- 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: #1,658,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Golden Age, The: Spectre - Archives, Volume 1 (DC Archive Editions) Hardcover – April 1, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
_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.Read more ›
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.
A haunting read!!!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This volume's usually priced through the roof, but I finally managed to snag a cheap copy, and it's not disappointing. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Rich M.
This features great artwork by Benard Baily and some great supernatural stories that were quite unusual for their time. Read morePublished on November 4, 2013 by Michael Dobey
The DC Archives are a great way for a comic fan to "read" the books, which you cannot do with the originals either because of scaricity or "fear" of damaging the original through... Read morePublished on March 24, 2008 by CC