"Murder of my Mystery": James Corrigan recovers from the fall he suffered while attempting to escape from the Red Mist in the underworld near to the subway system. Everything around him is darkness, but as soon as he recovers, he listens a familiar female voice. Co
Appearing in "Murder of my Mystery"
- Kim Liang
- Peter Quarral
- Red Chaos (formerly Enrique Armas) (Final appearance)
- Madame Xanadu (Cameo)
- Phantom Stranger (Cameo)
- Gina Belmont (Final appearance)
- New York City Police Department
Synopsis for "Murder of my Mystery"
James Corrigan recovers from the fall he suffered while attempting to escape from the Red Mist in the underworld near to the subway system. Everything around him is darkness, but as soon as he recovers, he listens a familiar female voice. Corrigan is sure that Kim Liang has located him and he embraces her in a desperate manner. In the darkness, the encounter turns sexual as the two of them hold stronger to each other closer with every kiss. After their encounter, Corrigan uses his lighter to cast some light, but shockingly, he finds himself alone inside a small room with no doors or windows.
Taking a mortar from the ground, Corrigan manages to dig a hole through the wall, as the structure is old, damp and rotting. Once outside, he finds Kim, who has not seen Corrigan after they got separated by the Red Mist. The two of them take a closer look at the room and they found several relics and many treasures. The imagery reminds Corrigan of another case he was working on during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, but all he remembers is chasing a criminal under the red rain, but not being able to capture the crook as a result of the cataclysm. It is then that Kim turns into Gina Belmont and then, the creature adopts it's real form. The physical embodiment of the Red Mist is a hideous looking spirit and it seeks revenge against Corrigan. At that moment, Spectre arrives and confronts the creature, telling Corrigan to find a safe place away from the underworld. Corrigan obeys and goes to the subway station, where he meets with the real Kim, who has never even reached the tunnel towards the underground. Corrigan tries to tell Kim the same thing that he told the fake Kim in the underworld about his dead feelings for Gina, but the real Kim is less welcoming of Corrigan's feelings for other women. Without saying anything else, the two of them return to Greenwich Village, leaving Spectre to deal with the Red Mist.
The creature known as "Red Mist" reveals itself as a result of the Red Chaos, which is simply the Crisis of Infinite Earths. The creature had once been human until the Crisis struck and he was unfortunate enough to be transformed into an undead entity of hate, feeding upon human souls and their hatred. He knows that Spectre has come to mete unholy justice against his actions, but the "Red Chaos" is not concerned as he has a plan to foil Spectre. Going towards the foundations of the big building in the underground, Red Chaos uses its powers to weaken the girders, causing the building to start trembling, which would eventually end with the death of thousand people. Spectre prevents the collapse of the building by grabbing the girders, but unable to move from the place, he is doomed to remain there while Red Chaos continues it's killing rampage.
Hours go by and Jim Corrigan finds himself reading the last case he worked on with Gina Belmont. The woman had been looking for his missing boyfriend, Eric Zenaliah, but as much as Corrigan worked to find him, he had no success and thus, the relationship with Gina started. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Peter Quarral investigates Corrigan's last cases prior to his disappearance and makes an interesting discovery. Soon, Corrigan answers a phone call from Quarral, who tells him that Eric Zenaliah is an alias used by Enrique Armas, a wanted criminal that Corrigan was working to capture. It is then that Corrigan remembers that Armas was the man he was chasing during the Crisis and the criminal who was said to have a vault of stolen objects hidden somewhere. This information also makes Corrigan realize that Gina was simply using him to locate Armas' secret stash. Corrigan remembers how Armas ran away from him during the red rains of the crisis and how the criminal was struck by red lightning in the middle of the street, leaving only a hole in the ground.
Almost 24 hours later, Spectre is still holding the weak foundations of the building, becoming weaker with every passing second. The same goes for Corrigan, whose strength starts to dwindle as a result of the long separation from his soul. Corrigan decides to go looking for Spectre and he returns to the underground caverns near the subway system. Once inside, he finds the animated body of Gina, whose consciousness remains alive inside her dead body as a result of the Red Chaos' punishment. Corrigan correctly deduces that Red Chaos is in fact Enrique Armas', who became a vessel for all evil after he was struck by the Crisis. Seeking revenge against Corrigan, the Red Chaos possessed Gina and lured Corrigan into a game of seduction until the right time, when he struck and murdered Corrigan. Red Chaos then killed Gina and has kept her undead body trapped in his domain ever since, but now that Corrigan has somehow returned, he wants to end his vendetta. However, and despite how truth everything else is, Gina also explains that her love for Corrigan was true, even though part of her was manipulated by Red Chaos.
Corrigan learns about Spectre's location thanks to Gina's help, but as Corrigan leaves to find his soul, Gina's existence is finally terminated by Red Chaos. When Corrigan finally finds Spectre, holding the frail girders, the two of them are already too weak to be effective. Corrigan desperately crawls towards Spectre and their existence almost comes to an end due to the strain. Eventually, Corrigan reaches Spectre and they are both merged into one body. Surprisingly, a few seconds of contact is enough to restore Spectre's strength, who then gathers large boulders to fortify the foundations and stop the collapsing. Moments later, Corrigan and Spectre work together to convince Red Chaos that he needs and wants to cross to the afterlife. Using the rotting corpse of the man next to his stolen treasure, Spectre manages to get the man's soul to the other side, where it meets the soul of her loved Gina and they are both taken away by the Phantom Stranger.
Finally, Corrigan contemplates the fact that the criminal he wanted to capture became his killer, by using the woman he loved, while also causing Corrigan to fall in love with her. Love and hate, both sides of the same spectrum. And outside, rain pours over the city, except this time is not red.
- This book was first published on June 2, 1987.
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