The Man Who Stalked The Spectre
Fleeing the scene of their latest violent crime, the Grandenettis, a vicious criminal trio, find themselves pursued by New York's finest. Abandoning their getaway vehicle, after a brutal shoot out with their pursuers, the Grandenettis split up, agreeing to meet again at a later date. Jerry Grandenetti holes up in a refrigeration plant. Laying in wait for the police, Grandenetti, instead, is surprised by the Spectre. Grandenetti sprays the ghostly guardian with machine gun fire, but the lethal barrage passes harmlessly through the apparition. The Spectre then freezes Grandenetti solid, in a block of ice. Moments later, two beat cops discover Grandenetti's frozen corpse. A freelance magazine writer, and investigative journalist, Earl Crawford, has been on the trail of the Spectre. Having noticed a pattern in the gruesome deaths of several criminals, Crawford has become convinced that some supernatural force is targeting the worst criminal offenders. With Jerry Grandenetti a clear victim of Crawford's mysterious force, Crawford realizes that the Grandenetti brothers have been targeted. Crawford arranges, through NewsBeat magazine, to ride along with one of the police detectives assigned to the Grandenetti case. Lt. Jim Corrigan is assigned the thankless task of escorting Crawford, for the next several days. Almost immediately after pairing up, a radio call comes in, informing Corrigan that Mitch Grandenetti has been found.
Grandenetti is holding four hostages, inside a local toy store. Ordering Crawford to stay in the car, Corrigan enters the toy store through a back entrance. Grandenetti is drawn to the back of the store by the sounds of a symbol clapping toy monkey. It is then that the Spectre appears before Grandenetti. The Spectre enlarges, and animates, a miniature lead Viking figurine, which promptly buries it's axe in Grandenetti's skull. Corrigan gives the police outside the all clear signal. While the police theorize on how Grandenetti could have escaped the scene, Crawford discovers a miniature lead figurine of Mitch Grandenetti, with an axe protruding from it's forehead. Crawford realizes that the supernatural force has claimed another victim. Intercepting a tip for Corrigan, regarding the location of the last of the Grandenetti boys, Crawford heads out, alone, to warn Grandenetti of the horrible fate awaiting him. Grandenetti has holed up in an abandoned sawmill, hours outside of New York, in Peakskill. Grandenetti gets the drop on Crawford, mistaking him for a police officer. Crawford identifies himself as a writer, then pleads with Grandenetti to turn himself in before the mysterious occult force finds and kills him. Grandenetti scoffs at the danger. Suddenly, the Spectre emerges from the flame of a gas lamp. Grandenetti gets off several shots, to no avail. The Spectre transforms Grandenetti's body into wood, then dismembers Grandenetti by feeding him into the saws. Horrifed at the grisly spectacle, Crawford screams at the Spectre, impotently railing at the ghostly guardian's merciless methods. Shaken, Crawford wanders away from the sawmill, desperately in need of a stiff drink.
As The Undersea City Sleeps
En route to Atlantis, Aquaman encounters the Black Manta, rustling squid at an Atlantean farm. Due to the release of an unidentified chemical into the waters surrounding Atlantis, the Atlantean farmers have lapsed into unconsciousness. Aquaman, too, is feeling the effects of the drugged waters. Too groggy to put up much of a fight, Aquaman suffers a beating at the hands of the Black Manta. He is then blinded by squid ink, while the Black Manta makes his escape. Consulting with his wife, Mera, and his chief scientific advisor, Vulko, Aquaman grows increasingly concerned with the Black Manta's continued raids on Atlantean farms. Unless the Black Manta can be stopped, Atlanteans will begin to starve. The Black Manta strikes again, this time at an Atlantean shrimp farm. Once more, tranquilizing agents are released into the waters, rendering the Atlantean shrimpers unconscious. Black Manta and his men set about collecting the large bounty of shrimp. One of the farmers, however, stirs. It is Aquaman, disguised, and wearing scuba gear. Breathing oxygen, Aquaman is now immune to the drugged water. With the element of surprise on his side, Aquaman makes short work of Black Manta, threatening to break the marauder's arm if his henchmen don't return to the manta ship. Telepathically summoning whales, Aquaman instructs them to hammer away at the manta ship, while he finishes beating Black Manta into submission. Throwing the Black Manta's limp, unconscious form back at his manta ship, Aquaman orders the Black Manta's men to collect their fallen leader, and leave the area. Though victorious, Aquaman realizes that the Black Manta will, no doubt, return. Ultimately, a final showdown will have to be fought between the two, one in which there can only be one survivor.
- "The Man Who Stalked the Spectre" (Spectre) written by Michael Fleisher, script continuity Russell Carley, penciled and inked by Jim Aparo.
- "As the Undersea City Sleeps" (Aquaman) written by Steve Skeates, penciled and inked by Mike Grell.