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The Spectre is a cosmic entity and the physical embodiment of God’s vengeance on Earth. Permanently bonded to a human soul, he uses his incredible divine powers to punish the truly wicked.
First Appearance: More Fun Comics #52 (1940) Creators: Jerry Siegel, Bernard Baily Powers: Divine Empowerment
Black entries are ongoing series Green entries are Limited series Red entries are One-Shots Orange are alternate universe stories Blue is for comments
Wrath of The Spectre #1 (1988) – Reprints Adventure Comics #431-440. Wrath of The Spectre #2 Wrath of The Spectre #3 Wrath of The Spectre #4
The Spectre Vol. 3 #1 (1992) The Spectre Vol. 3 #2 The Spectre Vol. 3 #3 The Spectre Vol. 3 #4 The Spectre Vol. 3 #5 The Spectre Vol. 3 #6 The Spectre Vol. 3 #7 The Spectre Vol. 3 #8 The Spectre Vol. 3 #9 The Spectre Vol. 3 #10 The Spectre Vol. 3 #11 The Spectre Vol. 3 #12 The Spectre Vol. 3 #13 The Spectre Vol. 3 #14 The Spectre Vol. 3 #15 The Spectre Vol. 3 #16 The Spectre Vol. 3 #17 The Spectre Vol. 3 #18 The Spectre Vol. 3 #19 The Spectre Vol. 3 #20 The Spectre Vol. 3 #21 The Spectre Vol. 3 #22 The Spectre Vol. 3 #23 The Spectre Vol. 3 #24 The Spectre Vol. 3 #25 The Spectre Vol. 3 #26 The Spectre Vol. 3 #27 The Spectre Vol. 3 #28 The Spectre Vol. 3 #29 The Spectre Vol. 3 #30 The Spectre Vol. 3 #31 The Spectre Vol. 3 #32 The Spectre Vol. 3 #33 The Spectre Vol. 3 #34 The Spectre Vol. 3 #35 The Spectre Vol. 3 #36 The Spectre Vol. 3 #37 The Spectre Vol. 3 #38 The Spectre Vol. 3 #39 The Spectre Vol. 3 #40 The Spectre Vol. 3 #41 The Spectre Vol. 3 #42 The Spectre Vol. 3 #43 The Spectre Vol. 3 #44 The Spectre Vol. 3 #45 The Spectre Vol. 3 #46 The Spectre Vol. 3 #47 The Spectre Vol. 3 #48 The Spectre Vol. 3 #49 The Spectre Vol. 3 #50 The Spectre Vol. 3 #51 The Spectre Vol. 3 #52 The Spectre Vol. 3 #53 The Spectre Vol. 3 #54 The Spectre Vol. 3 #55 The Spectre Vol. 3 #56 The Spectre Vol. 3 #57 The Spectre Vol. 3 #58 The Spectre Vol. 3 #59 The Spectre Vol. 3 #60 The Spectre Vol. 3 #61 The Spectre Vol. 3 #62
The Spectre Vol. 4 #1 (2001) The Spectre Vol. 4 #2 The Spectre Vol. 4 #3 The Spectre Vol. 4 #4 The Spectre Vol. 4 #5 The Spectre Vol. 4 #6 The Spectre Vol. 4 #7 The Spectre Vol. 4 #8 The Spectre Vol. 4 #9 The Spectre Vol. 4 #10 The Spectre Vol. 4 #11 The Spectre Vol. 4 #12 The Spectre Vol. 4 #13 The Spectre Vol. 4 #14 The Spectre Vol. 4 #15 The Spectre Vol. 4 #16 The Spectre Vol. 4 #17 The Spectre Vol. 4 #18 The Spectre Vol. 4 #19 The Spectre Vol. 4 #20 The Spectre Vol. 4 #21 The Spectre Vol. 4 #22 The Spectre Vol. 4 #23 The Spectre Vol. 4 #24 The Spectre Vol. 4 #25 The Spectre Vol. 4 #26 The Spectre Vol. 4 #27
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WRATH OF THE SPECTRE
Collecting stories from ADVENTURE COMICS #431-440 and WRATH OF THE SPECTRE #4! One of DC's most powerful characters returns in stories that shocked and thrilled readers !
Michael L Fleisher
On Sale Date:
Wednesday, May 25th, 2005
- Michael Fleisher/Writer
- Russell Carley/Writer
- Frank Thorne/Penciler
- Jim Aparo/Inker
- Ben Oda/Letterer
- Joe Orlando/Editor
- Paul Levitz/Editor
- Aztar (New Earth)/Quotes
- Aztar (New Earth)/Appearances
- James Corrigan (New Earth)/Appearances
- New York City/Appearances
- 1974, August
- 1974, June (Publication)
- Adventure Comics Vol 1
- Colorist Credit Needed
- Synopsis Written
Adventure Comics Vol 1 434
- View history
"The Spectre: "The Nightmare Dummies and... the Spectre"": A series of bizarre murders by manikins draws the attention of law enforcement, Det. Corrigan , and The Spectre . Further investigation leads Corrigan to Monarch Mannikins, whose shipmen
Adventure Comics #434 is an issue of the series Adventure Comics (Volume 1) with a cover date of August, 1974 .
