Midnight 15: The Spectre from ADVENTURE COMICS #432

The clock strikes midnight again! Ryan Daly and guest Nathaniel Wayne review "The Anguish of the Spectre" from Adventure Comics #432. Plus, PJ Frightful gets a call from Dr. Krazos!

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Music produced by Neil Daly.

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17 responses to “Midnight 15: The Spectre from ADVENTURE COMICS #432

  1. Nice to have this Spectre show back. This episode demonstrates that podcasting analysis effect where you turn on the content because you have to think about it more than you normally would. Totally agree with the praise for the animated short.

  2. Nathaniel is such a killjoy, I’m glad he’s not part of the Fire and Water Podcast Network.

    These stories are loads of fun, but I don’t think they wear well when read back-to-back-to-back, ala trade form. Fleisher was doing a riff on EC Comics (hope he doesn’t sue me for this), but inside the DCU, with a character that had long been thought of a magical being, completely divorced from the day-to-day grit of our earthly plane.

    I love Aparo’s work here. I know there’s no 70s Aparo comic I wouldn’t say that about, but he really digs into the horror stuff with gusto. Plus, his 70s chicks are so groovy.

    That Spectre short WB animation did was so fun, too bad they didn’t do more.

  3. Great episode. I kept thinking the daughter was behind it, and that her and Corrigan knew each other before during the synopsis. Turns out I was remembering the animated short, which was excellent. One of my favorite DC comic to animation adaptations. It really should have been a series.


  4. That was fun, especially hearing Nathaniel’s take. As if we would turn on this lovely man!

    I really like that cover, despite the weirdness of the ninja chap – his head seems to be back to front. Mind, he is meeting the Spectre. What really makes this pop is the placement of the Ghostly Guardian over the Golden Age proportioned logo DC was using back then – I wish DC would go massive with boxed mastheads again.

    Actually, as the Brave and the Bold was bimonthly until the DC Implosion, Jim Aparo was obviously lazy, not doing his own breakdowns, or whatever. Maybe if he’d not wasted time doing his own lettering, which I always found enthusiastic, but distinctly sub-par. He was a terrific illustrator, and should have glowed in that knowledge, rather than showing himself to be less naturally talented in another area.

  5. Another great episode. I wasn’t previously familiar with this story, and took a look at the scanned images before listening to the episode. As soon as I saw the panels where Gwen throws herself at Corrigan, I assumed that she was either one of the killers or had hired them, and was trying to distract or misdirect Jim. To my mind, that was that was the most obvious explanation for her odd behavior. To find out that she wasn’t involved in the crime was a real plot twist for me. I also had a good chuckle when you guys explained that they did go down that road in the animated short.

    I’m looking forward to the next episode, whatever it may be about and whenever it comes out.

  6. I can’t believe that Nathaniel can’t find his joy with these comics.

    As I have said, many of my early comic readings is from this early 70s era. They would be about 3-4 years old by the time they got into my hands for a nickel at local yard sales and flea markets. And this issue was one of the ones that I had as a grade school kid amid the Grell Legion and the Pasko Superman.

    I can remember reading these and being excited and horrified at the ‘punishment fits the crime’ way the Spectre offed these killers. The man being cut in half by giant scissors? Fantastic. The other turning to sand and blowing away? Great. After those, the idea of rapid aging seemed almost quaint.

    I think Aparo really shines here. I even like the ‘Snake Eyes’ outfits. But as Rob said, his 70s women are so ‘come hither’.

    I ended up finding these and buying them in their original form and then bought the Baxter mini reprints for ease of reading. So looking forward to seeing the rest of these.

  7. That this story only ran to 13 pages explains why it felt like the plot went by so fast and was dense with plot points.
    The love interest angle was presumably to justify the “Anguish” of the title? I don’t think the Spectre felt anguish over the grisly deaths he caused – that’s his raison d’être, after all. Surely the anguish is meant to be the prohibited love that Corrigan cannot follow through on with the inappropriately-sexually-available Gwen.
    If I were titling this story, I’d focus on the unusual backgrounds of the murderers. “The Hairstylists of Death”? “The Bangs of the Spectre”? “The Demiwave of the Spectre”? No… wait… “Barber-ous Murder”?

  8. Always enjoy some discussion of the Fleischer/Aparo Spectre stories.
    I agree with Rob, though, that they probably shouldn’t be read back-to-back all in one sitting. In fact, I recall that when I first cracked open my tpb, I read them in increments of one or two every evening (or every other evening) while reading other things in between. I think that’s a better way to go, as you appreciate each individual story more.

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