> > Thanks for your thoughts on Ted. I have never really payed a whole lot of attention to him besides as a secondary character. He had some great moments in the early issues of Simone's Birds of Prey run and the first JSA series from the early '90s but I have not read the Batman series and I had not given him a lot of attention elsewhere. I will have to go back and check some of these out.
> > > The Spectre: I have so many good things to say about this character but I will focus on the John Ostlander/Mandrake series. It was the perfect synthesis of story telling and art.....the pencils of Mandrake were very loose and ethereal when dealing with supernatural happenings. Even the use of a a then tired glow in dark covers actually fit this series. The first issue had one and the Halloween issue (naturally). The attempt to really develop the Jim Corrigan character was impressive and there was no doubt left in the readers mind that the Spectre was not just Corrigan's ghost or even an exaggerated version of his own personality but a completly seperate character (ie: the Wrath of God or the Presence if you like) that Jim was somtimes at odds with. I liked the early issues alot with use of Jim Corrigan's father , the debate on morality, the Spectre's version of Justice (as well as Jims), his friend Amy who was dying of cancer, all of that drama and pathos but done well with some solid philosophical ideas behind it. Also the comsology of the Spectre and how there were other hosts of the Wrath. That was kinda cool. It was rarely talked about before as I remember. In the zero issue in his encounter with Beltane when The Spectre says "You have misjudged my mission Beltane. My purpose is not to purge evil but to confront it, comprehend it, and punish it!" "And whatever your intentions, you are guilty of evil Beltane!" "And on this plane of exsistence there is no escape!" "I call upon the spirits of the Dead those who were slain by you over the centuries. Ask them for mercy." To me those lines break down the Spectre in who he is character wise. There is alot more to that story and I highly reccomend the zero issue and the whole Spectre series. I remember the first isue was in 92 but I can't recall off the top of my head when it ended. I think the series also showed some of the limts of the Spectre's powers and his realtionship with the angels of DCU particually Michael. I think his series was cancelled before he met Zauriel and that would have been cool to see for sure! I mainly remember the first 36 issues or so off the top of my head.
> > >
> > > More Spectre highpoints: Any cover by Charles Vess, or Timothy Truman, the use of his old enemies like Azmodus,etc or other demonic bad guys,the use of mystic favorites like Etrigan, Phantom Stranger, Zantanna, Dr Fate etc....a partically funny line from Etrigan when Zee changes her look..."No backwards spells? No fish-net hose?! I hates it when a tradition goes!!"
> > >
> > > Also the Legends of the DCU series that had the Spectre and Hal Jordan in it was great stuff that led into the next ongoing Spectre series.
> > >
> > I can't agree with you more. I have LOVED this character since I discovered him a few years ago. He is easily my second favorite character in all of the JSA stuff I have read (second only to Alan Scott). As my name implies, I am very interested in all things theological and to have this character whose initial creation centered on him being the incarnation of the wrath of God really piqued my interest. I have sought out as much of his history as I can afford and the only thing I have been really disappointed in thus far was the late 80s run by Moench. That is not a slight to Moench b/c I have read many of his things that have been quite good but the way he handled the Spectre, and especially Corrigan, just seemed to be a compete farce of the character. Just the fact that Madame Xanadu was able to enthrall the Spectre with her femininity and the fact that he seemed to be "one of the guys" so much of the time really seemed to weaken him for me. This coupled with the portrayal of Corrigan just seemed to be off to me. I've read this run twice trying to find good points and I did enjoy the first few issues to some degree but overall it just didn't seem like the Spectre to me. (I also felt that it kind of layed the groundwork for the way the Spectre seemed to be taken in by Eclipso during Infinite Crisis which again seemed to reduce him to the lowest common denominator of a male stereotype being led around by his libido.) I guess I am just a fan of the Spectre as this supernatural being who is beyond those things especially when he is not tethered to a human host. Now that I have rambled enough, I agree that Hal's Spectre was a good twist and I am even finding elements of Crispus Allen's Spectre to like but I will always love Corrigan the most and nobody has portrayed Corrigan as well as Ostrander. The Fleischer stuff in Adventure comics was groundbreaking and great but I just fell in love with the combination of Ostrander's writing and thematic stories and Mandrake's artwork. I hope I haven't gone on too much but I just had to share this with a fellow Spectre fan since I seem to find so few that even really know who he is.
> > Looking forward to your Ray comments,
> > The Rev
> Hey all. For what this is worth I have only read a handful of Doug Moench's run and I can not make too deep of a comment about it other than when I first read it was I taken back by the Spectre's power (or lack of it) since the last time I saw him in a comic was him (the Spectre) fighting the Anti monitor and displaying levels of cosmic proportion. (such as trying to preserve the multiverse)
> That said I hear you that the Spectre should be (ideally) a force that is not human without human wants and needs, but I also feel that most people probably could not write a character like that and even if they could the series might be pretty finite. I think the reason they attatch him to a human host is so they can hightlight the differences between him and humanity. Thats my take. As always good reading to you.
Hello all again. Onto to part 3 and the ideas and talk of the character in the Ray (Ray Terril) To me Ray was an interesting character in that he had to be raised in an eviroment without light. He was lied to and told he was "sensitive/allergic" to light and it turned out in truth that he was the son of the previous Ray.(golden age) Its a built in legacy type origin but still good in the way it was handled. The limited series was my first introduction to the character and the pacing and dialouge is well crafted in that when the Ray speaks he generates alot of empathy for his situation. His relationship with this father is also very interesting in that the Ray learns he was really raised by his uncle Thomas after his Dad supposedly "died". To me the Ray had to deal with two pretty hard truths (and lies) to control his powers and grow into his role of being a hero. Which of course is not an easy mantle to shoulder........Psycologically I think it shows how much will he had to be raised the way he did (with no light) and that there was an actual reason why (in that at very young age he could never control that level power)and the whole idea of balance put forth in that series. With great power comes a great price to paid...in the Ray's case that was his childhood. The unlimted series I read probably about 3/4 of it and from I what remember it was well constructed. Picking up on elements from the limted series it expanded on the Ray's light based abilities showed a potential dark future involving him and they tried to give him his own villians rather than recycle old villians from other comics. However I think Doctor Polaris was used at some point which is fine considering his level of power he makes a good foil for the Ray.I do remember at some point the Ray being in the JLA after Doomsday killed Superman (Kal-el) and respect given to his level of power. I think he even dated Black Canary but I could be wrong there. Then he went over to JLA taskforce and I don't have alot of issues there but I know he was part of the various teams The Martian Manhunter recruited. He also was in the Worlds at war event to stop the Imperiex and the little he was seen there, it was at least implied that he had some level of ability or else he would not be part of the JSA reserve forces. To me any character with a power with control over a fundemental force (ie: Gravity, Light, Sound, Magnetisim, etc) has to be written well or else it can become stale and even too silly (even for comics) which ideally should be playgrounds for the imagination. I heard he showed up in the new Freedom Fighter series but I only read one issue of that one and there was another Ray in it who did not seem to be Ray Terril. On a purly visial note I think the Ray (Ray Terril's) costume looks great and the yellow and black look complement the idea of him both being able to absorb and project light. In my opinion its definately worth it to try to find the limited series and the unlimted series as those issues still hold up to comics now. (imo) I have to wonder if Dc ever made a trade of the Ray and would be curious to see if anyone knows??
as always good reading to you all