Unofficial Biography SPECTRE [James Brendan 'Jim' Corrigan]
 Created by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Bailey

Spectre

Personal Data


Real Name: James Brendan 'Jim' Corrigan
Occupation: (as Corrigan) Police Detective, later Private Investigator.
Known Relatives: The Reverend Jedediah Corrigan (father, deceased), Louisa (sister, deceased)
Base of Operation: New York City, Gateway City (1960's)
Group Affiliation: All-Star Squadron, Justice Society of America
Height: (as Corrigan) 6'1", (as Spectre) inapplicable
Weight: (as Corrigan) 184 lb., (as Spectre) inapplicable
Eyes: (as Corrigan) Blue, (as Spectre) inapplicable
Hair: (as Corrigan) Red with a white streak, (as Spectre) inapplicable
First Appearance: More Fun Comics #52 (February 1940)

Profile written by Alan Kistler, additional material by Jason Kirk

"The Wrath of God is the reaction of his holy love against sin. It is not the opposite of life; it is a part or aspect of love"

Quote taken from The 19th Century Encyclopaedia of Religion

Contents

PERSONAL DATA
OVERVIEW
HISTORY
POWERS AND WEAPONS
CHRONOLOGY

Overview

  The embodiment of God's wrath, a disembodied spirit charged with punishing evil-doers on behalf of the Almighty. The Spectre was anchored to a human host in the form of deceased New York detective Jim Corrigan.

History

  Since the beginnings of human civilisation the Spectre Force, or the Divine Wrath has patrolled the lands of man. Watching, waiting in the night for the unjustly killed, the murdered and the butchered. Then swift judgement gives bloody vengeance to the murderers. Since the birth of Christ, the Wrath has been bonded to a mortal host, to be its moral guide and anchor to humanity. In the twentieth century that anchor was detective Jim Corrigan. As the Spectre they were one of the most power beings in the universe.

  If we are to believe the texts, three seconds after creation there was a rebellion in Paradise. A rebel band of angles led by Lucifer Morningstar attempted to wrestle control of Heaven from the Presence. As punishment they were cast out to the burning planes of Hell where they became the beings that mortal men know as demons. It is not always realised but is possible for demons of repent, one such repentant demon was Aztar. Coming before the gates of Heaven he found his way bared by the archangel Michael. He begged to be forgiven and said that he would accept any punishment. Aztar was transformed, any memory and residual personality were wiped away, leaving nothing of Aztar. In it's place was empowered a portion of the might of Heaven, the wrath of God. He became a being of divine justice forged from the injustice of punishment without mercy. This Spectre was formed to replace the being of Eclipso who had once been the Wrath of God but had become difficult to control and so was discarded.

  This entity of Divine Wrath, the Spectre Force, was the being that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, the one that humbled the Pharaoh and killed the first born of Egypt. The Divine Wrath was the horn blast that brought down the walls of Jericho and stopped the sun in its tracks. For centuries the Wrath of God punished and humbled mankind, until the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. At that instant, the Divine Wrath was cast into limbo, for these beings of total vengeance and total forgiveness could not walk the same earthly plane together. When Jesus died on the cross, the Divine Wrath was released from his exile and sought vengeance on mankind for the death of Christ. He was interrupted by the archangel Michael, who informed the Divine Wrath that due to the obvious success of Christ all aspects of God were now to be bound to human souls, as decreed by God himself. The Divine Wrath was displeased with this, not wishing to take on the frailties of a soul and its persona and emotions. However, Michael would not hear any argument and was able to force the Wrath to yield. He then sought out the soul of a person who thirsted for swift, vengeful justice.

  In India, Chakara and his family were slain by the witch Lady Beltane. In the limbo that exists between planes of reality, Chakara cried for justice. The archangel Michael appeared to him, in the form of the god Kali, who Chakara worshipped. He asked Chakara if he would be willing to bargain his soul's rest for the chance to avenge his family's death. Chakara said yes and his soul mixed with the essence of the Divine Wrath. Thus, Chakara became the first true Spectre, a killing ghost that sought justice and enlightenment. The Spectre was unaware of its past as a divine force. As far as it knew, it was merely a human soul who had been granted divine power. Eventually Chakara would turn from his mission and was stripped of the Spectre Force, instead he bonded with a force from Hell and became Asmodus who swore revenge on all later Spectres.

