- You cross the line in this life, you choose the wrong side-- and you pay the price. All fees collected by-- THE SPECTRE!
Appearing in "Noble Vengeance"
Synopsis for "Noble Vengeance"
Corrigan reacts poorly to the Stranger's assumption that he was involved, transforming into The Spectre. He is particularly resentful because it was the Stranger who made him into the Spectre after all. The Stranger claims that the decision to do that was not his, but that of The Voice. Their bickering continues and escalates into a destructive battle.
Meanwhile, Terry Thirteen returns to his damaged lab, which was nearly destroyed completely by the Stranger recently. While musing on the possibility of the Stranger joining the Justice League Dark, he is interrupted by The Question. As much as Dr. Thirteen knows about the supernatural, he knows little about the Question. His visitor warns that the Stranger could easily betray him, and offers him something in exchange for betraying the Stranger first.
Finally, the Spectre swallows the Stranger, hoping to erase him, but he finds that he cannot. Instead, the Stranger looks out through his eyes, and sees Jim Corrigan's perspective instead of the divine agent of vengeance. Corrigan's anger and rage followed him into death, and fuelled his transformation. In some respect, Corrigan was born to become the Spectre, just as, maybe, he was born to wander forever.
Escaping the Spectre's body, Stranger tosses his cloak over the Spectre, and turns him to wood, planning to take the opportunity to continue searching for his wife and children, having seen that Corrigan will not help him. Mockingly, the Spectre responds that if he had the chance for freedom, the Stranger would betray his family. The Stranger hopes it is not true, and makes for to leave, but the Spectre will not allow him to leave.
They are interrupted by the Voice, who explains - in the form of a Scottish terrier - that the Spectre was not meant to be a mirror for its wrath, but for its justice. The Voice admonishes the Stranger for failing to even ask Corrigan if he was involved. In fact, he had nothing to do with the Stark family's disappearance. Both the Stranger and the Spectre have cosmic roles to play, balancing each other - and all of creation depends on their playing nicely. Before leaving, the Voice urges the Stranger to pick up the phone, as it rings soon after.
Picking up the phone, the Stranger hears Dr. Thirteen suggesting that they join forces, and claiming to know something about the Starks' disappearance. However, Thirteen is acting under the influence of the Question.
- This book was first published on February 6, 2013.
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