DCU Book Club Week 43: THE SPECTRE (1992-) Issues 1-7

Did anyone catch the Siegel and Bailey name on the hospital on page 1 of #1?

The Spectre was co-created by Jerry Siegel (of Superman fame) and Bernard Baily (co-creator of Hourman).

I love comic book easter eggs :slight_smile:


Been reading this series on and off for a couple of months (I started with 1-12, then took a break and went back for 13-18, and now after another break I’m reading 19-24). This is my first time revisiting it since collecting all of the issues in print about 15 years ago, and it really holds up! The writing and artwork are incredible, and Corrigan is a great character. Not always super likable/relatable, but fascinating all the same.


I’m with you, I didn’t find him likable but I couldn’t walk away from him or the story. I took short breaks, and dove right back in.

Glad to hear the story holds up well over time.

This is the series that made me a fan of the Spectre


Hopefully I’ll have time to start this tonight!

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Read the first issue last night, and one thing that struck me as interesting that I’m surprised hasn’t really been done before is The Spectre having to deal with someone on equal footing during his “punisher” mode. Every time I’ve seen him do his thing to regular folks, Spectre is more or less omnipotent – using his power to torture both physically and psychologically his prey for their sins. This time, when he went into Snipe’s brain, though, Snipe was able to change himself and the rules of the game like he was in a lucid dream.

I really liked this change-up, because I think in some ways The Spectre can kind of feel like a boring supernatural Punisher-like character, but the thing that makes Punisher work (other than tapping into that twisted desire to see people punished) is that while he’s often portrayed as a top-tier special forces soldier, he’s still human who can be hurt or killed like any one of us. But The Spectre is always in control, always able to completely destroy his prey without even breaking a sweat. But making it a little harder, even if it means Spectre getting knocked around a bit, adds a little drama to the proceedings.

…I guess this is my long-winded TED Talk way of saying I really liked the first issue.

Thanks for sharing, this one hooked me too!

I’m looking forward to your thoughts on this one

I like your description of him being in control and not breaking a sweat! Glad you liked issue 1.

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Finished the rest of the series, and it definitely keeps with that same quality, and pushing the character of Spectre/Jim in a way I had never really seen before. Usually, when I see him in comics, it’s in Crisis-level events where he grows several stories tall and just fist-fights whatever big multiversal enemy of the decade. Here we see him as an actual character, with motivations and grey areas.

I also really liked the character of Ann – first, she’s just a great, compelling character who balances out Corrigan in intriguing ways. Then her being HIV-positive and having the role she does was cool, very progressive for it’s time. The mystery/growing dread of the AIDS killer that’s kind of in the background is what makes me want to continue the story after reading through these.

Now for the questions:

“Which DC character do you think is more intimidating than the Spectre?”

That’s a pretty hard question, I don’t know if there is any. Maybe Etrigan, because he’s similarly a vengeful character, but at times he could be a hero or villain. But even then, with how Spectre considers what is good and evil at his most detached, he might not be that much different…

“Who did you think was more threatening: Spectre or Madame Spectre, and why?”

First off, I have to say, when I saw this question, and then saw Ann appear, I figured “Oh, that must be the Madame Spectre that they’re talking about.” Even when Madame Xanadu showed up, I didn’t think of it. Kinda silly on my part, I guess, but in my defense, I don’t think I’ve read her in a story where she’s…not so much a villain, but definitely an antagonist. I guess John Constantine’s not the only one who got a little sanitized moving over into the New 52…

Anyway, another tough question, because I think the point of that issue is how similar they are. No matter how pure of intentions you have, something about that potential omnipotent power will corrupt you into the ways of vengeance. That said, that scene with Madame Spectre and the pimp, with the scissors…look, I’m not saying I feel really sorry for that guy, but every man alive flinches at least a little when something happens to a man’s privates. It’s just science.

“What was the most memorable moment in the story to you?”

For me it’s definitely the issue(s) where it goes into Corrigan and Ann’s history. It was a very illuminating look at what made Corrigan the way he is, and it was surprising seeing him so open and vulnerable, even admitting that he’s unable to forgive himself for the things he’s done.

And perhaps in the exact opposite way, I really enjoyed the literal hail of bullets he drops on the head honcho of some gang. That was well done.

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Ready to read #6, but a few thoughts first:
Like the best of episodic television, you don’t want to bing this book. Each issue deserves time to bake in your mind, before another takes its place. Sons of Anarchy is fun and you blast through it, The Sopranos or Dr Who at its best you watch, then wait before watching more. This is closer to the latter.
Beautiful evocative covers. The greens and whites work well for the supernatural themes while being brighter and different from the more normal black and dark reds.
The Spectre can be wrong. I’m not sure I’ve seen that before.

I can’t think of anyone more intimating than the Spectre either. I see him as a powerful person that can get the job done, but you really really really don’t want to call him unless it’s absolutely necessary. …I can’t even imagine what he’d find in the brain / soul of the Joker.

The scene with Madame Spectre and the pimp was chilling to me. Even as a woman, I winced at the situation (but I totally didn’t feel sorry for that guy).

Thanks for sharing your candid reaction to the term “Madame Spectre.” I’m happy to hear you’re continuing the series!

Yeah, the colors and art are beautiful. They really work well with the tone of this series. I can’t wait to hear what you think at the end of issue #7!

@JLWWSM well your in for a surprise when the spectre meets the joker later on in the series!

I’m so pumped to hear that!

One thing I’m digging about this book so far, is the origin flashback.

I loved the way it was handled. Seeing it with Amy was really cool.

Jim was not a good guy and I’m happy that the book didn’t shy away from that. Too many super hero comics feel the need to show how good these characters were before their transformation. This one was a breath of fresh air

I just started Issue 5. Can I say that issue 4 has the most bizarre twist (if you can call it that) I’ve ever read in a comic. Amy has Aids, WHAT?! And infected a bunch of men, ultimately leading to their deaths?!

This book doesn’t pull any punches. It takes a lot to surprise me, but consider me surprised.


I read #2 earlier this AM and loved it.

So far these opening issues of The Spectre have been a fun ride. Especially when villainous schmoes get what they deserve.

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This book pulls no punches. Can’t wait to hear more of your reactions!

I was stunned by the AIDs reveal. I was also surprised by how she described her past from a fairy tale princess perspective. I haven’t see that often in comics.

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There’s more to come with villains getting their due. Buckle up! It is indeed a ride.

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Yeah, I remember hearing that Ostrander’s Spectre handled AIDS as a subject matter, but I thought it was during Hal Jordan’s tenure as The Spectre, so I was surprised to see it happen here.

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