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CSBG Archive

A Year of Cool Comics – Day 321

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!

Uncollected Classics week continues with a look at an uncollected story arc from John Ostrander and Tom Mandrake’s The Spectre (most of the series has never been reprinted, which is absurd). I think more than one person suggested I feature a Spectre story, but Andrew Collins’ e-mail was the one I read when I decided to do it, so Andrew gets the credit!

The storyline I’m looking at today is “The Haunting of Jim Corrigan,” from Spectre #52-56, as we learn a mystery from Jim Corrigan’s past while his relationship with the Spectre becomes more and more strained…


As the story begins, the Spectre has been changed by recent events in his title, and he has begun to take a more aggressive stance on his vengeance, returning to the style of the Fleisher/Aparo issues, as we see here where the Spectre visits a prison (Tom Mandrake gets to rock out, Jim Aparo-style)…

While the Spectre acts tough, he can’t help but be swayed by the prisoner’s plea, leading to a brilliant sequence later in the issue…

Meanwhile, though, the Spectre has been residing in the soul of Jim Corrigan’s human partner, Nate Kane, to heal himself. While there, though, Kane catches a glimpse of Corrigan’s memories, and what appears to be Corrigan murdering someone. So Kane begins to investigate Corrigan’s own memories!

His investigation is the foundation of the plot of the story.

The Spectre and Corrigan, meanwhile, are continually haunted by the plight of the innocent prisoner and begin to try to clear his name. However, the Spectre’s need for vengeance has left them with only one living witness who can clear the prisoner’s name, leading to this, well, haunting scene…

In the middle of the story, we take a break to meet a brand-new character, a character very familiar to a lot of you out there…

After a story of the original Mister Terrific (including a “behind the scenes” look at the Golden Age Mr. Terrific’s death), we get the first appearance of the new (and current) Mister Terrific, who would go on to become one of the best new superheroes of the 1990s.

So, what happens to Nate’s investigations? WAS Corrigan a murderer? How does the Spectre react to that? What other mysteries are hidden in Corrigan’s sub-conscious? Find out by picking up Spectre #52-56, which paved the way for the classic conclusion to Ostrander and Mandrake’s acclaimed run!


i’ve never seen Mr Terrific’s origin, but that is some of the worse dialog ever. I like the Spectre plea to get through to Michael but the dialog with the kids was just bad.

I’m a huge fan of Mr Terrific, would like to see him doing more street level stuff, as I don’t think of Checkmate as street level.

“Don’t need ‘em. I’m just cool.” Hah. I had no idea Mr. Terrific debuted here.

Let’s see, no Suicide Squad collections, only one Spectre trade (out of print?), no Hawkworld trades, no Firestorm reprints, no Martian Manhunter collections, his 7 issue Justice League mini isn’t available…

What does DC have against John Ostrander? Barring maybe grant Morrison, he was their best writer in the late ’80s/ early ’90s.

I saw that they’re going to be starting trade paperbacks of the Suicide Squad in February. So that’s gonna be pretty cool

Liked Mr. Terrific’s goggles. Why does he have a “T” on his face? That’s the only legit knock I have on the guy.

About two years ago, DC started reprinting classic runs in their entirety in deluxe hardcovers. They just finished Morrison’s JLA. Starman, Gotham Central, and Y:The Last Man will all finish up in the next few months. Moore’s Swamp Thing, Fables, and Preacher are still in progress, and it appears the Giffen/Dematteis JLI is on hold. But anyways, with four of these eight done by February, I’m hoping DC will find a few new runs to start giving the hardcover treatment, and Suicide Squad and Spectre are on my wishlist, as well as just being logical contenders. Some other runs I’d love to see get the hardcover treatment: Grell Green Arrow, Morrison Animal Man and Doom Patrol, Hitman, Johns JSA, Waid Flash, Transmetropolitan, and Dixon Nightwing and Robin.

I’m getting a really Gene Colan-y vibe from that art.

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