- 1 Synopsis for The Spectre: "The Nightmare Dummies and... the Spectre"
- 2 Appearing in The Spectre: "The Nightmare Dummies and... the Spectre"
- 5 Links and References
Synopsis for The Spectre: "The Nightmare Dummies and... the Spectre"
A series of bizarre murders by manikins draws the attention of law enforcement, Det. Corrigan , and The Spectre . Further investigation leads Corrigan to Monarch Mannikins, whose shipment was involved in said attacks. It is here that he gets a lead that despite mostly being manufactured by machine, a few of the manikins are still made by hand by Ezekiel "Zeke" Borosovitch. When questioned about the possibility of them coming to life and attacking people, Zeke admits that they might do so as they have feelings that most people ignore. By chance, he encounters Gwen, kidnaps her, makes a manikin in her likeness, and has it attack Corrigan. The attempt fails and Corrigan, as the Spectre, engages with and dispatches Zeke's manikin army before transforming the maker himself into one of his former creations.
Appearing in The Spectre: "The Nightmare Dummies and... the Spectre"
- Spectre (Jim Corrigan) (James Corrigan)
- Gwendolyn Sterling
- Ezekial "Zeke" Borosovitch (Single appearance; dies)
- Frank (Single appearance; dies)
- Pete (Single appearance; dies)
- Chris (Single appearance)
- Mr. Monarch (Single appearance)
- Karen (Single appearance)
- Monarch Mannikin Company
- "The Nightmare Dummies and... the Spectre" is reprinted in Wrath of the Spectre #2 and Showcase Presents: The Spectre Vol. 1 .
- Russell Carley is credited for "script continuity".
- In the letters page of this issue, Joe Orlando declared that the Spectre that has been appearing in Adventure Comics since #431 to be the Earth-One Spectre, as the Earth-Two Spectre had last been seen sacrificing himself in Justice League of America #83 .
- Cover gallery for the Adventure Comics series
Links and References
- 1 Batman (Bruce Wayne)
- 2 Batman Villains
- 3 Superman (Clark Kent)
- View source
- View history
Spectre first appeared in More Fun Comics #52 (February 1940).
Below is the definitive list of appearances of Spectre in chronological order. Flashback sequences or story entries will be followed by a [Flashback] note. Stories that for some reason are no longer part of current continuity will have a comment saying this in a note following the entry.
Follow the links for a complete index of the issue, including story and creator info as well as full character chronology and in some cases story synopses.
The chronology list can also be sorted according to Comic book title. Please note: If you want to go back to the chronological listing after having used the sorting tool you have to reload the page.
To go to the Spectre (Jim Corrigan) biography click here .
- Chronologies New 52
Character » Spectre appears in 1255 issues .
The Spectre is a supernatural being of near-unlimited might whose mission is to unleash the vengeance of God upon evil men. He is bound to souls of deceased humans, his power and personality varies depending upon the anima he occupies. The Spectre has been bound to many hosts during the modern ages, his most popular and most reoccurring host being that of Jim Corrigan.
Summary short summary describing this character..
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World Comic Book Review
Cold Blood, Libel, and Forlorn Love: Adventure Comics #431 – #440 (1974-5) – The Spectre (revisited)
Writer: Michael Fleisher
Artist: Jim Aparo
DC Comics, 1974-1975
Recently, your reviewer has been revisiting stories from his childhood, including Adventure Comics. Adventure Comics was a long-standing depository for a wide variety of minor DC Comics’ characters: Superboy, Supergirl, Starman, Plastic Man, Black Orchid, Aquaman, Deadman, and Dial H for Hero. Its purpose was far from how the major American comic book companies publish superhero stories today. Both DC Comics and Marvel Comics issue a staccato fire of titles, creating a low numbering order so as to encourage new readers to enter the series ostensibly without the need to be across an enormous backstory. Adventure Comics instead pleasantly rambled along for decades. It meandered through completely unrelated tales. In hindsight, there was a lot of variety on offer every month for a mere 25 cents.
Amidst this colourful ensemble of random characters, the Spectre’s tales from Adventure Comics are the best in that character’s long history. The stories were written by Michael Fleisher, with artwork by Jim Aparo.
Mr Fleisher’s writing – both in the plots and the characterisation of the Spectre – was pitiless, ominous, and gruesome. The Spectre was a spirit of vengeance, harnessed to the body of the deceased police detective Jim Corrigan, and in this series the stories accelerated to a terrifying level.
Mr Fleisher applied a formula akin to a medieval cautionary tale. None of the antagonists were traditional superhero villains, but instead were the sort of people a homicide detective with an eye for the weird might encounter (in a comic book context). The Spectre wrecked retribution upon criminal heavies, scammers and Neo-Nazis. But we also see the odd low level supernatural threat dealt with in short and brutal order. The magical threats of the likes of Wotan and Kulak from the 1940s, which might have put the outcome of the story in hypothetical doubt, were gone. Here, the focus was upon the title character’s inherent creepiness and the single-minded nature of the punishment meted out upon mostly low-lives. As Thomas Parker of the Black Gate website concisely notes better than we could – Sadistic Vengeance and Grotesque Death — Still Only 20 Cents! – Black Gate :
In the Spectre’s universe, there is no compassion or forgiveness, and no possibility of reform or redemption; there are no excuses, mitigations, or misunderstandings, and most disturbingly, there are absolutely no limits beyond which punishment cannot decently go. Though he was one of the original members of the Justice Society in the forties, the Spectre never fit in very well with other “superheroes” in any of his incarnations, and least of all in the Fleisher/Aparo version, in which he is less a hero than an inhuman embodiment of insatiable, demonic rage.
