Friday, October 9, 2009

Famous First Fridays: Bernie Wrightson's Spectre-acular Debut!

Many of you may know that in the dawn of the Groovy Age, DC published a short-lived Spectre series (August 1967-February 1969) with art by titans like Murphy Anderson and Neal Adams, but many forget that for the last couple issues of that supernatural series the Spectre became a subordinate character in his own strip. Because the Astral Avenger had killed a man, he was to do penitence by judging those whose names were found in the Book of Judgment. That led to the mag becoming a House of Secrets/House of Mystery style anthology with the Spectre acting as host to the ghoulish goings-on. (Did the Being who created the Spectre later decide it was okay to kill? 'Cause when the Spectre got his next series in Adventure Comics, he sure got away with it then!)

Anyway, let's get to the point of this post: here's the best of those macabre monsterpieces with magnificent art from Bernie Wrightson who was making his DC debut. From The Spectre #9 (December 1968), here's "Abraca-Doom"!


  1. Holy Moley! I remember these!! I forgot them!! I didn't know that was Bernie Wrightson! I was only 6-8 years old back then! I bought Neal Adam's Spectre & forgot about iy becoming the House of Mystery. Ya in Adventure Comics the Spectre was killing bad guys left & right! I just wish they hurry up & do a excellent Spectre movie!

  2. Thanks for sharing an old favorite, Groove. I think when I first read this it was in a reprint (House of Mystery Super spec?) after I had read the Fleisher/Aparo series. Obviously very different, but (without the backstory on the book of judgment) relatively consistent. Now, when I very shortly after read the Julie Schwartz/Gardner Fox/Murphy Anderson revival issue in another Super Spectacular, I was dumbfounded!

    Sigh, I miss the days of big thick eclectic reprint books.

  3. Yep, this story was reprinted in House of Mystery #224 (January 1974), one of those glorious 100 pages (even if the price had raised to 60 cents and the page count included ads--not a bad trade-off for 20 or so pages of new material).

    I miss those big anthologies (100 Page Super Spectaculars, Dollar Comics, the black and white magazines), too.



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