (Feb. 1940)
Created by Jerry Siegel
Bernard Baily
In-story information
Alter ego Jim Corrigan
Team affiliations Justice Society of America
All-Star Squadron
Notable aliases The Spirit of Vengeance, Spirit of Redemption, Avenging Wrath of God, The Ghostly Guardian, The Man of Darkness, Raguel
Abilities Virtual omnipotence, omnipresence, and omniscience
Knowledge of events before the Crisis on Infinite Earths

The Spectre is a fictional character, a superhero who has appeared in numerous comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in a next-issue ad in More Fun Comics #51 (Jan. 1940) and received his first story the following month, #52 (Feb. 1940). He was created by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily, although several sources[1][2][3] attribute creator credit solely to Siegel, limiting Baily to being merely the artist assigned to the feature.

Publication history

Golden Age version

More Fun Comics #52 (Feb. 1940). Cover art by Bernard Baily.
Main article: Jim Corrigan

The Spectre debuted in More Fun Comics #52 (Feb. 1940) when hard-boiled cop Jim Corrigan, on his way with Clarice to his engagement party, was murdered by being stuffed into a barrel filled with cement and then drowned. His spirit was refused entry into the afterlife however, instead being sent back to Earth by an entity referred to only as "The Voice" to eliminate evil. He saw his body when he appeared at the bottom of the waterfront.

The Spectre begins by seeking bloody vengeance against Corrigan's murderers in a grim, supernatural fashion. One of them turned to a skeleton upon touching him. Jim Corrigan soon creates his signature costume, breaks off his romance with Clarice, and continues to be Jim Corrigan, assuming the secret identity of the Spectre whenever he is needed. He eventually turns down an offer to relinquish his mission to destroy all evil.

The Spectre is soon awarded charter membership in the first ever superhero team, the Justice Society of America in All Star Comics. Jim Corrigan is resurrected in More Fun #75 (Jan. 1942), after which the Spectre's ghostly form enters and emerges from Jim Corrigan functioning independently of him. During the mid-1940s, the popularity of superhero comics began to decline and the Spectre was reduced to playing the role of guardian angel to a bumbling character called "Percival Popp, the Super Cop", who first appeared in More Fun #74 (Dec. 1941). When Corrigan enlisted in the military and departed to serve in World War II, in More Fun #90 (April 1943), the Spectre became permanently invisible, becoming a secondary player in his own series. The feature's final installment was in issue #101 (Feb. 1945), and the Spectre made his last appearance in the superhero group the Justice Society of America at roughly the same time in All Star Comics #23 (Winter 1944–1945).

The Spectre
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule vol. 1: Bi-monthly
vol. 2–4: Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Publication date vol. 1: November/December 1967 – May/June 1969
vol. 2: April 1987 – November 1989
1988 (Annual)
vol. 3: December 1992 – February 1998
1995 (Annual)
vol. 4: March 2001 – May 2003
Number of issues vol. 1: 10
vol. 2: 31, +1 (Annual)
vol. 3: 64 (numbered 1 – 63, includes a #0), +1 (Annual)
vol. 4: 27
Main character(s) All:The Spectre
vol. 1–3: Jim Corrigan
vol. 4: Hal Jordan
Creative team
Creator(s) Jerry Siegel
Bernard Baily

Silver Age version

In the mid-1950s and 1960s Silver Age of Comic Books, DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz revived the Spectre and returned him to the role of an avenging undead spirit, beginning in Showcase #60 - Feb 1966. Under writer Gardner Fox and penciller Murphy Anderson, his power was vastly increased and at times he approached the level of omnipotence. A 1987 magazine retrospective on the character said this revival had been initially announced as a team-up with Doctor Mid-Nite.[4] After a three-issue try-out in Showcase, the Spectre appeared in the superhero-team comic Justice League of America #46–47 in that year's team-up of the titular group and its 1940's predecessors, the Justice Society of America: written by Gardner Fox. A few months later, he co-starred with the Silver Age Flash in The Brave and the Bold #72 - July 1967.