There were some supporting characters – Earl Crawford, a heavyset bespectacled reporter with an uncanny resemblance to Clark Kent (wryly noted by Corrigan in issue #435), and hapless love interest Gwendolyn Stirling. Falling in love with an animated corpse masquerading as a gritty cop was an unfortunate romantic twist for Gwen, and her efforts at trying to improve her position in Adventure Comics #433 led to the henchman of a fake mystic throwing a grenade at Corrigan and Gwen’s close call with a knife. The henchman is dragged into the soil of a graveyard by the dead at the Spectre’s behest, and the Swami is transformed into glass and shatters on the floor. The Spectre transforms back to Corrigan to talk to Gwen about what she has done. “I went to the Swami because I thought that maybe… just maybe… he could help us… help us… Oh Jim, things would be so wonderful if only… if only you were…”
Some critics have been savage in the characterisation of Gwen (not to mention the fact that Gwen was frequently depicted as tied up in nothing but her underwear). But we are more sympathetic. It is a sad and forlorn love, incompatible with the horror of the Spectre’s mission. Corrigan himself is not especially helpful:
If this run of the Spectre’s adventures had been published by DC Comics’ long-missed Vertigo imprint, we might have expected gritty haze and dark colours. This however was the 1970s, and the pages oozed lurid pinks and lime green. Mr Aparo was best known for his very long involvement on Batman comics. His fluid style was ideal for depicting the physicality of acrobatics and fisticuffs.
But here, with the assistance of the shocking colour palette, Mr Aparo made the character purposive and ethereal. The Spectre is on the face of it a ridiculous character to look at: a white corpse in green briefs and a green hooded cape, but Mr Aparo’s depiction of the Spectre’s costume was not at all camp. One of the most striking panels in Adventure Comics #433 is the Spectre rising from a burning car, his form intermingled with smoke and fire. There is a sense of insidious but purposive movement, an unlikely slowness from an artist best known for dynamism. And we are fascinated by the mouth agape – not with gritted superhero teeth – as if the Spectre contemplates both the audacity of what was done to him, and the horror of his own existence:
The best of the stories was published in Adventure Comics #434, an exercise in genuine terror. It is entitled, “The Nightmare Dummies and… the Spectre”. Ezekiel “Zeke” Borosovitch is an old man who sits in a basement handmaking display mannequins in the otherwise modern factory of Monarch Mannequins. Corrigan follows a lead to the factory while investigating inexplicable murders. Some unidentified evil magic enables him to animate the life-sized dolls, and they spontaneously attack innocent people. Zeke describes why in a chilling monologue, a credit to Mr Fleisher’s skill:
“… they might kill if they got angry, and I wouldn’t blame ’em for it, neither! How would you like to go through life the way they do… always on display, no one taking them seriously… No one caring about their feelings!”
Zeke (inevitably) kidnaps Gwen, replacing her with a mannequin which wordlessly tries to stab Corrigan in the back. Corrigan in a blink transforms into the Spectre, and without hesitation carves his attacker up before realising that it is in fact not Gwen who has tried to kill him. Zeke is by the end of the story himself transformed by the Spectre into a mannequin, loses an arm while being unloaded from a truck, and is melted to ash along with other mannequins while unwitting workers stand by a firepit nonchalantly talking about childhood toys. Zeke’s plastic skin drips pink and his mouth is contorted by the heat. Mr Aparo wants to make it clear: Zeke is in hell.
The Spectre’s dismemberment of Gwen’s doppelganger is brutal. The use of the dark red where the mannequin’s limbs were dismembered is graphic horror – a bait and switch by Mr Aparo, where the idle reader is at first unsure as to whether or not it is actually Gwen who was sliced into pieces by the Spectre.
How did this play out with the Comics Code Authority? Older readers will know that the Comics Code Authority (CCA) was a self-regulatory organisation that was created in 1954 by the Comics Magazine Association of America (CMAA). The CCA was formed as a way for the comic book industry to regulate itself and to avoid government censorship.
The CCA developed a code that outlined standards for the content of comic books, including prohibitions on depictions of violence, sex, and drugs, as well as restrictions on the portrayal of certain types of characters, such as vampires and werewolves. Comic books that adhered to the CCA code could display a seal of approval on their covers.
For many years, the CCA had significant influence over the comic book industry, and publishers who refused to comply with the code risked being boycotted by retailers and parents’ groups. All of DC Comics’ titles bore the CCA seal on their covers. However, the CCA’s power began to wane in the 1970s, as publishers began to create more mature and complex comic books that did not adhere to the strictures of the code. In 2011, the CMAA officially dissolved the Comics Code Authority, noting the organisation’s declining relevance. (The American comic book industry had other things to worry about. It had been very sick throughout the 2000s and many people, including this reviewer, expected at the time that it would be a dead industry by now).
