"In Dark Defeat": On the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico, Nate Kane shoots at the Dead Bunch (a group of cowboy ghosts) while Victorio Cutter drives. Tahzey Wovoka, in an effort to save his brother Victorio, uses his piece of the American Talisman to call upon his forefathers.
- Thoughts... scattered... energy bleeding... from wounds... I am dead. Can I die again?!
- — Spectre
Appearing in "In Dark Defeat"
- The National Interest
- Special Agent Shadrach
- Dwayne Hawke (in armor)
- The Dead Bunch (Zombified)
- The American Spirit
- Victorio Cutter (absorbed into the American Spirit)
- Tahzey Wovoka (Dies) (absorbed into American Spirit)
- William Lonetree (As a spirit)
- Spirit Tribe (As a spirit)
- Roswell, New Mexico
- White Sands, New Mexico
- Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation
- NORAD, Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado
- American Talisman
- Spear of Destiny
Synopsis for "In Dark Defeat"
On the Mescalero Apache Reservation in New Mexico, Nate Kane shoots at the Dead Bunch (a group of cowboy ghosts) while Victorio Cutter drives. Tahzey Wovoka, in an effort to save his brother Victorio, uses his piece of the American Talisman to call upon his forefathers. As the Spirit Tribe fights the Dead Bunch, the Spectre intervenes to save his partner, Nate Kane.
As the battle rages, Tahzey realizes that his own life force is tied with that of the Spirit Tribe. The Dead Bunch has the upper hand in the battle, and Tahzey begins to understand that this is the curse that Lonetree and the Spectre warned him about: everyone dear to him will die.
From his helicopter, Agent Shadrach fires a missile at Tahzey and kills him. Enraged, the Spectre fires back, destroying the helicopter. The Spirit Tribe begins to fade now that Tahzey is dead. And the Spectre has no success against the Dead Bunch, because he has little power over other ghosts. Lonetree picks up Tahzey's rattle, which contains the fragment of the American Talisman. He calls up the Spirit Tribe once again, this time asking them to join their power with the Spectre's.
Nate and Victorio run away from the battle. Suddenly, the voice of America calls out to Victorio and asks him to join it. When the spirit of Tahzey appears, Victorio agrees to the request.
Dwayne Hawke, a member of the National Interest who is wearing a copy of the Sorcerer armor, suddenly impales Lonetree with the Spear of Destiny. But Lonetree simply turns to dust and disappears. The Spectre then attacks Hawke. But Hawke unleashes the Spear of Destiny's power, seriously injuring the Spectre.
At NORAD Mountain, the Sorcerer learns that the National Interest has been keeping his true body—Sam Wilson—in stasis. The Sorcerer armor crashed to Earth in 1948 in Roswell, New Mexico. Sam Wilson, one of the National Interest's senior members, had his mind sucked into the Sorcerer armor. Because Wilson didn't agree with the National Interest's new goals, Mr. Duchloss claimed to be his creator so that Sorcerer would be easier to control. The National Interest then cloned Wilson's body and used it as the basis for Shadrach.
Sorcerer smashes the National Interest's lab and takes the body of Sam Wilson out of the stasis chamber. He does not care that the body will die soon; he is determined to take it to Mount Rushmore, a place he has been dreaming about lately. Sorcerer bursts out of NORAD Mountain and flies away.
In his battle with Dwayne Hawke, the Spectre is losing power quickly. Noting that his frontal assault is having no success, the Spectre splits into several different bodies. But the Spear of Destiny easily locates the true Spectre. Hawke impales the Spectre on the Spear, but the Spectre is able to enter Hawke's soul when Nate Kane distracts him. Hawke has the upper hand inside his soul, however, and the Spectre only manages to escape because Nate Kane distracts him again.
As soon as the Spectre leaves Hawke's soul, Hawke shoves the Spear of Destiny deep into the Spectre. The Spectre vanishes, leaving only a smoldering crater. Dwayne Hawke, now in control of all the pieces of the American Talisman, returns to the National Interest's headquarters.
- This is part thirteen of the story arc, "The Haunting of America." It concludes next issue.
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