Black spectre extreme stories

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One unintended but inevitable consequence of the eradication of limits is the loss of the ability to be shocked, or even to recall what being shocked felt like. It featured a character we had learned not to expect too much from — the Spectre, who had last presided over his own title for ten issues from to The twelve cent Silver Age Spectre was a comic book of unsurpassed dullness, but those of us Black spectre extreme stories to pluck Adventure off the drug store spinner rack knew very quickly that this time our two dimes had bought us something really different.

The shock was all the greater considering the source. The DC of that era was far more stolid and conventional than Marvel, and no DC product was less likely to surprise or shake up anyone than Adventure. That all changed withwhich began a legendary and controversial ten issue Spectre series written by Michael Fleisher and drawn by Jim Aparo.

Until they got their hands on him, no one ever seemed to know what to do with the character, but Fleisher and Aparo would decisively redefine the Spectre, scrubbing him clean of his accrued Silver Age blandness and taking him all the way back to his grim Golden Age roots — and then some.

No rest until all crime is eradicated everywhere? All Jim Corrigan wants is some well earned rest, but every time some creep steps outside the law, his eternal vacation gets indefinitely postponed. It would put anyone in a bad mood. Contemptuously dismissing their frantic pleas for mercy, he crushes the car and its hapless occupants like an overripe kiwi.

Even with that, he soon switched to fighting evil sorcerers, malevolent entities from odd-ed dimensions, and other such-like astral menaces; they seemed a better match for his infinite power than the Warner Brothers-style hoods he started out battling. Then, with the advent of the Comics Code and its restrictions on supernatural characters, to say nothing of its disapproval of violence, torture, horror, and the gruesome, the Spectre finally dwindled to a mere shadow of the pitiless avenger he had been at his creation.

Black spectre extreme stories

Jim Corrigan was probably relieved; maybe now he could finally pack his bag to go fishing and leave cleaning up crime to all those goody-two-shoes in the Justice League. All that changed with Adventure Michael Fleisher who died in February of this year had ly scripted a handful of stories for DC, mostly for House of Mystery and House of Secretsconventional work that drew little notice.

With the Spectre, though, he let it rip, restoring the character to his early identity as a malicious entity of limitless wrath and merciless vengeance. Of course it was the excesses of EC that brought on the Comics Code in the first place. The difference between other heroes and the Spectre becomes immediately apparent in that initial Adventure appearance, where the he gets the Black spectre extreme stories rolling by luring a car off a cliff. The Spectre finishes the story by turning another bad guy into a skeleton, perhaps in homage to his very first act of vengeance, all the way back in More Fun Comics 53 oh, the irony of that title!

The Spectre is also fond of enlisting animal aid. Criminals though they are, victims seems the only appropriate word for them. An equally important difference this time around is the art of Jim Aparo, one of the most underrated comic creators of his era. The only major DC character he ever helmed for any length of time was Batman, and he spent large chunks of his career delineating fringe or offbeat characters like Aquaman, the Phantom Stranger, and, of course, the Spectre.

He had a way with violence and a gift for depicting cruel, corrupt characters; one look tells you his villains are rotten to the core. The Spectre stories that appeared in Adventure to caused quite a stir; a lot of people objected to them, both outside the comics industry, and even within it. What shortened the run probably had nothing to do with protests or pressure, however. Fleisher suggested as much when he said, long afterward, that after a year or so he just started to lose interest. If the series had continued with its logic unaltered, eventually the Spectre would have wound up crushing jaywalkers under the spike-studded wheels of monster trucks and stuffing folks who sneak sixteen items into the express line at Black spectre extreme stories supermarket into giant paper shredders.

One run expired of ennui, the other of excess, but the more extreme iteration is at least remembered, because it really shook things up while it lasted and generated aftershocks that are still felt in comics to this day. Their flavor is intense and unique and not wholly pleasant, and the very narrowness that made them so bracing also ensured that they would be unable to maintain their appeal over a long run.

Black spectre extreme stories

Just go away!! Fleisher and Aparo got one thing right. Sometimes, mercy and compassion are for the birds; like Jim Corrigan, you just want to get some sleep. Thomas Parker is a native Southern Californian and a lifelong science fiction, fantasy, and mystery fan. When not corrupting the next generation as a fourth grade teacher, he collects Roger Corman movies, Silver Age comic books, Ace doubles, and despairing looks from his wife.

Black spectre extreme stories

Very entertaining article. Thanks for the review of Golden Age spectre. I, being a younger fan, followed him during the 80s post-crisis recreation. To Glenn—the Adventure run was reprinted in a four issue series titled Wrath of the Spectre with I believe two unpublished stories that were completed but never published. John Ostander still the best run overall in the 80s and well worth a look see. Apparently he meant in a complimentary way but Fleisher took offense and Black spectre extreme stories Ellison for libel. And yes, he actually meant to be — sort of — complimentary.

Fleisher lost the suit. Terrific article! I was only a wee lad in the last 70s when I bought a used copy of Adventure Comics presents THE SPECTRE at a garage sale for a either 10 or 15 cents—it was quite a bargain for a poor kid at the time, especially when the cover price was 25 cents even for an issue that was years old, like this one. But it makes perfect sense—the seventies is when comics started getting wild again! My favorite horror comics usually come from the late 60s, early 70s.

Thanks for the great article, Thomas! I was probably the same age as the kid in the story. Freaky, and it still is. Read somewhere once maybe in a forward in Wrath of the Spectre or some Back Issue mag that the editor of the Jim Aparo run never once looked at the Spectre s in Adventure. So it was long into the run that the powers that be of DC learned of the shocking content and then canceled it immediately.

Black spectre extreme stories

Think perhaps the same with the CCA happened as well. Had the editorial and CCA process been applied as it had meant to work, those comics would not have been printed. Jim Aparo The Spectre stories that appeared in Adventure to caused quite a stir; a lot of people objected to them, both outside the comics industry, and even within it.

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Black spectre extreme stories

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Black spectre extreme stories

But i would love to read one or two issues. Thomas Parker. Just another stop on the madcap caravan that was the life of Harlan Ellison. John R. Would love your thoughts, please comment.

Black spectre extreme stories

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