The Spectre was given his own title, premiering in December 1967, while simultaneously making another appearance in The Brave & the Bold #75 - Jan. 1968, this time teamed with Batman. In The Spectre, the creative credits varied widely over the 10 issues published, with introduction of a then-newcomer to comics, Neal Adams, who drew issues #2–5 and then #4–5. For its final two issues, the comic became in effect a horror anthology, with the title character being little more than a narrator in several short stories. The Spectre title suffered from the same problem that vexed the Golden Age series: writing meaningful stories using a character who was virtually omnipotent. The end to this era came in Justice League of America #83 - Aug. 1970, at the climax of another JLA/JSA crossover, the Ghostly Guardian appeared to be destroyed. He had a cameo in a JSA meeting the previous issue leaving in doubt how he went from there to being imprisoned in a crypt, as found and freed by Doctor Fate in JLA #83.[5]

Bronze Age version

Adventure Comics #432 (April 1974), cover art by Jim Aparo.

In the 1970s, DC revived the Spectre in the superhero anthology series Adventure Comics. Beginning with the 12-page "The Wrath of ... the Spectre" in issue #431 (Feb. 1974).[6] writer Michael Fleisher,[7] and artist Jim Aparo, he produced 10 stories through issue #440 (July 1975)[8] that became controversial for what was considered gruesome, albeit bloodless, violence. Comics historian Les Daniels commented that the Spectre had

...a new lease on life after editor Joe Orlando was mugged and decided the world needed a really relentless super hero. The character came back with a vengeance ... and quickly became a cause of controversy. Orlando plotted the stories with writer Michael Fleisher, and they emphasized the gruesome fates of criminals who ran afoul of the Spectre. The Comics Code had recently been liberalized, but this series pushed its restrictions to the limit, often by turning evildoers into inanimate objects and then thoroughly demolishing them. Jim Aparo's art showed criminals being transformed into everything from broken glass to melting candles, but Fleisher was quick to point out that many of his most bizarre plot devices were lifted from stories published decades earlier.[9]

In the series' letter column, some fans indicated uneasiness with this depiction. In issue #435 (Oct. 1974), Fleisher introduced a character that shared their concerns, a reporter named Earl Crawford. The series was canceled with scripts written but not yet drawn. Several years later, these remaining chapters were penciled by Aparo, lettered and inked by others, and published in the final issue of Wrath of the Spectre, a four-issue miniseries in 1988 that reprinted the ten original Fleisher-Aparo stories in its first three issues, and three newly drawn stories.[10] Fleisher had stated in 1980 that only two scripts were left undrawn.[11]

The Spectre also made a guest appearance in the "Doctor Thirteen" feature in Ghosts #97–99 (Feb.-April 1981), and would go on to periodic guest appearances in such other DC titles as The Brave and the Bold, DC Comics Presents and All-Star Squadron.

A new Spectre series was planned for 1986, with Steve Gerber as writer and Gene Colan as penciler. However, Gerber missed the deadline for the first issue so that he could watch the last day of shooting on the Howard the Duck film, and DC cancelled the series in response.[12]

Among the many changes made to DC Comics' characters during the latter half of the 1980s following the Crisis on Infinite Earths miniseries, the Spectre fought the Anti-Monitor largely depowered. Prior to this, the Spectre is revealed to be guarding an entrance to Hell in a Swamp Thing Annual story by writer Alan Moore and artists Stephen R. Bissette and John Totleben. Then, in the conclusion to Moore's "American Gothic" serial in the regular Swamp Thing comic, the Spectre is defeated by the Great Evil Beast. Next, in the Last Days of the Justice Society of America special, the Spectre fails to resolve a situation and is punished by God for his failure.

In his fourth solo series and second self-titled comic, the Spectre, under writer Doug Moench, Corrigan became the central figure in this story of an occult-oriented private detective agency. The Spectre's powers were significantly reduced here, with even the act of emerging from Corrigan's physical body being painful to both. This run ended with issue #31 (Nov. 1989). A few months after this, the Spectre has a cameo in writer Neil Gaiman's The Books of Magic, a four-issue miniseries starring many DC occult characters.

Modern Age version

Three years after the cancellation of the Doug Moench version, the Spectre was again given his own series, this time written by writer and former theology student John Ostrander, who chose to re-examine the Spectre in his aspects as both the embodied Avenging Wrath of the Murdered Dead and as a brutal 1930s policeman.

