When police detective Jim Corrigan was seemingly murdered by the criminal Gat Menson, his spirit was mystically returned to his body and he became the ghostly guardian known as the Spectre. This hardcover edition reprints the original 1940s stories of the spirit of vengeance as he battled both ordinary criminals and supernatural menaces. Included in this volume are the SpeWhen police detective Jim Corrigan was seemingly murdered by the criminal Gat Menson, his spirit was mystically returned to his body and he became the ghostly guardian known as the Spectre. This hardcover edition reprints the original 1940s stories of the spirit of vengeance as he battled both ordinary criminals and supernatural menaces. Included in this volume are the Spectre's first appearance, his supernatural origin, his first appearance in costume and the introduction of the infinitely powerful ring of life....
|Title||:||The Golden Age Spectre Archives, Vol. 1|
|Number of Pages||:||224 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
The Golden Age Spectre Archives, Vol. 1 Reviews
Retro Hugo Award Finalist:"The Spectre"/"The Spectre Strikes!" (More Fun Comics #52/53, Feb/Mar 1940)The nominated story introduces us to The Spectre, the ghost of hard-fisted police detective Jim Corrigan. When Corrigan is killed in action, a disembodied voice directs him to fight evil as an all-powerful supernatural being. Why Corrigan was chosen is not revealed. The Spectre has, as noted in the foreword by Jerry Bails, all the powers of the combined Legion of Superheroes, e.g., flight, super-strength, invisibility, telepathy, giantism, micro-reduction, duplication, and others (yet he has to manually sew his costume together). With all these powers, it really shouldn't take him more than a few days to wipe out crime, but somehow he continues his day job as a detective.The remainder of this archive isn't much better. Jerry Siegel's scripts are generally inane and filled with wooden dialog. Bernard Baily proves that any schlub who could pick up a pencil could be a comic book artist in the so-called "Golden Age" of comics. The layouts are static and the drawings are crude.The Spectre as a character has potential, but it is difficult to write believable conflict when he has unlimited powers. Later creators were sometimes able to make The Spectre interesting by taking him to his logical, violent conclusion, but Siegel and Baily were clearly not too concerned with doing anything other than entertaining uncritical readers (presumably, mainly children) in the most benign way possible.This book is certainly interesting for its historical significance, but it is doubtful science fiction readers in 1941 would have nominated, let alone voted for, this comic book.
Several Golden Age superheroes benefited greatly by their makeovers during the Silver Age era: The Flash and Green Lantern immediately come to mind. When The Spectre made a comeback in the late Sixties his appearance hadn't changed, but Gardner Fox & Murphy Anderson made the character a lot more multi-dimensional and palatable than his previous incarnation. Jim Corrigan now had a personality, where originally he was flat as a board with no sex appeal.The Spectre Archives documents The Spectre in his early beginnings in More Fun Comics, and it's easy to see that the character took awhile to develop into a distinct entity. For the first half of the book Jerry Siegel's scripts are just generic crime stories with a little Shadow occultism thrown in. We're never fully told what all of The Spectre's powers are, so Siegel creates super powers that were never used previously or afterwards by The Spectre, a bit of a cheat. Bernard Baily's art is pretty stiff and static, lacking the fluidity of Bill Everett or the detail of Syd Shores.Things do pick up by the second half where ordinary villains like gangsters are dispensed with and we're treated to space aliens, goblins and zombies - yes, they're still gangsters, but they're living dead gangsters.
This volume's usually priced through the roof, but I finally managed to snag a cheap copy, and it's not disappointing. The Spectre, for those not in the now, is basically the vengeful right hand of the Almighty herself, having previously been hard-nosed police detective Jim Corrigan. Corrigan was allowed to come back after his murder to right wrongs in an never-ending battle with evil. These tales are all by the creative team of Jerry Siegel and Bernard Bailey. Siegel, of course, is half of the team that created Superman, and Bernard Bailey was responsible for Hourman over in Adventure Comics. The strangeness of these old stories are definitely part of the fun, as these pre-Comic Code adventures can get a bit macabre, with the Spectre allowing a suspect to be eaten and swallowed by a far-flung space reptile, or causing one to melt like an icicle. Great artwork and good stories for the era, this is an excellent read!
The Spectre sorties from More Fun Comics #52-70. I enjoyed these. It is a bit hampered by Bernard Baily's plain yet still somehow muddled illustrations, but these stories remain fun. You see some early attempts at showing other worldly, mind tripping chaos (something Steve Ditko will later pull off far more successfully in Doctor Strange). The strip also pairs The Spectre with some fitting villians that give the hero a challenge. No mean feat since the authors make him almost all-powerful.