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October 05, 2008


Ivan Wolfe

Did you ever read DC comics "Bizarro World" collection (the 2005 collection of comics by "alternative" artists that was a thematic sequel to the earlier "Bizarro Comics")?

There was a great Spectre story in there where the Spectre punishes co-workers for doing annoying things around the office (a guy who wastes paper hogging the copier is turned into a tree and cut down, for example).


The only thing I love more than Jim Aparo's Batman is Aparo's Spectre.

Mark Engblom

Yeah, I think Aparo's Spectre edges out Neal Adam's and Murphy Anderson's Spectre.

Boy, I miss the "take no prisoners" Spectre. These "modern, caring, sensitive" versions of late are so silly and pointless. I'll take the "Old Testament/"judgement scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark" Spectre over those weenies.

John Nowak

Yeah, this has got to be the next best thing to the EC comics where murderous amusement park owners were slain by their own roller coaster.

Did these Specter stories ever get collected?

Mark Engblom

Yes, the Fleischer/Aparo Spectre stories have been collected into the "Wrath of the Spectre" trade paperback. It lists for $15.59 on Amazon (although it says it's now "temporarily out of stock"). If you like grim "ironic punishment" Spectre stories, this is the book for you. If you prefer the "kinder, gentler" Spectre....avoid at all costs!


Just curious. What'd you think of the John Ostrander take on Spectre?

Mark Engblom

"Just curious. What'd you think of the John Ostrander take on Spectre?"

I enjoyed aspects of it (especially the artwork by Tom Mandrake), but overall, I would lump it into the same post-modern, angsty brand of Spectre I don't enjoy. Of course, Ostrander presented a distorted parody of the "off the chain" Spectre and Jim Corrigan as a damaged wing-nut, which presented a sort of straw man argument for the Spectre to alter his mode of operation. In other words, he diparaged the "judgement" aspect of the Spectre to such a degree, that the push for softer themes like "redemption" in the most recent Spectre incarnations was all but inevitable.

Remember that "final judgement" scene at the end of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and how satisfying it was to see Nazis pierced by Holy Lightning? Yeah...that's the level I love to see the Spectre operate at. I don't want to find out about how some of the gathered Nazis were really good guys, or victims of some sort. That's the sort of moral relativism I'm not at all interested in. Keep the Spectre an elemental force of moral judgement....not a fumbling mass of moral ambiguity.

John Nowak

Just ordered a used copy; thanks!

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