  Over the centuries, there were many who were joined with the Divine Wrath to become the Spectre. Like their predecessor, none of the Spectres were aware of their true origin as the Divine Wrath. All of these beings were very clandestine and none gained world-wide recognition.

  During the US civil war the Spectre punished a band of drunken soldiers that had butchered a band of Cherokees. Of the white men he only left one man alive who had only stolen from them. The Spectre told him, "If you escape little man, do not doubt it is because I have let you go. You did not kill them -- no. You merely stole from them! Live -- and wonder what I will steal from you!" That man had a son Jedediah who had the fear of god beaten into his by his mother.

  Jim Corrigan was the son of the Reverend Jedediah Corrigan, a fire and brimstone preacher that travelled all over the country. During this period his best friend was Rafe, the son of their house-keeper, Rose. She and Rafe were forced to leave when Jim's mother found out about the affair Jedediah was having with Rose. Rafe blamed Jim for her finding out. Shortly afterwards Rafe was killed in a storm and Jim reacted against his fathers harsh teaching and beating by rejecting the figure that his father held most high, God. In a way Jim had had the fear of God beaten out of him.

  He became a police detective in New York City and was later engaged to socialite Clarice Winston. But one night, in 1939, Corrigan and Winstson were captured by the criminal "Gat" Benson and two of his men. Corrigan was placed in a barrel that was filled with cement, and then dumped off a wharf into the river. The deceased Corrigan's spirit, now in a void, was filled with anger and lust for vengeance. He was confronted by a mysterious Voice that offered him a chance to seek justice. Corrigan agreed and was immediately bonded with the Divine Wrath. The Voice told Corrigan that he was to return to Earth to fight evil with the supernatural powers he now possessed. The Spectre took his vengeance on Benson and rescued Winston. Later, the Spectre killed a criminal named Rhami, who had hired Benson to murder Corrigan in the first place due to the detective's investigations into his affairs.

  As a ghost Corrigan settled back into his role as a police detective. He dropped his partner Waylon for J. Percival Poplaski (alias Percival Popp Super Cop). Popp have accidentally stumbled onto Corrigan's alter ego of the Spectre, it was Popp who designed the costume of the Golden Age Spectre. With his new mission as an agent of God, the Spectre became one of the most famous mystery-men of the Golden Age. The following year, the Spectre helped other heroes stop Hitler's attack on England and the United States. Then, with Dr. Fate vouching for him he helped found the legendary Justice Society of America. The Spectre also joined the war-time only All-Star Squadron. After the disbanding of the JSA in 1951, the Spectre continued his activities on a somewhat more clandestine level.

  When Azmodus came to Earth and inhabited a human body, both Azmodus and the Spectre became trapped in their host bodies because of the duality of two Spectre host being around at the same time. Decades later, soon after the appearance of the modern age heroes, the Spectre was finally able to leave Corrigan's body when Azmodus' human host died. He then defeated the astral form of Azmodus and continued his activities on Earth. The Spectre encountered several of the new heroes and even worked with his old JSA teammates on occasion.

  After the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Voice reduced the Spectre's powers somewhat and gave him a new mission on Earth: the Spectre was now to prevent people from killing others and to avenge the spirits of the unjustly slain by punishing their murderers in manners befitting the nature of the crime. As Corrigan, he became a private investigator in New York City. His office was in the same building as Madame Xanadu’s parlour. Also added to Corrigan's life was Kim Liang, an assistant charged by Madame Xanadu to keep watch over Corrigan's body while the Spectre was on a mission. This was over seven years ago.

  During the crisis known as Zero Hour, the Spectre initially would not intervene. Despite great power, he was confined by his mission to punish evil and this did not include preventing disasters. Later, when the Spectre found out that the onslaught had been caused by the being Parallax, he intervened and aided the heroes in defeating the misguided villain. A similar situation occurred during the Final Night saga. Although there would be a fantastic loss of life, the Spectre could not act in preventing the sun from being extinguished. Fortunately, the efforts of the heroes (including Parallax, ironically) were enough.

