Midnight 28: SWAMP THING #5 and The Spectre from ADVENTURE COMICS #435

Once more, the bell tolls for Midnight... The Podcasting Hour. First, Ryan Daly welcomes returning guest Rob Kelly to discuss a story of persecution and witchcraft from Swamp Thing #5. Then, Mike Gillis joins Ryan to review another terrifying revenge chapter in the dreadful saga of The Spectre from Adventure Comics #435. Plus, a horrific tale told by PJ Flanger Frightful.

The road to Midnight 31 continues!

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Music produced by Neil Daly.

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7 responses to “Midnight 28: SWAMP THING #5 and The Spectre from ADVENTURE COMICS #435

  1. Glad to hear PJ is in good form, and has fully recovered. Maybe a little therapy with Dr. Nerfenherder did him some good?

    The Swamp Thing tale reminded me a bit of Lovecraft’s “The Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward”, which was adapted into the great Roger Corman/Vincent Price film “The Haunted Palace” which Cindy and I covered on HoF last year. A village cursed by a witch years ago, who begat deformed children. Nice twist ending! And I’m with Rob, too bad we never saw this brother/sister act again. Kind of surprised Moore or Gaiman didn’t work them in somewhere.

    The Spectre story…yeah, I can see it being problematic now. But looking back through rose-tinted glasses, I get the visceral thrill of seeing Spectre dispatch baddies with abandon. Mike’s connection to Freddy Kruger is a good one, as audiences often found themselves just waiting for Kruger’s creative character-appropriate deaths, and the accompanying one-liners. But then you remember, this guy is supposed to be a child-molester/murderer, so you shouldn’t really be cheering for him either, even in a tongue-in-cheek way. Dammit.

    Great show, as always!


    1. Thanks for another great listen. That Swampy story really is great. I’m torn between wanting the witchy kids to return and being able to assume they had a happy ending, cos you know they wouldn’t have returned for a cheery storyline.

      That Spectre stuff was fabulous, I do wonder what it was with DC writers naming characters after colleagues – Jerry Grandinetti gang indeed! The DC war and mystery artist did draw some Spectre in the Sixties, but as tributes go, a crook isn’t the best.

  2. Impressive Pod cast. Most Impressive. Glad to see PJ Frightful took some mentholated cough drops. And now we can hear his accent. The Swamp thing story was cool. As he met Mr. River wind and his sister. Even though you’ll forgot he’s the witch and she’s not. Was cool hearing about this story and seeing Swamp Thing figuring out his powers. As they fight evil Abe Lincoln and the town. Hmm seems in this comic Swamp thinks in a telepathic way. Since it’s a thought bubble the way it’s drawn, but folks seem to hear him. Yep she’s got a good vixen build.

    I think he would just be a male witch. I think a warlock is an evil male witch. Not sure my knowledge of Wicca is sparse. The Triple Goddess and all that is not something I know much about. So I’m guessing and what I’ve heard about Warlocks. But, that was a long time ago. Mr. Raven wind and his sister could have been a cool back up story. Or heck maybe have appeared in Vertigo. Before that got destroyed by people screwing it up. Hmm a witch that’s on the spectrum could have been cool. With his Sister being the person keeping him save and figuring things out as she focuses his power.

    The Spector story was pretty cool. The guy looks a bit like Supes, but older. Supes in comics at this time was 35. This guy is more 40. The pipe works well.

  3. Three thoughts on the “PJ Frightful” segment:

    1. Is PJ Frightful in fact Doctor Who, and he regenerates into a different PJ Frightful on his death?
    2. Are we going to get a few more PJ Frightful’s arriving on the scene, all arguing that they are the one, true PJ Frightful? We can call it “Reign of the PJ Frightful’s”?
    3. Or in fact, is PJ Frightful like the James Bond movie series and we have this once-off with an Australian actor until the original returns? Or maybe we skip to when the Irish actor takes over? *prepares my resume*

    Really enjoying these stories from Swamp Thing and the Spectre. I read the Spectre stories as part of the Showcase Presents volume and having the Aparo art in black and white is excellent. The Swamp Thing story was very interesting and I am looking forward to see what happens next in these tales.

  4. It sounds like PJ Frightful has got a new microphone! This new mic captures the whole range of his voice, from the tones up high to those down under. Take care of it, PJ. Don’t leave it out back!
    The Swamp Thing story seems to be greatly influenced by the TV show Dark Shadows. It was hugely influential during it’s brief time. This story, like the show, is set on the coast of Maine. Also, Dark Shadows utilized the word “warlock” quite freely. The regret for the lack of a Treasury Edition featuring Swamp Thing is understandable, but one story did make it big! “Batman’s Strangest Cases” Treasury Edition includes Swamp Thing #8. You can hear this discussed on Treasury Cast!
    The much-revered Spectre series from Adventure doesn’t, and never really did, hold together as an ongoing story of a ghost and his supporting cast. It’s just a collection of revenge fantasies masterfully drawn by Aparo. This story, with the Clark Kent references, highlights the question about where the hell it’s supposed to happen. Not Earth-1, Earth-2, or Earth Prime. Furthermore, The Spectre seems be deliberately tardy in exacting his retribution. Why can’t he take care of all the villains at one go? Why does he wait for them to do more heinous deeds? Why can’t he show up two minutes earlier and prevent some violence? Never mind. Enjoy the implied gore!

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