Midnight 21: The Spectre from Adventure Comics #433 and Night Force #8-10

Midnight…The Podcasting Hour resurrects some of its long-thought-dead features on this exciting new episode! First, PJ Frightful tells the story “A Rite to Die” from Weird War Tales #49.  Then Ryan Daly and The Irredeemable Shag face “The Swami and the Spectre” from Adventure Comics #433. Finally, Paul Hix returns to help Ryan discuss the “Beast” story arc from Night Force issues #8-10.

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Music produced by Neil Daly.

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12 responses to “Midnight 21: The Spectre from Adventure Comics #433 and Night Force #8-10

  1. You’re very close, Ryan. In the Secret Origins issue, the villain “The Great Rhami”, sees The Specter rise out of a crystal ball but he is then trapped in a mirror which The Specter shatters with the bullet meant to kill his fiance, Clarice. Same idea, shattering the bad guy, but a different method.

  2. Man, you just can’t beat Aparo in the mid-70s. I love his work from all periods (yes, even his last Batman stuff in the early 90s, despite a series of inappropriate inkers), but this Spectre story is Prime Aparo. So much raw, kinetic energy on those pages. Just gorgeous stuff. The scene with the ghosts dragging the guy down is pretty chilling.

    Also chilling is that Night Force story. Downright depressing for a code-approved comic! But just from your examination, I think I can see why the series didn’t catch on. Its not quite a team book, and its not quite a horror anthology book. It’s somewhere in between, and it’s kind of hard to categorize. Shifting the focus to a murderous letch for 3 issues does not a compelling ongoing series make, even if the story and art are strong, like they are here.

    Glad to have Midnight back, but tell AJ not to quit his day job, and leave the scary stuff to brother PJ.’-)

    Chris

    P.S. The Night Force theme was hilarious. It’s not Mike Post-quality, but hey, what is?

  3. I think the scene with the Spectre turning the villain into a candle was Doctor Light from 2008’s Spectre tie-in miniseries Final Crisis: Revelations by Greg Rucka and Philip Tan.

    In one of the early issues of Night Force, Wolfman stated that it was one if his goals to have unlikable protagonists.

    1. Thank you, Ted! While I was editing the episode, I remembered or thought that the candle person was Doctor Light, but couldn’t remember where or in what context.

    2. Thanks Ted! While that 2008 scene may have happened, it wasn’t the one I’m thinking of. This is something I would have read in the 1990s. I can only assume I’m mis-remembering the guy who melted in the earlier Fleisher/Aparo story. :(

  4. Wow, a new episode discussing Night Force! It’s like stepping through one of Baron Winter’s time portals back to 2017!

    I agree with all the criticism of the story, and I liked your guest’s idea that it was likely a bit of stream-of-conciousness writing (much like this comment). Still, I enjoyed it quite a lot. Part of that is probably because it was the only Night Force story I read as a boy, and its creepy, flesh-eating blob monster has stayed with me all these years (not literally—I can go outside as I please, thank you very much). Also because, half-baked though it may be (again, like this comment), it’s an interesting and sadly relevant metaphor of consumerism and apathy that seems all too believable (I would go outside, but my favorite show is on TV and I’ve got all these candy bars to eat, thank you very much).

  5. Just listened to this episode (because I like the sound of my own voice) and re-listened to the previous Spectre episode (because I’m a masochist listening to Nathaniel). Oh geez, I screwed up. On this episode I said Nathaniel crapped all over the comic and the animated short. That wasn’t exactly true. On the previous episode, while Nathaniel was a contrarian who hates everything good and did crap all over the comic, he was actually somewhat complementary of the animated short. He liked it better upon second viewing after having read the Spectre comic. Soooo… (and this hurts to type) … I was wrong about Nathaniel and the animated short. Geez, that actually burns my finger tips just to type those words. Just one favor to ask, whatever you do don’t tell Nathaniel about this. I couldn’t bear him knowing I was wrong in regard to him. This can be our little secret.

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