Ostrander placed the Spectre in complex, morally-ambiguous situations that posed certain ethical questions, one example being: What vengeance should be wrought upon a woman who killed her abusive husband in his sleep? Other notable dilemmas included, among others:

  • The tiny (fictional) nation of Vlatava, the history of which was an endless cycle of civil war, ethnic cleansing, retribution, and blood feuds that had endured for centuries. The Spectre responded by judging the whole nation guilty, razing the land and killing the entire population except for two opposing politicians, one of them the on-and-off supervillain Count Vertigo.
  • The pending execution of a wrongfully-convicted man. His death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment after the Spectre threatened to kill the entire population of the state of New York in retribution, arguing that if the execution was carried out, the "people of the state of New York" would become guilty of murder in his eyes.
  • A 90-year-old woman who had spent her entire life trying to atone for the single murder she had secretly committed in the 1920s. The Spectre found her on her deathbed.

Ostrander also added several new concepts into the Spectre's history: He revealed that the Spectre was meant to exist as the embodiment of the Wrath of God, and Jim Corrigan was but the latest human spirit assigned to guide him while he existed on Earth. It was also shown that the Spectre was a fallen angel named Aztar who had participated in Lucifer's rebellion, but then repented, and that serving as the embodiment of God's anger was its penance.

Furthermore, the Spectre was not the first embodiment of God's anger, but was the replacement for the previously-minor DC character Eclipso. Ostrander chose to portray this as a distinction between the Spectre's pursuit of vengeance and Eclipso's pursuit of revenge. In a historical context, Eclipso was responsible for the biblical Flood, while the Spectre was the Angel of Death who slew the firstborn Egyptian children. Spectre and Eclipso have battled numerous times through history but neither entity can be fully destroyed.

The Spectre has also played a pivotal role in the Crisis on Infinite Earths and Zero Hour storylines. In both cases, in the final struggle against the main villain (the Anti-Monitor and Parallax, respectively) the Spectre was the only hero capable of standing against the villains directly, allowing the other heroes time to put a plan into action that would destroy the villains once and for all.

Although all of these versions are usually considered to be from the Earth-Two of the Pre-Crisis DC multiverse, the same continuity started during the Golden Age, an Earth-One version of The Spectre was shown to team up with Batman and Superman on a few occasions.

Hal Jordan, Spirit of Redemption

File:Green Lantern Rebirth 1 coverart.jpg
Promotional art for Green Lantern: Rebirth #1 (Dec. 2004) by Ethan Van Sciver.
Main article: Hal Jordan

Eventually, Corrigan's soul finds peace. He relinquishes the Spectre and goes on to the afterlife. The role of the Spectre is later assumed by Hal Jordan, the spirit of the former Green Lantern, during the Day of Judgment storyline written by Geoff Johns, when a fallen angel attempts to gain the Spectre's power. Corrigan is asked to come back, but refuses as he has found peace. The Spectre chooses Jordan as his new host because Jordan seeks to atone for his universe-threatening actions as the villainous Parallax. His next appearance was in a four-part story arc in Legends of the DC Universe #33–36. In the series The Spectre vol. 4, written by J. M. DeMatteis, Jordan bends the Spectre's mission from one of vengeance to one of redemption, and making appearances elsewhere in the DC Universe, such as advising Superman during the "Emperor Joker" storyline or helping Wally West keep his family safe by erasing public knowledge of his true identity.

The 2001 Green Arrow story "Quiver" (written by Kevin Smith) and the final Supergirl story arc, "Many Happy Returns" (by Peter David), revealed that the Spectre (Hal Jordan) is aware of the Crisis on Infinite Earths. He is one of the few DC Universe characters with this knowledge.

After The Spectre vol. 4 was cancelled, Jordan was forced to return, temporarily, to the Spectre's mission of vengeance, following a confrontation between the new Justice Society of America and the Spirit King, who had managed to "resurrect" the ghosts of all those the Spectre had damned to Hell when his attempt to turn the Spectre's mission to redemption weakened his hold on the damned until Hal 'accepted' his original mission of vengeance. In Green Lantern: Rebirth, written by Johns, the Spectre's decision of choosing Jordan as his host was retconned into being not because of Jordan's worthiness, but as an effort to destroy the Parallax entity, which was infecting Jordan's soul. After the Spectre was able to purge the Parallax from Jordan, he departed in order to move onto the next recipient of the spirit.

Day of Vengeance

Promotional art for Day of Vengeance #3 (Aug. 2005),-featuring the Spectre fighting Captain Marvel. Art by Walt Simonson.

