"Vessels": Aztar, the avatar of The Spectre is trapped in an interdimensional vortex. He was placed there by The Voice after his failure to prevent the Crisis on Infinite Earths and to stop the Great Darkness from becoming
- I feel...forces gathering...stirrings of evil...perhaps the first mission of my new station.
- — Spectre
Synopsis for "Vessels"
Aztar, the avatar of The Spectre is trapped in an interdimensional vortex. He was placed there by The Voice after his failure to prevent the Crisis on Infinite Earths and to stop the Great Darkness from becoming one with Heaven. The Voice reckons that omnipotence was a mistake for a being such as the Spectre and so begins a process in which the almighty powers are stripped away from Spectre and he will soon return to his previous state, trapped inside a human host.
In Manhattan, Police Officer Lou Petrocci decides to investigate the mysterious disappearance of his friend and fellow detective Jim Corrigan, who has been missing for a while after he went on an undercover mission. At that moment, Kim Liang performs her daily tasks at her day job in an insurance company, when she suddenly realizes she needs a meaningful job other than being a paper pusher.
Kim Liang quits her job and goes out on the streets of New York City to try her luck. Coincidentally, Kim is drawn into Madame Xanadu's mystic shop and gets her fortune read in the tarot by Madame X, who tells her to locate a specific locker inside a subway station. Liang complies and finds the locker, which she opens and finds a large and ancient vase. Unsure of what to do next, Kim takes the vase back to Xanadu's building where they try to learn the mysteries of the vase. Mystical energies soon surround the place and the vase is broken, revealing the dead body of Jim Corrigan inside.
The Spectre continues his punishment through endless dimensions, watched upon the dead eyes of the countless souls that were lost at the events he failed to prevent. Eventually, The Spectre breaches the eternal dimension into Earth and is soon drawn into the body of Jim Corrigan, returning life to the corpse. However, The Spectre's breach into Earth has caused unnatural forces and other beings to enter as well and when Lou Petrocci enters Jim Corrigan's apartment, he is hypnotized and mind controlled by a strange being, who takes control of Lou's actions.
Xanadu is delighted to have Corrigan and Spectre back on Earth, but Kim Liang is less eager at the sight of the ghost, which causes her to faint. Although things have apparently returned to normal, when Spectre leaves Corrigan's body, the human flesh suffers immeasurable pain, but Xanadu tells Corrigan that he will eventually learn how to resist the pain. Under the new circumstances, Xanadu offers Corrigan a chance to work in the same building as hers and she takes him to what would become his new office as a private detective. The two of them have taken Kim Liang with them and when the woman recovers, Xanadu reveals to her that she has been chosed to work alongside Corrigan and The Spectre.
At that moment, Spectre notices strange forces in action and true to his perception, strange beings have noticed the increasing power of the creature that has gained strength by taking vital force from Petrocci.
Appearing in "Vessels"
- Swamp Thing (Flashback only)
- Deadman (Flashback only)
- Great Darkness (Flashback only)
- J.B. Scriabin (Single appearance)
- This issue contains references to the events from Crisis on Infinite Earths #10 and Swamp Thing (Volume 2) #50.
- The Spectre Recommended Reading
- Adventure Comics (Volume 1): Adventure Comics #431– #440
- Countdown to Mystery
- Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre (Volume 1)
- Day of Judgment
- Day of Vengeance
- Final Crisis: Revelations
- More Fun Comics (Volume 1)
- Spectre (Volume 1)
- Spectre (Volume 2)
- Spectre (Volume 3)
- Spectre (Volume 4)
- Tales of the Unexpected (Volume 2)
- Wrath of the Spectre (Volume 1)