Back in the 1970s, publishers began to experiment with more mature and graphic horror themes, which were not allowed under the strict guidelines of the CCA. Many horror comics in the 1970s were published without the CCA’s seal of approval, which made them less likely to be carried by newsstands and retail stores. Not so Adventure Comics . The seal was on the cover of every issue.
There is nothing suggestive about the way in which the mannequin was butchered by the Spectre, or ow the Spectre melted the flesh of a gunman, or the scissoring of a villain in issue #431. There was no blood, something expressly prohibited by the CCA code. But someone at the CCA was not paying attention.
The readers were however paying close attention. The letters columns towards the end of the run slowly shifted in tone from uncertainty to anger and outrage.
From issue #434:
“… the storyline seemed a bit empty, offering little except sheer brutality. In any medium more literal than comics, the Spectre’s method of dealing with criminals would not be tolerated: here, though, there’s a tendency to get off on the novelty of watching criminals meet immediate, merciless punishment without realising how we would react to the same kind of treatment elsewhere. I’m a bit uneasy about the glorification of this means of fighting crime…”
From issue #438:
“… you have the gall to say that, “… if they have no respect for other’s lives, they have but a fragile claim to their own.” In that case, what is the Spectre doing here? He has, in his present incarnation, no respect for human lives and therefore should be terminated. I’ll be glad when it’s over.”
By the time issue #440 was published, Bob Rodi (later, Robert Rodi, a well-respected American comic book writer on titles like Loki ) wrote a letter drolly noting,
“ The killing is not objectionable, but it’s losing its effect. I was genuinely chilled by #431… not so anymore. Michael Fleisher is heading towards sensationalism, and there’s something to avoid.”
Another reader (and later a prolific writer for Marvel Comics amongst others), Jo Duffy, was published in the same letter column,
“For all of his supposed status as a superhero, the Spectre is one of the biggest horrors in comics today. The stories never vary, except as variations on a theme. And a grisly them it is. Nasty villain kills a bunch of unmemorable supporting characters in a nasty fashion, and is himself done in by our hero, usually in an equally cold-blooded and horrifying manner…. You’ll never convince me the power behind Spectre is good.”
Despite editor Joe Orlando asserting in the letters column of issue #436 that the Spectre would remain the lead character for Adventure Comics for the foreseeable future, by issue #441 the title’s lead was the much safer Aquaman, and the Spectre was dropped without fanfare.
But that was not the end of it. Mr Fleisher’s work on the Spectre in Adventure Comics lead to a libel suit. The famous science fiction writer Harlan Ellison was interviewed by Gary Groth of The Comics Journal five years later, in 1980. The transcript strongly suggests that Mr Ellison was drunk. Here are two excerpts of what Mr Elison said about Mr Fleisher:
The libel trial which followed in Manhattan in 1986 is detailed here: The Insanity Offence: Charles Platt (ansible.uk) . In some jurisdictions before a judge and not a jury, the ordinary imputations of the defamation – that Mr Fleisher was perverted and mentally deranged – would have been clear.
The series, including four unpublished tales (one of which focusses on Crawford, imprisoned in a mental ward for describing his experiences with the Spectre) was collected two years after the libel trial’s conclusion, in 1988, by DC Comics as Wrath of the Spectre! . Times had already changed – and the covers of the collected works did not feature the CCA seal.
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Adventure Comics #431 (January-February 1974)
The wrath of the spectre (table of contents), the spectre / cover / 1 page (report information).
Color credits provided by Anthony Tollin.
The Wrath of... the Spectre (Table of Contents: 1)
The spectre / comic story / 12 pages (report information).
Is a Snerl Human? (Table of Contents: 2)
Comic story / 8 pages (report information).
Here Comes the Comics-Man! (Table of Contents: 3) (Expand) /
Behind the scenes at the dc comic world / promo (ad from the publisher) / 0.5 page (report information), [no title indexed] (table of contents: 4), dateline: adventure / letters page / 1 page (report information).
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Weird adventure comics: the spectre.
Great stuff! I remember buying this run off the newsstands as a kid, and was devasted when it suddenly disappeared. I loved the ultra violent ways the villains met their ends. As you rightly say, you didn't actually SEE anything. As the saying goes "Less is more". A great little collection of stories and I urge everyone to pick up the trade paperback collection.
Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for stopping by!
Great post on one of Aparo's best works. The run in Adventure was ahead of its time.
I agree, Mike. It's my second favorite Aparo work, after his Brave and the Bold run. His work on Aquaman and Deadman was awesome, as well!
Like, thanks man! I loved this series in Adventure Comics and was lucky enough to buy them off the stands as they came out. I was even luckier to have already read the Spectre's golden age origin and thus was aquainted with his take-no-prisoners vendetta on killers. This series did the Spectre even better than his own creator did him! They just don't write 'em like that any more!
Who Is DC's Most Powerful Magic User?
T he world of magic has always played a large part in the fabric of the DC Comics universe. Entire events deal with the various repercussions that come from messing about with the laws of magic; for example, in Day of Judgement or Day of Vengeance during the Final Crisis .
Consequently, the DC universe is filled to the brim with powerful magic-using characters who are worth exploring. While some specifically use magic to cast spells or alter reality, other heroes are powered by it, like Shazam or Black Adam. Others are beings made entirely of magic, like the Spectre or Eclipso. Whatever the case, they're all worthy of respect.