With no human host, the Spectre becomes unstable and goes on a vengeance-fueled rampage. Not only is he killing murderers, he also kills people for minor crimes, such as petty theft. His lack of a human host deprives him of the ability to effectively judge the sins in their appropriate context. As detailed in Day of Vengeance, Jean Loring is transformed into the new Eclipso. She goes after the Spectre and seduces him into removing all magic in the DC Universe. Eclipso explains to the Spectre that all things that follow the rules of the physical universe follow God's law. Anything that breaks those rules also breaks God's law and is therefore evil. Consequently, as magic breaks the rules of the physical universe, it is an originating source of tremendous evil (this line of logic makes sense to the unstable Spectre). The Spectre destroys magical constructs, institutions that teach magic, and magical dimensions. In one such dimension, his acts include the mass murder of over 700 battle-hardened magicians. His actions cause havoc to some of the more powerful magic-based characters:

  • Phantom Stranger – Spectre turns him into a mouse.
  • Black Adam – He fights the Spectre when the spirit invades his kingdom of Khandaq and causes plagues of destruction.
  • Doctor Fate – He is imprisoned in a dimension inside his helmet.
  • Madame Xanadu – Her eyes are destroyed (and made incapable of restoration through magic) by the Spectre to prevent her from reading her magical tarot cards.
  • Raven – She can no longer properly control her powers.
  • The wizard Shazam – Despite the intervention of his champion Captain Marvel, Shazam is killed by the Spectre.

The Spectre also destroys the magic-fueled kingdom of Atlantis (the home of Aquaman) during his rampage.

In the Day of Vengeance: Infinite Crisis Special, the Spectre kills Nabu, the last of the Great Lords of the Ninth Age and the Presence's attention is finally drawn into action. The Spectre is once again forced into a human host, stopping his mad rampage. Nabu reveals before dying that originally he and the other Lords had been working towards forming the perfect host for the Spectre, but those plans are cut short.

The text of the story is unclear on who the Great Lords were. Nabu (introduced in 1942 as the powerful entity responsible for Kent Nelson becoming Doctor Fate) was one of the Lords of Order. The Spectre had apparently killed the others, along with their counterparts the Lords of Chaos, with the exception of Mordru and Amethyst (whom he battled on Gemworld). Amethyst is among those gathered by the Phantom Stranger to aid in rebuilding the Rock of Eternity, and survives into the Tenth Age.

Alexander Luthor also revealed that he was indirectly responsible for the Spectre's actions in Day of Vengeance. Under Alexander Luthor's orders, Psycho-Pirate gave Eclipso's diamond to Jean Loring making her manipulate the Spectre so that magic could be undone and used as fuel for Luthor's Multiverse tower.

Crispus Allen

Main article: Crispus Allen

In Gotham Central #38, Crispus Allen is killed by a corrupt policeman coincidentally named Jim Corrigan (not the same Corrigan formerly associated with the Spectre). While Allen's body is in the morgue, the Spectre is forced against his will to enter Crispus Allen, taking Allen as his new host.[13]

Blackest Night

During the Blackest Night event, Black Hand reveals that the Spectre must be moved out of the way in order for the universe to be at peace. For that he uses the Black Lantern Pariah, who unleashes more black rings which latch themselves onto Crispus' body (who was killed by Eclipso), turning him into a Black Lantern and sealing the Spectre inside its host. Changing into a giant version, the Black Lantern Spectre declares that it wants Hal Jordan back.[14] The Phantom Stranger and Blue Devil work together in an attempt to distract the Black Lantern Spectre from seeking out Hal Jordan. The Phantom Stranger manages to temporarily free the real Spectre, only for the Black Lantern to repress it again and, discarding the Stranger and Blue Devil, leaves to carry out its intention to cast vengeance on Hal Jordan.[15]

In Coast City, Hal Jordan encounters the Black Lantern Spectre. Using the real Spectre's power to protect itself, it is rendered immune to the combination of emotional lights that usually destroy Black Lanterns. Knowing that the Spectre is afraid of Parallax, Jordan allows himself to be possessed by the fear entity once more in order to stop him. The powers of the Spectre also become of interest to the Red Lantern Corps leader Atrocitus, as he senses the Spectre's real nature despite being influenced by the black ring: an embodiment of rage and vengeance. Atrocitus desires to harness the spirit's power for his corps and his own vengeance against the Guardians of the Universe.[16] Parallax tears into the Black Lantern's body, freeing the real Spectre and destroying the facsimile. Atrocitus attempts to turn the Spectre into his own rage entity but fails, the Spectre telling him that "he is God's rage" and of the true rage entity, and warning him not to trifle with it. Parallax then attempts to destroy the Spectre, who uses his own fear of the entity coupled with the love Carol Ferris feels for Hal, to separate Parallax from its host. The Spectre then confronts Nekron, the master of the Black Lanterns, but discovers that Nekron is without a soul and is thus immune to his powers. The Spectre is then removed from the battlefield by Nekron to parts unknown.[17]

