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The Spectre

DC Universe Classics
by yo go re

The idea of superteams is, quite honestly, rather ludicrous. The Flash could beat pretty much any villain and be back before the rest of the JLA even gets up from the table. The team has both Green Lantern - a guy with a ring that can do anything - and the ur-superhero, Superman! And yet, even with GL and Supes on their ranks, the Justice League isn't the most overpowered superteam of all time: that honor goes to the Justice Society.

When honest cop James Corrigan was killed by gangsters, the ghostly spirit of vengeance appeared before him and offered him a second chance at "life." Corrigan agreed, becoming The Spectre, a ghostly avenger of evil deeds. But Corrigan was only one in a series of human hosts to The Spectre entity. The Spectre's methods are often harsh, violent and instill intense fear in his victims. If you gaze into his pure white eyes and feel fear, your days as a sinner are finished.

So here we have the Spectre, God's Number Two. He's specifically Aztar, an angel who took part in Lucifer's rebellion, but repented and was assigned to be the Wrath of God as his penance. And that's the real God, not Zeus or Thor or Kevin Spacey. And he's on the same team as Doctor Fate, the super magician, and Johnny Thunder, who controlled a magic lightning bolt that was literally a genie! Any of the three of them could have cured all the world's ills in the blink of an eye, yet they were on the team together. That had to make Wildcat feel self-conscious.

In his earliest appearances, the Spectre did not have the same distinctive appearance we know today: he had gray skin and a blue cape; the green clothes showed up first, but it was a few more issues before his skin turned white. Once they'd settled on that color scheme, the earlier issues were recolored whenever they were reprinted. The Spectre uses DCU's "skinny" body, but gets new hands, shins and feet - thus allowing for his gloves and pixie booties. He doesn't even share his feet with Deadman, because their little pixie booties are different styles.

Spectre gets a distinctive face with large cheekbones and a prominent, pointed chin. His hood hugs his head tightly, though it's a separate piece. The lower edge is angled to tuck into the high collar of his cape, which has large, sculpted buttons to maintain the fold. Though the cape plugs into the back, it doesn't really need to. There's a shadow airbrushed over Spectre's eyes, but the eyes themselves are bright white. Nice work!

Each figure in Series 12 comes with a piece of the Build-A-Figure Darkseid, but Spectre gets a bit more. Like Doctor Mid-Nite, Spectre has an arm: but since it's the right arm, it also includes Darkseid's big golden control glove. What's it control? Heck if I know, it must be something from the comics, because DC Direct's Darkseid came with the same thing. More on that when we review the big guy, promise.

The set also includes a DC 75th Anniversary collector pin. Apparently Mattel is going to be doing this all year, and rather blithely hoped to release 75 pins. Of course, they're only doing it with DCU and Infinite Heroes, not JLU, so the target number may be rather unrealistic. This one is All-Star Comics #2, which at least shows a picture of Spectre, so it's already one step above a lot of the pins.

Spectre is one of the two figures in DC Universe Series 12 to get a variant: there's a chase glow-in-the-dark version, but since putting paint on a figure like that would obscure the glowiness, his skin is plain white, without the subtle gray shading. If that's okay by you, then sure, try to track that one down. But if all you can find is the normal release, you'll still have a pretty cool figure.

-- 06/17/10

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