Updated on December 30th by Sage Ashford: This list has been updated to add more information about DC's most powerful magic users.
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Aquaman mostly relies on the power of his trident.
While he isn't always known for his magical potential, Aquaman has surprised his allies and his enemies a few times over the years with his ability to wield magic. Aquaman usually controls the arcane magic of the ocean with his powerful trident, though he has also been blessed with elemental magic over the years as well.
When Aquaman lost his hand, he eventually found a replacement using magical water from the Lady of the Lake. He also received divine empowerment from Posieden, which allowed him to manipulate the elements to further empower himself. What holds Aquaman back from being ranked higher is he doesn't have any formal training with his magic power.
Witchfire Is A Magician Rock Star
Rebecca Carstairs was a pop singer/actress/entertainer with a passion for fame. This drove her to use her innate magical abilities as Witchfire to join the corporate heroes known as the Power Company. She eventually found a place with the magical experts in Justice League Dark .
While she's capable of casting other magical spells, Witchfire's specialty is pyromancy. She's also able to tap into her magical power to enhance herself physically if needed. She proved her potential when she was called upon during the Day of Judgement event to join a gathering of other DC magic users to defeat The Spectre.
The Golden Age Green Lantern Gained His Power From Magic Found At The Beginning Of Existence
The original Golden Age Green Lantern was named Alan Scott, whose origin story has been retconned a few times over the years. Alan Scott was one of the first human ring-bearers in the Green Lantern mythos. However, his power source was later revealed to be a collection of mystical energy known as the Starheart.
The Starheart had been formed by the Guardians in their earliest attempts to bring order to the galaxy. It eventually wound up on Earth, where it powered Alan Scott as the Green Flame of Life. The Starheart powered Scott for years as both Green Lantern and Sentinel, and it gave his children Obsidian and Jade their powers as well.
Wonder Woman Was Created From Pure Magic
Another member of the Justice League who isn't always recognized for her magical ability is Wonder Woman. As one of DC's strongest demigods, Wonder Woman has several powerful abilities that have earned her place as one of DC's Trinity.
However, Wonder Woman also discovered an inherent magical potential that allowed her to wield both powerful mystical weapons and cast dangerous spells. Her magical potential made her one of the best leaders of the Justice League Dark and set her up further as one of DC's most important magical heroes.
Enchantress Draws Her Power From An Ancient Evil Entity
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The Enchantress is actually a mild-mannered freelance artist named June Moone. However, she was possessed by an ancient entity with a very evil side. While June was initially in control of her Enchantress form and powerful magical abilities, her evil side continually fought for dominance.
Enchantress is immortal and, therefore, incredibly experienced with her eldritch abilities. However, she's also able to manipulate magical energy and tap into other magic users' abilities. She's even gone toe-to-toe with Superman in Justice League vs. Suicide Squad , thanks to Big Blue's vulnerability to magic.
Tempest Spent His Entire Life Learning Atlantean Magic
Aquaman is known for his ability to access the ancient magic of Atlantis like other kings before him. However, his former sidekick Garth is actually the magical powerhouse in the undersea kingdom, which led him to take on the name Tempest.
Tempest can access incredible levels of magical energy that he spent years training to control. He wields eldritch magic and can cast powerful spells that have saved the day on more than one occasion. Despite being well-trained in magic, though, Garth sometimes lacks the control needed to master the more powerful spells, which keeps him from ranking any higher.
John Constantine Relies On The Power Of Manipulation As Much As Magic
The magical con man John Constantine first appeared in the pages of The Saga of the Swamp Thing. However, he quickly became one of Vertigo/DC's premiere magical characters in his own Hellraiser series. Constantine may be one of the most naturally skilled magic users, though he usually chooses to manipulate others and talk his way out of situations.
Constantine is one of the most powerful human sorcerers in the DC universe. He has a vast knowledge of the mystic arts that includes various rituals, charms, spells, and of course, tricks. He's also very lucky, thanks to his innate ability as a "Laughing Magician," which alters probability in his favor. This is referred to as "synchronicity wave traveling," which gives Constantine a further edge.
Raven Has Trigon's Powers With Decades Of Mystic Training
When Raven first gathered the New Teen Titans together, it was to seek their help in stopping her demonic father. He was the powerful interdimensional being known as Trigon. While Raven had incredible power at her disposal thanks to her father's demonic heritage, she'd tempered that power with the training of a mystical community known as Azarath.
However, even though Raven is forced to keep herself in check to stop the influence of her father, she's still an incredibly powerful DC magic user. Raven can cast powerful spells and incantations, but she also has a powerful astral self and can tap into dark mystical energies that have put other demonic beings in their place.
Eclipso Is The Personification Of Chaos Power
Eclipso was originally envisioned as a "Jekyll-and-Hyde" type of villain that saw solar scientist Bruce Gordon turn into the villainous Eclipso whenever an eclipse occurred. However, he was later retconned into an immensely powerful magical being who is better described as the chaotic personification of God's Wrath.
This ties into Eclipso's elemental abilities, which have allowed him to cause floods and natural disasters. His powers are usually exhibited through incredible physical strength, eye-blasts from his mystical Heart of Darkness, and combat with his mystical sword. Unfortunately, Eclipso is hindered by his need to possess and corrupt a host body.
