Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spectre #10

Spectre #10 (On Sale: March 18, 1969) has a pretty good cover by Nick Cardy as this title limps to its death.

We begin with "Footsteps of Disaster" drawn by Jerry Grandenetti and George Roussos.Charles A. Felix has been a criminal since he was young. He is repeatedly caught and punished for his crimes, but he never learned his lesson. Many times his punishment was foretold by a creaking staircase as an authority figure climbed the stairs to get him. After killing his former partner, Felix hears the creaking stairs again. This time it is the Spectre who is coming to get him. Felix collapses from fear and dies.

Next is "Hit and Run" drawn by Jack Sparling. Small-time hood Johnny Stull is haunted by dreams of hitting a kid with his car while fleeing police. The Spectre watches as Johnny's dream becomes prophetic and plays out in real life. However, Johnny acts to save the kid by swerving out of the way instead of hitting him. As a result, Johnny crashes the car and is killed, but the Spectre concludes that Stull isn't as evil as he originally thought.

That is followed by "How Much Can a Guy Take?" also drawn by Jack Sparling. In high school Allie Johnson was thought to be a nice guy who would grow up to become a lawyer or doctor. Instead Allie became a shoe shine man who can barely feed his family. Nichols, a former classmate, has become a financial success and taunts Allie daily while getting his shoes shined.

After considerable humiliation, Allie breaks down and tries to steal a briefcase from Nichols that supposedly contains a fortune. Nichols catches him, so Allie pulls a gun. The Spectre stops him from shooting, then shows him that the briefcase is empty. He also shows Allie that Nichols is a criminal. After preventing Allie from becoming a murderer, the Spectre takes retribution on Nichols.

We end with "Will the Real Killer Please Rise?" another Jack Sparling drawn story. The Spectre investigates two murders which he believes were committed by Vargo the Ventriloquist. The victims were former associates for whom Vargo carried a grudge. The Spectre tries to pull the truth from Vargo's mind, but he can't read it. He continues to watch Vargo in order to protect Sarah Frame, his next likely target. The Spectre barely discovers the truth in time that Vargo has been disguising himself as his ventriloquist dummy. The human Vargo is a robot which had no mind for the Spectre to read. The Spectre prevents Sarah's murder, and Vargo is arrested.

Edited by Dick Giordano.

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