Brightest Day

The Spectre resurfaces, again with Crispus Allen as its host, in the hills of Montana on the trail of the Butcher, the Red Lantern entity.[18] The Spectre confronts Atrocitus once again when the two locate the Butcher, who is about to possess a man whose daughter had been killed by a death row inmate. Despite the Spectre's attempts to stop it, the Butcher succeeds, killing the criminal. The Butcher then attempts to possess Atrocitus, revealing that Atrocitus had a wife and children who were killed in the Manhunters' attack. With the Spectre's help, Atrocitus wards off the Butcher and imprisons it within his power battery. The Spectre attempts to judge the man that the Butcher possessed, but Atrocitus argues that his method of judgment is flawed. The Spectre calls off his judgment and is unable to judge Atrocitus, discovering that his mission is a "holy" one, although he warns Atrocitus that this will not last forever.[19]

The New 52

Jim Corrigan is a Gotham City Police Detective whose fiancee is kidnapped, He is guided by the Phantom Stranger on the instructions of The Voice. He leads Jim Corrigan to the abandoned warehouse where she is being kept, but this turns out to be a trap. Jim Corrigan and his girlfriend are killed by the kidnappers and he is then transformed into the Spectre who accuses the Phantom Stranger of betraying him. As the Spectre is about to attack the Phantom Stranger, the Voice intervenes and sends the Spectre off to inflict his wrath on those who are more deserving of the Spectre's wrath.[20]

It is revealed that the Voice chose Corrigan to be "the mirror of his desire for justice" (though Corrigan believes in vengeance) and imbued him with divine powers. Jim returns to work as a police detective in Gotham City but his rage causes him to practice vengeance rather than justice in his alter ego as the Spectre. The Phantom Stranger attacks Corrigan's police precinct, convinced that Corrigan was the one who kidnapped his family out of revenge.[citation needed]

After the two exchange blows physically and verbally, the Voice himself intervenes in the form of a Scottish Terrier (his sense of humor) and informs the Stranger of his mistake, setting him on the right path. The Voice also sets Corrigan straight on his duty, making him realize he is meant to exact justice, not wrath.[citation needed]

Batman calls in Jim Corrigan and Batwing to investigate Arkham Asylum because he believes something supernatural is going on and was already busy trying to end a violent gang war in Gotham. Jim and Batwing investigate and discover a demonic Deacon Blackfire commanding an army of corrupted humans and demons in the sewers beneath the Asylum.[citation needed]

Corrigan eventually joined Gotham's Detailed Case Task Force, a small precinct responsible for investigating supernatural events off the books. The task force was soon threatened with closure by internal affairs.

Powers and abilities

The Spectre has all the abilities a god would have including, but not limited to, manipulation of time and space, control over all matter, invulnerability, and limitless strength. For example, if he wished to wipe someone from existence, such as killing a bank robber with a tornado of dollar bills, he can so will it. Virtually anything he wishes to do to those he judges is possible. He has no discernible weakness other than needing a human host to be able to be a fair and impartial judge, although he has been tricked before by Psycho Pirate and Eclipso. The Spectre is immune to most damage, although he can be hurt by powerful magic. Though he is widely considered to be the most powerful superhero in terms of abilities, The Spectre does not harm the innocent (unless being tricked into doing so). Usually immune to mind control effects, in the Blackest Night story arc Atrocitus attempted to enslave him with a red lantern power ring but The Spectre cast it off, stating that his fury comes from a higher power and cannot be controlled by a mere mortal (his corruption by the Black Lantern Corps was only possible as the black lantern power rings were controlling Crispus Allen, the Spectre's current host, rather than the Spectre himself).


  • Sufficiently Powerful Magic: The Spectre can be injured or even slain by sufficient magic force, most notably the Spear of Destiny or a fully empowered Eclipso.
  • Divine Limitations: The Voice can impose limits on what the Spectre is able to do, as it did in binding the Spectre to a mortal host.
  • Divine Law: There are certain boundaries even the Spectre must not cross. If it does, it faces the punishment of the Presence. When the Spectre killed Nabu, it drew the Presence's attention, and was recalled.
  • Finite Power: The Spectre's power is great, but it is not limitless. If the Spectre performs a sufficiently great act of magic, its power is lessened, and it becomes vulnerable to magic, for as long as the working is maintained. One example of this was the Spectre's creation of a living body for Jim Corrigan.