Shazam Was Given The Powers Of The Gods And The Wizard
Teenager Billy Batson was chosen by the Wizard and taken to the Rock of Eternity. There, he said the magic word "Shazam" for the first time and transformed into his powerful adult form. As Shazam, he has access to the power of multiple gods that enhance his speed and wisdom while making him one of the strongest DC superheroes .
Billy Batson isn't as experienced as other DC magic users, and he doesn't have much control over his mystical abilities. However, he has become skilled at using the magical lightning at his disposal in battle with heroes like Superman. Shazam can also share his mystical abilities with his adopted family, who each gained a portion of his power.
Tim Hunter Is Destined To Be The Most Powerful Magic User
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Tim Hunter was a normal British child who discovered he was destined to become the greatest mage in history in The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman and John Bolton. Tim came to the attention of other magic users – affectionately known as the Trenchcoat Brigade — who tried to guide him as he developed his abilities.
Tim Hunter's magic is inconsistent, and due to his inexperience, his natural abilities to open dimensional doorways and fire electricity have to be channeled through objects like a key and a screwdriver "wand." However, with the right training and given room to grow to his full potential, Tim Hunter will become the most powerful magic user in the DC universe and beyond. In his youth, however, Tim is outclassed by everyone that ranks higher than him in both power and experience.
Zatanna Zatara Has Carried On A Proud Family Line Of Magicians
Zatanna is a second-generation magician and superhero. She takes after her father Zatara, a Golden Age magician who's almost had more afterlife appearances than living ones. Like her father, Zatanna uses "backward magic" by reverse-speaking her spells. She's even able to cast these spells without speaking by writing the spells in reverse when needed.
Zatanna's time with Justice League Dark showed her magical limits have never really been tested. She continues to prove herself as one of the most powerful magic users in the DC universe. Her abilities are somewhat limited by her own understanding of the spells. However, she has still been able to reshape reality and manipulate time and space.
Circe Has Centuries To Continue Honing Her Magic Powers
Circe is an immortal sorceress who's had several different origins thanks to DC's ongoing cycle of reboots. However, she generally always has a vendetta against Wonder Woman and the Amazons. Despite this, Circe has served as both a villain and ally to Wonder Woman over the years.
Circe has many powerful magical abilities that largely revolve around transforming matter and reality with magical energy. She has a fondness for turning people into animals, which is a trait shared with the original Greek version of the character. She can also use those same abilities on herself to become powerful enough to take on heroes like Wonder Woman and Superman.
Black Adam Was The Original Champion Of Shazam
While Shazam has prospered as the Wizard's champion in the modern era, he wasn't the first chosen to wield the power of the gods. Teth-Adam became the first champion when he was chosen by the Wizard in Ancient Egypt. He became Black Adam and received power from seven ancient Egyptian gods.
Black Adam could also share his power, though his one attempt at creating his own family ended in tragedy. He spent years as a villain who frequently clashed with heroes like Shazam and Superman. However, he eventually turned over a new leaf despite being one of DC's most unlikable heroes .
Arion Uses The Vast Powers Of The Lords Of Order
10 scariest magic users in dc comics.
One of the strongest DC magic users lived centuries before the other modern mystical heroes ever appeared. Arion was a powerful Lord of Order who lived his life in a mortal form in an ongoing battle against his twin brother, Garn Daanuth, a Lord of Chaos. Arion became the Sorcerer-King of Atlantis before the city sank beneath the ocean.
Arion is a demigod with a powerful connection to the Darkworld that allowed him to manipulate the dark magical energies without consequence to himself. He was the greatest mage in Atlantis' history, but he was corrupted by a dark power that clouded his mind. Arion's magical power created relics like the Tear of Extinction which was capable of killing gods.
Black Alice Can Take Any Kind Of Magic To Power Herself
Lori Zecklin may seem like an odd character to see near the top considering some other magical powerhouses. However, after Lori's first appearance in Birds of Prey #76, by Gail Simone, Joe Prado, Ed Benes, and Hi-Fi Design, revealed her unique magical abilities to the world, she factored heavily in several magic-related DC events.
Black Alice has the ability to steal magical abilities from other users and completely drain their powers. She's also able to usurp more than one power set at a time, leaving them powerless. Her youth, inexperience, and desire to stay out of the larger magical community keep her off the top of the magical pile.
The Phantom Stranger Is Gifted With Immortality And Magic Resistance
One of the more mysterious magic users in the DC universe is the Phantom Stranger, an eternal man who exists outside the timestream. He's revealed in the New 52 to be Judas Iscariot, who wears the 30 pieces of silver he earned by betraying Jesus around his neck. He walks the Earth in service to God for all eternity to atone for his sins.
While his origin was previously a mystery, his powers are also undefined. However, the Stranger is largely regarded by the rest of DC's magical community as on par with the Spectre in terms of raw magical power. Phantom Stranger's greatest gift is his omniscience, though he's restricted from using his all-encompassing knowledge to influence major events.
Mordru Is A Dark Lord Of Order
10 things you didn't know about legion of super-heroes villains the dark circle.
Mordru's usually best known as one of the Legion of Super-Heroes ' deadliest enemies in the 31st Century. However, Mordru the Merciless has threatened different eras of the DC universe and faced off with heroic teams like the Justice Society of America as well.
