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Golden Age, The: Spectre - Archives, Volume 1 (DC Archive Editions) Hardcover – April 1, 2003

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Product Details

  • Series: DC Archive Editions
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563899558
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563899553
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,245,463 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By D. Smithee on May 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most of the early war comics from the late 30s and early 40s tend to be the same story told over and over again. While a number of The Spectre stories follow a pattern, they are told with a panache lacking in most other comics of the day.
The Spectre is a slain police detective whose spirit is returned to earth to rid it of crime. The very concept makes it the most original character of its time. Jerry Siegel, half of the duo that created Superman, uses this extraordinary concept to explore the idea of a hero with no real limitations and takes us places no other writer in the 40s thought of. The Spectre faces his enemies with an amazing battery of powers, sometimes just willing them out of existence. He travels to other planets, even other dimensions.
Bernard Bailey's illustration, while not spectacular, holds up to just about any other artist of the day, with the possible exception of Bill Everett. The costume he created for The Spectre is unusual, break the unwritten rule of the era. Heroes were always dressed in primary colors and villians in seconday. The Spectre is garbed in green and white. It is suitably erie for a rather creepy character. (Green Lanten would later break this rule as well, dressed in a tacky orange, green and purple ensemble.)
This is actually some of the best the golden age of comics has to offer.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By OAKSHAMAN VINE VOICE on June 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
_I used to avoid reading Spectre stories as a boy- they creeped me out. Don't get me wrong, I used to read the most graphic and disturbing of the old horror comics and magazines, but the Spectre was something different. On some level I knew that the ghouls, zombies, monsters and vampires in the other mags were make-believe, but the Spectre, well, he was the Old Testament Wrath of God. Even as a boy I knew that He was real....

_I found these stories from the early forties were a joy to read. Some of the artwork from this period can be pretty crude by today's standards, but I was pleasantly surprised by co-creator Bernard Baily's drawing. Just about every panel is drawn to a competent standard. In fact there are images, backgrounds, and panel work that are clearly ahead of their time. Some of it borders on the surreal. Even the old over-heavy inking style tends to add rather than detract from the supernatural darkness of the story line. As for the color, it is bright, garish- and perfectly done for stories of this era. I know that many people have a problem with the costume design of the classic Spectre, but for me it works perfectly. The character looks like a fish-white corpse in a shroud- which I remember is one of the things that helped to creep me out as a kid.

_However, it was Siegel's writing that makes the character. Here is a spirit sent back to earth to battle crime and uphold justice- until it is totally obliterated from earth. I didn't realize it, but Spectre was called back to the gates of eternity early in his mission because "the Voice" who assigned him his mission decided that it was too much for one man. Yet, in order to return to earth to save an innocent life, Jim Corrigan refused eternal rest to return to earth to fight evil for eternity.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Shaun M. Corley on January 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I'm a sucker for DC's supernatural characters, such as The Phantom Stranger, Etrigan the Demon and The Spectre, so it was with great excitement that I bought this book. I mean: the original stories of one of my favorite characters, what's not to like?

I wasn't disappointed either. Sure the stories are simplistic by today's standards, but at the time I'm quite sure they were extraordinary. The introduction states that with The Spectre, Jerry Siegel was hoping to establish a third archetypal hero, after Superman and Batman. Do I think he succeeded? Yes and no. While, he indeed create a new style of character, it never seemed to have caught on quite the same way Superman and Batman did.

If you really want to see The Spectre at his best, then pick the Ostrander/Mandrake issues from the 90s. Great stuff.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Spectre reminds me of Little Nemo in Slumberland. Anything can happen and often does in the Spectre. From throwing stars at a villian the size of a world to talking to the recently dead on a huge stairway to heaven the images stay with you long after you close the book.
A haunting read!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By David Keith on October 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Most of the Golden Age DC Archives are to be admired for their historical significance in a pleasing format.
Honestly, a lot of the Golden Age stories are rather primitive and repetitious and a bit difficult to struggle through.

This is one of a few exceptions. It's thoroughly entertaining.
(Golden Age Starman is the best looking, art-wise with fun SciFi tinged tales; Golden Age Black Canary is fantastic female solo character and just plain fun. I'm surprised Wonder Woman took off with this kind of competition!)

Golden Age Spectre is nutty, borderline insane, great art to look at, and is the most "out-there" of the DC offerings. That's what's so great about it. He's creepy. He's dead. He wears a hooded cape and panties. LOL.

Interested in the DC Archive Editions? Start your collection with this one. You'll be hooked.
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