Other versions

Kingdom Come

In the four-issue Elseworlds miniseries Kingdom Come, The Spectre is just Jim Corrigan a once human soul imbued with angelic powers by God. In a near apocalyptic world the Spectre takes a preacher named Norman McCay through the events of a possible future of the DC Universe. Here, Spectre is to determine who is responsible for an impending apocalyptic event. However, here his "faculties are not what they once were", and he is said to need an outside perspective to properly judge the events they witness.

A conversation between McCay and Deadman reveals that, with the passing of time, Corrigan has become further and further removed from humanity now only wearing his cloak to cover an otherwise nude body. He is reminded by McCay of his humanity to see things through the perspective as the man he once was and decides nobody is to blame. Corrigan becomes a member of McCay's congregation and they become friends.

In the epilogue set in a superhero-themed restaurant he expresses irritation that the meal named after him, "Spectre platter", is a mix of spinach and cottage cheese.


  • Spectre appeared in the animated TV series-based comic book Justice League Unlimited #37, and was out of control due to Tala's spirit.
  • In the Tangent Comics imprint, the Spectre is a man named Taylor Pike, a boy genius who one day bombarded himself with neutrino energy, and gained the power to become intangible. Initially operating as a thief, he later joined the Secret Six.
  • There is alternate version of the Spectre on Earth-2 shown in the JSA Annual #1 (2008) as well as an evil Spectre on Earth-3 shown in Countdown issue #31 (2008) of the Crime Society. Both versions look similar to the Golden Age version.
  • The Spectre makes his first appearance at the end of the third chapter of Year Three in The Injustice Comic, attacking Jason Blood's home where John Constantine and Batman have gathered their allies, seemingly killing the ancient human and the detective Harvey Bullock at the same time. Batman briefly confronted him in an attempt to restore his confidence after Superman broke his back. He later confronted Ragman and Deadman, also making clear he aligns himself with Superman's One Earth Regime. It is also strongly implied that someone else usurped the mantle from Jim Corrigan, the true Spectre, as Deadman attempts to talk with Corrigan, but discovers that Spectre's inhabitant is not Corrigan. Having inherited the powers of Deadman, the deceased Dick Grayson comes before Batman, informing him that Corrigan was found in Arkham 'Jokerized" by some form of magic. Superman and Wonder Woman are then rescued from an angry Trigon by the being impersonating the Spectre; Mr. Mxyzptlk.

Collected editions

Jim Corrigan

Title Material collected Pages ISBN
The Golden Age Spectre Archives, Vol. 1 More Fun Comics #52–70 224 1-56389-955-8
The Spectre: Crime and Punishment The Spectre Vol. 3 #1–4 120 1-56389-127-1
The Spectre Vol. 1: Crimes and Judgments The Spectre Vol. 3 #1-12 320 978-1401247188
The Spectre Vol. 2: Wrath of God The Spectre Vol. 3 #13-22 240 978-1401251505
Wrath of the Spectre Adventure Comics #431–440 and Wrath of the Spectre #4 200 1-4012-0474-0
Showcase Presents: The Spectre Showcase #60, 61, 64; The Spectre vol. 1 #1–10; Adventure Comics #431–440; The Brave and the Bold #72, 75, 116, 180 & 199; Ghosts #97–99; DC Comics Presents #29 624 978-1401234171

Crispus Allen

Title Material collected Pages ISBN
Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre #1–3 and Tales of the Unexpected #1–3 128 1-4012-1506-8
The Spectre: Tales of the Unexpected Tales of the Unexpected #4–8 128 1-4012-1506-8
Final Crisis: Revelations Final Crisis: Revelations #1–5 169

In other media



  • The Spectre appeared in the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Chill of the Night!", voiced by Mark Hamill.[21] The episode does not state who is the host of this Spectre. Spectre and Phantom Stranger hold a bid when it comes to Batman learning that Joe Chill was the one who shot his parents. He returned in the teaser for "Gorillas in Our Midst!" in which he helped Batman track down Professor Milo. But after Batman left, the Spectre turned Milo into cheese and released the lab rats. The rats soon ate him off-screen. Spectre later makes a non-speaking appearance in "Crisis: 22,300 Miles Above Earth" where he appears alongside the Justice Society of America.

