"The Arson Fiend and...the Spectre!": A number of buildings have been set on fire by an unknown arsonist and both Police Detective Jim Corrigan and reporter Earl Crawford invesigate the case. When another building is set on fire, Corrigan saves some innocents from
- It is I, putrid fiend...! Here to wreak the vengeful wrath of... The Spectre...
- -- The Spectre
Appearing in "The Arson Fiend and...the Spectre!"
- Earl Crawford
- Freddy "The Torch" Fisher (Dies)
- Bob Elliott
- Chief Lonigan
- Wayne (Single appearance)
- Hall of Records
- Hall of Records
Synopsis for "The Arson Fiend and...the Spectre!"
A number of buildings have been set on fire by an unknown arsonist and both Police Detective Jim Corrigan and reporter Earl Crawford invesigate the case. When another building is set on fire, Corrigan saves some innocents from the fire by transforming into the Spectre and Crawford's theory about a ghost in town is reassured.
Crawford continues his investigations until he learns that the possible arsonist is one Freddy Fisher, a crook working for slumlord Harrison DeMarko. Meanwhile, Spectre learns the same information by interrogating the souls of the victims that died in the fires. At that moment, Fisher is about to burn another building when he is spotted by Crawford. The reporter proceeds to take out his camera in order to capture the moment of the crime, but when Fisher lights the matches, the Spectre comes out of the fire and confronts the thug. Fisher draws his gun and shoots at The Spectre, who uses his cape to cover himself and the bullets ricochet back to Fisher's body. The thug is killed and Spectre vanishes, but the whole event was captured in pictures by Earl Crawford, who leaves the photos to be revealed at the editorial office of the newspaper as evidence of his ghost theory.
Once the pictures are developed, Crawford's editor assumes that the reporter forged the images in order to validate his theory and murdered a criminal in the process. The New York City Police Department arrive soon at Crawford's place and he is arrested before the trial, where all the evidence seems to point to him as the killer of Fisher. However, Crawford tells the jury the truth of the events and he is found not guilty by virtue of insanity. After the veredict, Crawford is taken to a mental asylum for the criminally insane.
Appearing in "The Maniac and...the Spectre!"
- Gwendolyn Sterling
- Earl Crawford
- Harrison DeMarko (Only appearance; dies)
- Neal (Single appearance)
Synopsis for "The Maniac and...the Spectre!"
Earl Crawford is locked in an insane asylum and he is visited by an old lady who tells him that she knows he is not insane and that she will find a way to help him. Crawford asks her for something to break out of his cell and she provides him with a penknife.
Afterwards, the old woman returns to her home where she removes the disguise and Gwendolyn Sterling reports her task to Jim Corrigan, who had asked her to talk to Crawford. Being the only person who knows the secret of The Spectre, Gwen was the only woman in whom Jim could trust. However, Corrigan learns about the penknife she gave Crawford and The Spectre goes into action.
At night, Crawford escapes from his cell and The Spectre impersonates the deceased Fisher. When the crook shows up at Police Headquarters and reveals that he is "alive", the police realize that Crawford had been wrongly incarcerated. Later, Spectre goes to Harrison DeMarko's place and he kills the crook by transforming him into a cactus. At dawn, Crawford is found by the police and he is informed of his innocence. The reporter is relieved, but he suspects that The Spectre had something to do with the whole affair.
Appearing in "The Voodoo Hag of Doom!"
- Gwendolyn Sterling (Final appearance)
- Earl Crawford (Final appearance)
- New York City Police Department
- Captain Stanley
- Mr. Slater (Single appearance)
- Freddy (Single appearance)
- Bob Elliott
- Mr. Henderson (Only appearance; dies)
- Fred Thompson
- New York Public Library
- New York Public Library
Synopsis for "The Voodoo Hag of Doom!"
Gwendolyn Sterling had gained the majority of "Sterling Textiles, Inc."'s assets after the death of her father, but one member of the board of the company believes she is not fit to run the company and pretends to buy her assets. During the board meeting, an old hag breaks into the room and uses voodoo magic to kill the one of the board members for "creating scandalous clothes".
Elsewhere, reporter Earl Crawford has decided to drop his freelance job at the newspaper and he continues his investigation about The Spectre using his own methods. Soon, he learns about the mysterious death of the board member and he goes to invesigate. By the time Crawford arrives, the police have already set a crime scene investigation and Jim Corrigan talks to the Coroner about the possible causes of death. The doctor assumes it to be a heart attack, but Corrigan is concerned about the voodoo doll found inside the fish tank near the corpse.
However, the forensic examination reveals that the man was killed by drowning, which doesn't make sense, except for Corrigan. At that moment, the voodoo hag goes to find another member of the board and uses her voodoo magic to decapitate her victim. Corrigan was near the crime scene and after he finds the corpse, he transforms into the Spectre and follows the old hag to her hideout. Inside, a man pays the hag for her services, revealing that he is after all the members of the board. When the man is gone, Spectre confronts the woman and kills her by transforming her into a spider.
At that moment, Crawford has deduced the pattern of the killings and he goes to Gwendolyn Strerling's house to investigate. He infiltrates through the window into her room, which is empty as Gwen is elsewhere in the house. Crawford steps inside and he finds the disguise of the old woman who visited her at the asylum. At that moment, someone knocks on Gwen's door and she allows another member of the board to come inside and discuss "a matter of life and death". When she inquires what is so urgent, the man reveals his intentions of killing all the board member and place the blame on the one member who wanted to buy her assets. The man gets ready to murder her, but Spectre appears and turns the man insane, saving Gwen's life. When Crawford notices the disturbance in the kitchen, he takes a glimpse from afar and deduces that The Spectre had struck again. Crawford leaves the house unnoticed, thinking what might be the connection between Gwendolyn Sterling and The Spectre.
Appearing in "The Demon Within!"
- Gary Winters
- Mr. Winters (Gary's father)
- Mrs. Winters (Gary's mother)
- Kathy Winters (Gary's sister)
- Cain (Narrator)
Synopsis for "The Demon Within!"
This story is reprinted from House of Mystery #201.
When a family concerned with their social standing within the community discover that their little boy has the ability to shape-change into a demon, they have the child lobotomized so that his behavior does not continue to embarrass them.
- This book was first published on April 26, 1988.
- This is the only issue of this reprint miniseries that contains unpublished material. The Spectre stories were written for the original series in Adventure Comics (Volume 1), but due to the sudden cancelation of the series, the stories remained unpublished until this limited series.
- Supposedly, in an interview with Michael Fleisher in The Comics Journal, it is flatly stated that he wrote "two [Spectre scripts] that were never drawn". This issue however contains three "unpublished" stories. The third story not only has a different letterer and a different inker from the other two (and two separate people having deadline trouble is highly unlikely under the alleged circumstances) but also a title that does not match those of the other twelve stories, which are done to a strict formula, specifically "[Something] and/of the Spectre".
- This issue is reprinted in Wrath of the Spectre.
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Links and References
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