  Immediately after Zero Hour, the Spectre was approached by the reincarnation of a woman named Beltane. In each of her lives, Beltane had been hunted by the Spectre but her spirit had never been captured. She revealed to the Spectre his origins as a divine spirit of vengeance and asked for his help in purging humanity of its free will, thus ensuring the eradication of evil. The Spectre refused her and damned Beltane's spirit for her crimes once and for all.

  The only time the Spectre acted to prevent a danger was when the new Justice League of America risked being overcome by a race of parasitic aliens, a defeat that would have endangered the entire world. Superman believed that this was due to the Spectre's concern for his fellow heroes but the spirit of vengeance merely justified his actions by saying that he was merely concerned about the universe's future safety.

  In recent times, the Spectre had formed strong bonds with a priest named Father Craemer, who often counselled Jim Corrigan on the problems he faces as the Spectre. On some occasions, Corrigan took his advice too literally, such as when Father Craemer wished that no one would be murdered on Christmas Eve. The Spectre made it so that New York was safe that night.

  The dichotomy between Corrigan and the Spectre began to grow greater and greater including the time when the Spectre destroyed an entire country to rid it of evil. When the Suneater attacked the sun and deprived the Earth of warmth the Spectre was convinced by Gaea the Earth Spirit to use his powers to warm the planet. He found that he could use his abilities in different ways. This only further exasperated the division between Corrigan and Spectre as they began to both manifest at the same time. Together they set off for Heaven to seek out answers to their moral problems from God but found the holy realm empty. In a quest that led from the Pantheons of Earth, to the Source to the depths of Hell the Spectre looked for his God.

  Eventually Corrigan confronted God, or at least his conception of the being and at last found the capacity to forgive his father. With that act the balance shifted, with the forgiveness he had given his father he found peace. Tired of the crusade Corrigan was convinced by Father Creamer that he need a funeral, something that he never had because he was too busy trying to convince people that he was still alive. In a service attended by the surviving members of the Justice Society, the Justice League, various mystical beings, heroes that he had helped create, Superman, Batman and the Swamp Thing, Jim Corrigan's mortal remains were finally laid to rest.

  The Spectre Force split from it's ghost host and returned to the where-after as Corrigan's spirit finally departed this realm in peace. His head stone, hastily raised before the service was blank. However after everybody had left a burning light etched the epitaph of - James Corrigan. Servant of God. The Corrigan/Spectre is gone, however Hal Jordan, the former Green Lantern, has since become the new host of the Spectre-force.

Powers and Weapons

  As a spiritual entity, the Spectre cannot be slain in the conventional sense, though he can be destroyed. As Corrigan he was still very much the same as he died. But as Spectre, Corrigan's personality is influenced by the Divine Wrath (which has no personality of its own) and he becomes somewhat colder and distant as a result. Since WW II, the Spectre's persona has become increasingly distant from his humanity.

  The Spectre's powers were reduced after the Crisis on the Infinite Earths, but he is still the most powerful human spirit on Earth. The Spectre and the physical body of Jim Corrigan can exist independently of each other. However, if they do not reunite within 24 hours, Corrigan's body will die and the Divine Wrath will return to the Ether until a new Spectre is chosen.

  The Spectre is intangible, can fly, turn invisible, inhabit and animate inanimate objects, and sense the intentions of people in the place where they plan to carry those intentions out. The Spectre knows many secrets of the universe and its inhabitants, though even he is not omniscient. The Spectre can sometimes get glimpses into the future, although this is not without great difficulty. The only time he was given a long, vivid glimpse into the future was when God granted him one in order to warn the JLA and prevent universal destruction.

  The Spectre can be injured or even slain by sufficient magic force, most notably the Spear of Destiny. Also, if the human host dies, the current Spectre will be no more and the human spirit and the Divine Wrath will separate, each going to his respective destination in the realms beyond life.

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