Norman McCay was a practicing minister for all of his adult life. Norman and his late wife came to Metropolis in their later years to let Norman take up a part time pastoral position as well as allowing the couple to enjoy semi-retirement. McCay was friend and pastor to the former Sandman, Wesley Dodds, until he died. Dodds proclaimed an apocalyptic prophecy concerning future events involving the world's super-heroes. McCay was saddened by this, thinking that his friend was losing his mind. After Wesley passes away, Norman finds that he has inherited Dodds' visions. He mistakenly drives his congregation away by breaking into prophetic ramblings. After this, he is contacted by the Spectre who needs to bind himself to a human to effectively judge the responsible parties in the coming events.
With the Spectre as his guide, Norman becomes a spirit and observes the events that unfold after the Kansas disaster. He watches the reemergence of Superman, and the reformation of the Justice League. Norman also observes the manipulations of Lex Luthor and his agents. While watching these events, he provides an insightful commentary on what he is seeing. While invisible to most, he becomes visible to the Justice League on one occasion when the Flash grabs him from the dimension through which he travels. He attempts to tell Superman that the apocalypse will result from their actions. Superman, however, is but confused by his appearance and refutes his warning.
At the final battle involving the Silent Cavalry, the Justice League, and the heroes who escaped from the super-hero gulag, a nuclear bomb was dropped by the United Nations. The Spectre asks McCay to pass judgment on who is in the right. McCay, recognizing that the situation is more complex than simply right or wrong, sees an alternative. As such, he demands that the Spectre transport him to the U.N. so that he can try and prevent Superman from causing more destruction. As Superman rages at the U.N., McCay reaches him and, informing him of the few survivors and calling attention to the fact that conflict arises when superhumans separate themselves from humans, convinces Superman to choose the correct path.
After these events McCay returns to his service with self-optimism, and have lunch in Planet Krypton with the Spectre, as Jim Corrigan, who is upset of a special dish named after him, "the Spectre Platter".
- Norman McCay's physical likeness in all realities is based upon that of Reverend Clark Ross, the father of DC Comics artist Alex Ross.
- Norman's surname "McCay" is a tribute to Little Nemo cartoonist Windsor McCay.
- 9 Appearances of Norman McCay (Earth-22)
- 7 Images featuring Norman McCay (Earth-22)
- 3 Quotations by or about Norman McCay (Earth-22)
- Character Gallery: Norman McCay (Earth-22)
- ↑ Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross