There's only one concept in this world that's almost as exciting as that of Secret Oranges - and that's the idea of Secret Origins.
Sadly, DC Comics have never had the sense to employ me, and so the former will probably never exist. However, they did, in the 1970s, have the sense to give us the latter.
In Secret Origins #5, we get to meet the Spectre - or at least the man who'll become the Spectre.
Shortly after announcing his engagement to his squeeze, hard-nosed, tough-fisted cop Jim Corrigan and she are kidnapped by gangsters seeking revenge for his earlier interference in their schemes, and he's killed by being flung in the nearest river.
Sadly, instead of going to Heaven, he's sent back to Earth to fight evil, as a ghost, until crime is gone forever from the world.
And yet there was something oddly irresistible about them.
And this issue was arguably my favourite.
This was probably because, unlike the other tales I'd read in the series, it was a full-length story and also because it was a version of the Spectre I could recognise at once from the Michael Fleisher/Jim Aparo revival.
The tale starts off feeling oddly sophisticated, almost as though we're watching a movie.
It doesn't take long before it starts to feel more like a Golden Age comic but it never gets silly and it's taut and no-nonsense all the way through.
But there is a potency in seeing him first discovering his powers and then cutting his ties with his friends and loved ones before vowing to strike out alone against the forces of evil. You're left in no doubt this is a character who makes Batman look like Bouncing Boy.
Obviously, the reason he never caught on like Bruce Wayne's alter-ego is there for all to see. Right from the start, there's the question of how you can weave tales of drama and tension around a character who can do anything he wants to. But, still, the tale makes it clear that the idea of the Spectre is a haunting concept in more ways than one.
Keep Those Things Away From Me - Novel
1 year ago