Here is the latest in our year-long look at one cool comic (whether it be a self-contained work, an ongoing comic or a run on a long-running title that featured multiple creative teams on it over the years) a day (in no particular order whatsoever)! Here‘s the archive of the comics posted so far!
Today we look at Michael Fleisher, Jim Aparo and Ernie Chan’s Spectre series from Adventure Comics #431-440!
The series was almost entirely done by Fleisher and Aparo (with Aparo inking himself and even doing the lettering), but Chan helped out a bit towards the end of the 10-issue run.
The basic gist of the Fleisher/Aparo Spectre was simple – Jim Corrigan investigates a crime, then he gets vengeance as the Spectre, and his vengeance would often be spectacularly gruesome.
Here’s an example from Adventure Comics #432.
Three criminals rig a rich guy’s pool to explode…
After his death, the Spectre manipulates the man who hired them to get him to lead Corrigan to the killers, and then things get freaky…
Here’s the Spectre’s vengeance in another issue, Adventure Comics #438 (where a professor is performing taxidermy on HUMANS!)…
There certainly is a little bit of sketchiness about watching these acts of cruelty as entertainment, but Fleisher does not completely tell us that what the Spectre is doing is the “right” thing. Heck, Corrigan seems more haunted by his actions than he is pleased with them.
But boy, could Aparo draw the hell out of those poetic justices!!!
DC later collected the stories into a extra-sized mini-series, including brand-new (at the time) stories that had been written by Fleisher at the time but never published (because the series was canceled abruptly – the world of the 1970s was perhaps not yet ready for a comic like this).