Tuesday, January 29, 2019


I mentioned one-and-done issues yesterday, which was part of why I liked Marvel and DC's "kid" books, like Marvel Adventures or DC's animated tie-ins. But I didn't buy them consistently off the racks, usually depending on the cover or a guest-star. Or in this case, getting several on sale...from 2007, Justice League Unlimited #37, "Hard Spirits" Written by Matt Wayne, pencils by Min S. Ku, inks by Jeff Albrecht.

Particularly in Unlimited, they had the freedom to add some characters that didn't get to the cartoon, like Jay Garrick, Blue Beetle, or today, the Spectre! Who is acting more like a villain today, smashing up a prison on his way to deliver some old-school, old-testament, old-Wrath of the Spectre style justice. Turning criminals into fish, punching out Superman's literal "glass jaw," and turning Wonder Woman and the Martian Manhunter into candles when they try to stop him.

In Jim Corrigan's body, Deadman goes to Batman and Hawkgirl: Corrigan explains usually he's able to contain the Spectre before he goes ape. Batman tries to call Dr. Fate (literally, just by shouting for him) but he and Zatanna were both unavailable, so Deadman takes them to see Rama Kushna, who will help...after examining Batman's soul, by forcibly rewatching his parents' murder! Batman is visibly shaken but recovers quickly, as Rama explains she had to see what moved him: justice, not vengeance. She gives an exception to her laws, allowing this once for a spirit to possess a spirit. Deadman understands, as he is then able to possess the Spectre and undo his damage; although Batman is a bit peeved. Dr. Fate arrives to explain what set the Spectre off: Talia, causing trouble in the spirit realm. (Which would set this after the episode "Alive!")

Hawkgirl tries to console Batman, praising his toughness at being forced to relive the most traumatic experience of his life. Batman shrugs it off: "It's nothing...I do it all the time." That's a bit of a gut-punch for a kid's book, there.

I was thinking I needed to see a Spectre cartoon with him melting criminals, and I might have! Per Wikipedia, there was one with the DVD of Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths; which I've watched multiple times but I'm not sure the Spectre short is included with the bare-bones DVD or just the Blu-Ray. Better dig it up!

2 comments:

Dale Bagwell said...

Oooh, and now I want this. Probably should look for a hard or softcover collection of those Max Fleisher Spectre stories too. I just have the regular DVD and it's on there. Damn good for a short.

H said...

I think he turned a guy into cheese and fed him to rats in the Brave and the Bold cartoon. That's pretty dark.