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Quote1 You cross the line in this life, you choose the wrong side-- and you pay the price. All fees collected by-- THE SPECTRE! Quote2
The Spectre src

Jim Corrigan is a Gotham City Police Detective who became the divine spirit of vengeance, the Spectre.


New 52 Origin

When his fiancé Gwen was kidnapped, he was guided by the Phantom Stranger on the instructions of The Voice. He led Jim Corrigan to the abandoned warehouse where she'd been kept, but this turned out to be a trap; Jim and his girlfriend were both killed by the kidnappers. However, his soul was immediately imbued him with divine powers by The Voice and dubbed The Spectre. He immediately accused the Phantom Stranger of betraying him. As the Spectre was about to attack the Phantom Stranger, The Voice intervened and sent Spectre off to inflict his wrath on those who were more deserving of Spectre's wrath. The Voice chose James like he did the Stranger to be "the mirror of his desire for justice" (though Corrigan believed in vengeance).

Following the cosmic upheavals of the Rebirth period, this character's history was revised.

Rebirth Origin

As stated by the Spectre, he and Jim were one and the same. He belonged to a family who had traditionally served in the police and thus wanted to be a police officer himself. He eventually joined the New York City Police Department. One day he was caught by a group of criminals and drowned in a river, leading him to plead to mete justice to those who did wrong in return for his survival. The Presence accepted and made his soul the instrument of his judgement upon the wrongdoers.[2]

Following the cosmic upheavals of the Infinite Frontier period, this character's history was revised again.

Current Origin

New York City Police Department Detective Jim Corrigan first died in the early 1940's, and was bound to the Spirit of Vengeance named Aztar. Together they operated as The Spectre, with Corrigan's human conscience balancing out Aztar's wrath.[3] Like many early "mystery men", Corrigan joined the government-backed Justice Society of America. One of his first cases with the JSA in 1941 saw him investigate a spate of murders of gay men in New York City. Green Lantern asked him to stay out of it, claiming he could handle it himself, but due to his omniscience Corrigan already knew what Green Lantern was trying to hide: that he was also homosexual and the victims were his former lovers. Despite Lantern's request, Corrigan took him to the NYPD First Precinct records department, where he had learned the file on the latest victim was, despite him having been killed in the Tenth Precinct. They found that the file was blank and Lantern said that it was because the police did not care about a murdered gay man, but Corrigan pointed out that if they wanted to make the case disappear the police would simply not open a file at all. He said that it looked like someone was trying to make it appear that a man who had the power to walk through walls and a damaging secret had tampered with the files. He revealed that he knew Green Lantern was Alan Scott and had been involved with the murdered men.

Alan blamed himself for their deaths, claiming that everyone he loved died, and that he was a criminal deviant who deserved what was happening to him. Corrigan told Alan that he was in direct communication with God and that not only was he not being punished for the people he loved, but that God and he accepted Alan for who he was. He told Alan that he was not a sinner, and his first love Johnny Ladd's death was not his fault. They hugged and Corrigan assured Alan that he was a good person.

Corrigan told Alan that he believed they were close to determining who was behind the murders and suggested that someone he worked with on "Project Crimson", the military project to capture the Crimson Flame where Johnny Ladd had died, was likely responsible. He suggested they track down and question everyone involved, and if that failed then move on to military and government officials who had access to the file, However, Alan had a hunch he wanted to check out first. Corrigan told him to find whoever was responsible for the murders, and then bring them to him for punishment.[4]

Later FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, the JSA's liaison with the United States Government, reported to the team that Green Lantern was seen fighting an aerial battle over New York and falling out of the sky. The JSA mobilised to respond to the crisis and save their friend. As they were on the way to Green Lantern's last known location, pillars of crimson energy blasted up into the sky. They found Green Lantern and Red Lanterm trying to fight off the Crimson Host, a band of Soviet agents wielding the crimson energy.[5]

The JSA battled the Crimson Host and initially held their own, but the Soviets started to gain the upper hand. Green Lantern was able to trap the Host in an energy bubble, and told them that they would face justice for their crimes. However, Red Lantern murdered them despite them posing no threat at the time. Green Lantern took Red Lantern's ring, a match for his own, and placed him under arrest. Six weeks later, the Spectre and The Flash joined Green Lantern in facing down Hoover, who had tried to blackmail Lantern with proof of his homosexuality. Lantern told Hoover that he was not afraid of him or having his secret revealed, and that the JSA would no longer accept government control or oversight. After that Green Lantern worked much more closely with his teammates as he knew he could trust them.[6]

Divine Mission

Decades later James, filled with rage, returned to work as a police detective in Gotham City and was performing his duties as The Spectre by enacting vengeance rather than justice until Phantom Stranger attacked his police precinct convinced that he was the one who kidnapped his family out of revenge. The two exchanged blows physically and verbally until The Voice himself intervened in the form of a Scottish Terrier and informed the Stranger of his mistake, setting him on the right path. The Voice also set Corrigan straight on his duty and that he is meant to exact justice and not wrath.

James later went to Myanmar to punish John Constantine for his lifetime of sin, including the death of Jim's friend Chris. Knowing of the Spectre, Constantine knew his fate but managed to convince Jim to let him continue his mission against the world's evil sorcerers. Corrigan vowed that he will return to collect Constantine's soul upon his death.

Infinite Frontier

In the aftermath of the rebirth of the Multiverse, James and Aztar were eventually separated.[7] Aztar and the Quintessence were seemingly killed by Darkseid when he broke free of his prison on Earth Omega.[8]

However, Aztar was resurrected and possessed by Pariah, becoming a part of his Dark Army.[9] He and the Dark Army invaded Earth 0,[10] forcing Jim Corrigan to fuse with Aztar once again to free him of the Darkness' control.[7]



  • The Spectre is considered the strongest of the "Judge" classification, the most powerful of magical forces in all of creation limited by tasks set by their given master.[13]
  • In certain religious sects, the Spectre is known as "Aeon", the "Aspect of the Pleroma" and "Duality of the Christos".[1]
  • Despite being the Spectre Jim doesn't considers himself a really spiritual person.[12]



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