The Spectre: Bio, Origin & History

The Spectre

Real Name: James Corrigan

First Appearance: More Fun Comics #52 (February, 1940)

Powers: The Spectre is one of the most powerful characters in DC. As such, he possesses immortality, can warp reality, is able to manipulate both space and time, has limitless control over matter, can see into the future, is near-omnipotent, possesses cosmic awareness, is able to manipulate cosmic energy, and is omniscient. 

Affiliation: Justice League Dark, Justice Society of America, Justice League, All-Star Squadron

Did You Know? The Spectre has taken on many hosts since its debut.

A Little History

The origin of The Spectre is pretty straightforward. 

The Spectre first appeared inside the pages of More Fun Comics #52 back in February of 1940. He was created by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily.

The Spectre came to be after former police officer Jim Corrigan was stuffed into a cement-filled barrel and thrown into a river. As a result of the cement, Jim drowned and his spirit sought to gain access to Heaven. Unfortunately, because he was unable to come to terms with his death, he was denied, given a near-infinite amount of power by The Presence, and sent back down to Earth with a new purpose. Plainly put, The Presence merged Jim Corrigan with the entity of the Spectre and transformed him into his Spirit of Vengeance. This meant that he was now the judge, jury, and executioner of The Presence. 

Now back on Earth, he used his power to exact his revenge against those who killed him. During the encounter, his then-fiancée, Clarice, was wounded. Rather than watch her die, Jim used his power to tie a part of his spirit to her. With the power of the Spectre running through her, Clarice survived and lived to see another day.

The Spectre was then convinced to use his power for only good by Jim’s one-time friend, Percival Polanski. While Jim had other friends, he considered Percival to be pure of heart. Due to this, he felt that he needed Percival to keep in touch with the human side of who he now was. 

Eventually, the Spectre, along with Dr. Fate, Hour-Man, the Sandman, the Atom, the Flash, Green Lantern, and Hawkman joined forces to become the Justice Society of America.

And that’s it. The origin of the Spectre. 

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