Friday, January 16, 2009

Spectre #9

Spectre #9 (On Sale: January 16, 1969) has a cover by Nick Cardy.

We begin with an untitled story by Mike Friedrich and Jerry Grandenetti. Detective Jim Corrigan and a police sergeant track down a criminal known as Sharky. When they try to make the arrest, the sergeant is shot. This causes the Spectre to emerge, and he kills the shooter. Corrigan is upset with the Spectre and lapses into unconsciousness after denying the Spectre access to reenter his body.

The Spectre is called before the powers that created him. He is pronounced a failure and forced to relinquish his power. He is given a book and tasked with the responsibility to observe and judge the lives within.

Next is "Abraca-Doom" by Denny O'Neil and Bernie Wrightson. This would be Bernie Wrightson's second strip for DC and his first super-hero work (if you consider the Spectre to be a super-hero). The Spectre investigates the life of Fredrick Foost, a small-time magician. Foost bargains with the Devil, who gives him a magic wand known as Abraca-Doom. Foost uses the wand to achieve fame as a professional magician. He then begins amassing power by making himself the ruler of a small country. The Spectre continues to withhold judgment, until Foost presses for additional power. Foost then encounters his old assistant Willard who made the same bargain with the Devil as his old boss. The two magicians then must pay the price for their demonic bargains as the Devil collects their souls. Reprinted in House of Mystery #224.

Lastly is "Shadow Show" by Mark Hanerfeld and Jack Sparling. Mark Hanerfeld was an assistant editor at DC and the original model for Abel, the soon-to-be host of the House of Secrets. This is the first of two stories he would write for DC. Mark belonged to a Queens' comic book fan group called T.I.S.O.S., or The Illegitimate Sons of Superman. Other members included Marv Wolfman and Len Wein. In the photo above are Hanerfeld, Wolfman and Wein.

A crook named Hickey evades police by hiding in the shadows. However, as he escapes, the crook begins feeling paranoia. Hickey feels the shadows chasing him, so he tries to remain in the light. When he finally reaches his home Hickey meets the Spectre and is apprehended. Reprinted in House of Mystery #225.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

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