Mordru is a sorcerer from a world of magic that became trapped in the Amulet of Fate. He eventually ascended into a Lord of Chaos as a being of pure magical energy, possessing and transforming his hosts into facsimiles of his original body. Mordru is immortal and powered by incredible dark magic that only magic users of the highest order can stand against.
Doctor Fate Is The Ultimate Representation Of The Lords Of Order
The Helmet of Fate is one of the most powerful mystical objects in the DC universe. It grants its wearers a connection to the ancient Egyptian god Nabu. The first Doctor Fate was Kent Nelson, though a few of his descendants also took on the role. One of Doctor Fate's greatest accomplishments came when he joined the JSA.
The various abilities granted by the Helmet of Fate (along with a magical amulet and cloak) include the power to cast spells in the form of a glowing Ankh. He also has access to flight, telepathy, telekinesis, and a number of other offensive abilities. Unfortunately, the Helmet of Fate frequently brings madness to its wearer, which limits its potential.
The Spectre Has Shown Access To Unlimited Power
The Spectre is one of DC's most powerful cosmic characters , and he exists as the divine hand of Vengeance powered by The Presence/God. However, he's bound and restricted to a human host and can be defeated by powerful magic. That doesn't detract from his many magical feats; it just sets boundaries for his power.
The Spectre can manipulate matter and reality, bend time and space, and even overpower fundamental beings of magical energy. He once killed DC's Wizard during a time when he was hostless and driven to destroy magic. The power of the Spectre, even when restrained by a human host, is still more than enough to deal with most magic users in the DC universe.
Superman and Kid Flash Prepare for ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’ With New McFarlane Toys Figures
The new Build-A-Figure wave also includes Psycho Pirate, The Spectre, and The Monitor.
The Big Picture
- DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths was a groundbreaking comic series that reset the DC Universe and popularized the concept of the multiverse long before it became popular on the big screen.
- McFarlane Toys has unveiled a new wave of Crisis on Infinite Earths toys, including Earth 2 Superman, Kid Flash, The Spectre, and Psycho Pirate, with each figure containing a piece to build The Monitor.
- The impact of Crisis on Infinite Earths is still felt today, as it led to a rethinking of crossover events in both DC and Marvel, and its ongoing adaptation as a three-part animated film marks the end of the current DC Animated universe with an explosive finale.
When it comes to DC Comics storylines, there’s no crossover event as well known as Crisis on Infinite Earths . The 1985 limited series by legendary writer Marv Wolfman reset the DC Universe as we know it today and tapped into the multiverse almost four decades before that concept became popular on the big screen. The comic has received sequels while being adapted a handful of times throughout the years. Currently, DC is adapting the series into a three-part animated film . The first part was just released on digital this week. Now, to celebrate the beginning of the end of the current DC Animated universe, McFarlane Toys has just unveiled their latest wave of toys for Crisis on Infinite Earths .
The new Gold Label Build-A-Figure wave includes four figures. There’s Earth 2 Superman , Kid Flash, The Spectre , and Psycho Pirate . Each figure comes with at least one piece to build The Monitor . Like all past McFarlane DC figures, a collectible art card is included. The designs of each character are based on their appearance in the original comic storyline, not the new trilogy of films.
In the mid 1980s, comics, almost mirroring today's cinematic landscape problem, were in a messy state. There were too many characters to follow alongside a headache-inducing number of timelines and Earths to keep track of . The solution for DC at the time was to push the reset universe button and merge the multiverse , along with the company’s rich history, into one Earth. In the storyline, it was depicted as an epic battle between The Monitor and the Anti-Monitor . The latter of which was destroying the various Earths in their path. However, it was a much more complicated story than just that, with an endless number of tie-in books and the fallout was catastrophic for several major DC heroes. There were a lot of deaths in the pages of this 12-issue doomsday event. The lives of beloved characters like Wally West’s Kid Flash and Supergirl – as well as the future of comics – were changed forever .
‘Crisis on Infinite Earth’s Influence Is Still Felt Today
Crossover events weren’t that huge when Crisis was released, but the success of it led both DC and Marvel to rethink how their most popular characters teamed up in the future. For DC, there was a different "Crisis Event” every few years, like Identity Crisis , Final Crisis , and Heroes in Crisis that would send ripple effects throughout the universe. That being said, despite the multiverse eventually returning, nothing has been quite as devastating as Infinite Earths .
That’s why it's fitting that the final set of films in DC’s animated universe, starting with 2020’s Superman: Man of Tomorrow , will be based on this world-ending story. While Infinite Earth’s most popular adaptation was in CW’s “ Arrowverse ”, the recent string of DC animated films have been some of their best. James Gunn ’s focus on the animated projects leading into his new live-action universe may have ended the current continuity, but nevertheless, the “Tomorrowverse” is going out with an explosive bang.
Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths Part One is available on digital now with the physical media release coming on January 23, 2024 . The final two parts will drop sometime later this year. You can also pre-order the new McFarlane Toys Infinite Earth figures of Earth 2 Superman , Kid Flash , The Spectre , and Psycho Pirate, and check out The Monitor figure on the company's website. The figures are expected to be released in March 2024 . Check out the new wave below:
Justice League: Crisis on Infinite Earths - Part One
The Anti-Monitor (the Monitor's evil counterpart) is released in the DC Multiverse and begins to destroy the different Earths that compose it. The Monitor attempts to recruit heroes from across the Multiverse, but is murdered.