Live action

  • FOX announced in 2011 that they were developing The Spectre as a potential television series to be written by Brandon Camp, creator of the drama John Doe.[22] There has been no further development.
  • Emmett Scanlan portrays Jim Corrigan on the NBC series Constantine. He first appears in the first season episode "Danse Vaudou". He is a New Orleans police detective that is thrust into the world of the supernatural after witnessing a ghost murder a woman. He wrongly detains John Constantine after Constantine alerts the police about a second ghostly killing before it happens. Corrigan assists Constantine, Zed and Papa Midnite in vanquishing the ghouls. Zed has a vision of Corrigan bleeding from multiple wounds and shrouded in a green glow that envelops his head and undulates downward to the ground. In "Waiting for the Man", Constantine and Zed assist Jim with a child abduction case. They ultimately apprehend The Man responsible, who Constantine convinces Jim to kill. Zed shares with Jim her recurring visions of his demise.[23]


Video games

  • The Spectre appears in DC Universe Online, voiced by Robert Kraft. When the Spectre has been driven mad, he creates Reapers that attack the humans of Metropolis to dispense his judgement. Oracle suspects that Eclipso is behind this and sends Green Lantern and Green Arrow to help the heroes. While Green Lantern distracts the Spectre, the players and Green Arrow go around destroying the crystals in order to free Spectre. After breaking the crystals, they free Spectre's humanity yet he attacks the players in order to gain a human host. During the fight, Spectre possesses Green Arrow and then possesses Green Lantern. When Eclipso appears, Spectre possesses the players and defeats Eclipso. Spectre then makes Eclipso disappear. He is served by Accusers, Magistrates, Reapers, Souleaters, Vengeful Spirits, and The Judge.

Reception and awards

The character won the 1961 Alley Award as the Hero/Heroine Most Worthy of Revival and the 1964 Alley Award for Strip Most Desired for Revival.

IGN ranked the Spectre as the 70th greatest superhero of all time.[26]


  1. ^ Greenberger, Bob, "Of Ghostly Guardians and Resurrections," The Spectre vol. 2, #1 (April 1987), DC Comics, ("letter" column).
  2. ^ Thomas, Roy, "Secrets Behind the Origins Dept.", Secret Origins (2nd series) #15, June 1987, DC Comics (sidebar to letter column, second page).
  3. ^ Bails, Jerry, "Foreword", The Golden Age Spectre Archives Volume 1, 2003, DC Comics, p. 6.
  4. ^ Stewart, Alan, "The Lives and Deaths of Jim Corrigan, Alias...The Spectre: Part One of a Hero History", Amazing Heroes #112, 1 March 1987, Fantagraphics p.32.
  5. ^ Burkett, Cary, "Speculations on The Spectre," Amazing World of DC Comics #16, December 1977, DC Comics, p. 40.
  6. ^ McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 159. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. The Spectre re-materialized in the pages of Adventure Comics. This time, However, he brought along an all-out wrathful disposition, delivering punishments that not only fit the crimes, but arguably exceeded them. [Michael] Fleisher and [Jim] Aparo's run lasted only ten issues, yet it was widely regarded as some of their finest work, and the character's seminal period. 
  7. ^ Initially, in collaboration with artist Russell Carley, who provided art breakdowns for Fleisher's scripts, (see, for instance House of Mystery #218 (Oct. 1973): "The Abominable Ivy") and other Fleisher 1973–1974 stories at the Grand Comics Database
  8. ^ Michael Fleisher at the Grand Comics Database
  9. ^ Daniels, Les. DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes (Bullfinch Press, 1995), pp. 152–153. ISBN 978-0-8212-2076-4
  10. ^ Sanderson, Peter, "The Wrath Against...The Spectre", The Wrath of the Spectre #3 (July 1988), inside covers
  11. ^ Catron, Michael, "The Blessed Life of Michael Fleisher: An Interview with the Man Who Stuffed Jonah Hex," The Comics Journal, June or May (first on cover, second on contents page, indicia states monthly frequency) 1980, Fantagraphics, p. 51.
  12. ^ Zimmerman, Dwight Jon (September 1986). "Steve Gerber (part 2)". Comics Interview (38) (Fictioneer Books). pp. 6–19. 
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External links