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Wrath of the Spectre Paperback – June 1, 2005

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"Batman Vol. 7: Endgame"
Celebrate "Batman Day" on Sept. 26th with a selection of great Batman-related graphic novels.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics; First Edition edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401204740
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401204747
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #185,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Babytoxie on June 14, 2005
Format: Paperback
Woo-hah! I had a lot of fun reading this book.

The Spectre is one of DC's earlier heroes, first appearing in 1940. Murdered police detective Jim Corrigan returns from the dead to fight injustice with a double-whammy, both as his "formerly human" self and as the spirit of vengeance, the Spectre. In the early 1970s, writer Michael Fleisher and artist Jim Aparo revived the character in a form far more dramatic than his original Golden Age style. This revitalized Spectre dished out retribution to criminals in some fairly bizarre and gruesome forms: the body of an airplane hijacker is stripped to the bone. A homicidal hairdresser gets cut in half by a pair of giant scissors. A deceptive mystic is turned into glass and shatters into a hundred pieces. Yes, this hero has no qualms with killing! Fleisher and Aparo's approach to the Spectre was somewhat shocking for the time, but very effective (so much so that it was carried over to great effect in Ostrander & Mandrake's early '90s Spectre series, another work in dire need of reprints). Jim Corrigan and the Spectre share equal time, with Corrigan investigating the case and figuring out who's guilty, and the Spectre showing up to take names and dish out the supernatural punishment.

This trade paperback is sure to be a hit with fans of EC's classic horror comics. It's modern horror with more than a healthy dose of the surreal, and a morbid punch for the finish. And there's some elements that are obviously a nod to EC, such as variations on the classic interjection "Good lord! (choke)", or the victims' blood-curdling screams: "EEEEEYAAAAAAAH!!!!" The edge that the Spectre has over Tales from the Crypt is that you get an ongoing character to carry the action, plus the stories don't begin and end with bad puns.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Ian Fowler on June 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
If there is such a thing as a "big Spectre fan", I'm probably one. I enjoy the character anyway, and one of my fondest memories of the 1990s was reading John Ostrander's excellent "Spectre" series from DC Comics. That series was a nice blend of horror, super-heroics, and philosophical moralizing.

So when DC published a collection of the Spectre stories that ran in "Adventure Comics" in the early 1970s, I gleefully snapped it up.

For those not familiar with the Spectre (which would be the vast majority of people who are not comic book readers), the Spectre is Jim Corrigan, a police officer killed in the 1940s, but returned to Earth with the purpose of eradicating evil (see "The Golden Age Spectre Archives"). His is given nearly unlimited power to achieve that end, ususally punishing evil-doers by killing them in creative and gruesome ways. Unfortunately, as super-heroes went into decline, the Spectre was the first to vanish (the fact that the strip had been taken over by a dofus sidekick didn't help). DC did bring him back in the early 60s, concentrating on his more super-hero aspect. But it was in the 1970s that DC attempted to return the more horrifying aspects to the character. These are collected in this volume.

On the whole, I enjoyed this collection. Michael Fleisher's scripts are simple and to the point. Basically, Corrigan, still acting as a New York City detective, comes across some very ghastly crime, involving cruel and wanton murders, and chases down the guilty parties, executing them grotesquely.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By K. Jump on February 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Controversial in its day due to the fantastic punishments the Spectre inflicted upon the evil-doers in these tales, WRATH OF THE SPECTRE collects the ghostly hero's stories from Adventure Comics #431-440 printed during the 70s, plus three bonus entries originally created for that run but not published until 1988. A breed apart from the usual Golden Age superhero, the Spectre is the ghost of murdered New York detective Jim Corrigan, sent back to the world of the living to avenge his own death and denied eternal rest until all evil upon the Earth is destroyed. Merciless and unrelenting in his mission, the Spectre preys upon the most heartless and irredeemable villains--the kind who spray poison gas into little girls' faces or turn innocent men and women into wax figures, Nazis who don't know the war is over and sadistic voodoo queens. Half the fun of these incredible tales is seeing what kind of just desserts the Spectre serves up for his prey, so I won't go into any spoilers here but I will promise some great surprises for the first-time reader! Writer Michael Fleisher's scripts are innovative and eerie, while Jim Aparo's art is creepy and engaging. A couple of interesting recurring sub-plots arise from the efforts of a reporter to prove the Spectre really exists, and the on-and-off love affair between the Spectre's alter-ego and lovely Gwen Sterling, a good-hearted woman who can't give up on her love for Jim Corrigan even after she learns who and what he really is. WRATH OF THE SPECTRE is wonderful comic entertainment tinged with a little horror and even some black comedy, far superior to most comparable industry efforts of today (even those involving the same character--today's Spectre is a far cry from his original conception). Highly recommended!
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