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Mark Kermode on… director Christopher Nolan, a magician of cinema as memory
From Memento to the Golden Globe-winning Oppenheimer, the head-scrambling British-American director has revelled in using cinema as a time machine – and a conjuring trick
S omewhere between the crowd-pleasing spectacle of Hollywood and the esoteric inventions of European cinema lies the work of Christopher Nolan, the London-born writer-director who next month will receive the British Film Institute’s highest honour – the fellowship. Hailed by the BFI as “a blockbuster auteur and champion of cinema”, five-time Academy Award nominee Nolan is tipped for success at last at the forthcoming Oscars with his recent Golden Globe winner Oppenheimer – a frontrunner for, among others, best film, best director and best adapted screenplay.
The fact that this darkly ruminative three-hour epic has become the highest grossing biopic of all time, outselling the poptastically entertaining Bohemian Rhapsody , says much about Nolan’s ability to connect with mainstream audiences. Stranger still, a substantial number of those who furrowed their brows through the existential crises of Oppenheimer went on to double-bill it with Greta Gerwig’s pink-hued Barbie , creating one of cinema’s most unlikely box-office bonanzas – Barbenheimer!
Nolan’s uncanny ability to meld high art and popular culture has always been one of his greatest strengths. I remember emerging from an early screening of the comic-strip superhero yarn Batman Begins (2005) and exclaiming to my friend and colleague Nigel Floyd: “Wow! That’s the most expensive arthouse film I’ve ever seen!”
From his made-on-the-cheap indie debut Following (1998) to his most recent blockbuster behemoth, Nolan has viewed cinema as both a magic lantern and a time machine, opting for narratives that shuffle time like a deck of cards. His breakthrough feature, Memento (2000, adapted from his screenwriter brother Jonathan’s short story Memento Mori ), is an amnesiac thriller that uses a reversed-order narrative to reflect its protagonist’s inability to create and store new memories. Like its spiritual successor, Tenet (Nolan’s head-scrambling 2020 big-budget thriller in which contrapuntal time frames form a perfect cinematic palindrome), Memento assumes that any and all cinemagoers will, by the very nature of the medium, understand that time is reversible, flexible, artificial. Indeed, who has ever watched a Nolan film and not been intuitively aware that cinema somehow replicates the collage of memory – a random-access series of moving images that can be watched and rewatched, time and time again; faster, slower; forwards, backwards; ordered and reordered.
This simple truth is at the heart of so many of Nolan’s movies, from the slowed-down dreamscapes of Inception (2010), in which entire Bond-style action adventures play out in the time it takes a van to fall off a bridge, to the otherworldly time warps of 2014’s Interstellar (a trip to a distant planet rearranges the relative ages of crew members, and the central character winds up haunting himself) and the intertwined temporalities (one week, one day, one hour) of Dunkirk (2017). For proof that audiences are engaged rather than alienated by Nolan’s playful temporal knots, look no further than the fact that the three movies cited above have taken around $2bn between them, so they’re clearly hitting a popular nerve.
The other key element of Nolan’s cinema is magic, or more precisely the process of magic. A fierce champion of celluloid in the dawning digital era, Nolan has striven to make audiences acutely aware of the format of their screen entertainment, turning what might have been an esoteric discussion into a central selling point. Few fans of The Dark Knight (2008) were unaware that central action scenes were shot (and best viewed) in Imax , the large-frame format to which Nolan has devoted such creative energy, even using it to redefine the facial closeup in Oppenheimer . By the time of Dunkirk , tickets for Nolan’s films were being booked on the basis of screen size and projection processes, with audiences well-versed in the varying frame ratios, image clarity and even “footlambert” brightnesses of each different format.
That interest in process takes us back to the birth of cinema itself, to a time when magic lanterns conjured fairground phantasmagoria from machines that seemed simultaneously infernal and enchanted. No surprise, then, that perhaps Nolan’s finest (and most underrated) film is an adaptation of Christopher Priest’s 1995 novel The Prestige – a tale of rival stage magicians in Victorian London that fuses time shifts, teleportation and the spectre of electronic pioneer Nikola Tesla (a career-best turn from David Bowie) into its mesmerising mix.
Presented as a tragic love story and a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the mechanics of magic, The Prestige (2006) leads us through the three carefully choreographed movements of all great illusions: the pledge; the turn; the prestige. As we watch, we can almost feel Nolan lovingly unpicking the spellbinding history of cinema itself, inviting us to join him in a danse macabre of smoke and mirrors. We know it’s a trick, but it’s one in which we choose to invest – for the fleeting chance to experience transcendence in the company of others who, for a brief moment, share our waking dream.
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What else I’m enjoying
Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma Claire Dederer’s self-narrated audiobook of her 2023 bestseller about terrible people who make great art (from Picasso to Polanski) is compulsive listening – personal, political, profound.
Scala!!! The UK release of Jane Giles and Ali Catterall’s thrilling doc about London’s wildest cinema club is accompanied by a BFI season showcasing some of the storied venue’s most notorious offerings, including Thundercrack! and Salo . Blimey.
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