Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Spectre, The

Ultra-powerful Superhero of US Comic books. The godlike alter ego of murdered policeman Jim Corrigan, he has skull-pupilled eyes and wears a hooded green cloak and shorts over a grey skintight vest and leggings. At first his superpowers were almost infinite, including the ability to converse with God. Created by writer Jerry Siegel (1914-1996) and artist Bernard Bailey, he made his first appearance in More Fun #52 (1940) in which his origin story told of Corrigan being encased in concrete and drowned, but denied eternal rest until he wiped out all crime on the planet. The evident difficulty of maintaining reader interest in so transcendentally powerful and invulnerable (see Invulnerability) a character led to modifications in his abilities and in his relationship to Corrigan.

TS appeared in More Fun until #101 (1945), in All Star #1-#23 (1940-1945) and in Showcase #60, #61 and #64 (1960). A comic book named after him was The Spectre (#1-#10 1967-1969). [RT]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.