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The Gasmen and... the Spectre

Spectators at an annual car show are horribly gassed to death, in an act of terrorism. At Newsbeat magazine, freelance writer, and investigative journalist, Earl Crawford, is attempting to garner interest in his story, concerning a supernatural force horrifically murdering criminals. The editor, instead, assigns Crawford the car show massacre. On the scene, heading up the investigation, is Lt. Jim Corrigan. Crawford pumps Corrigan for information, but, as usual, is derisively dismissed by the no nonsense detective. Far from the scene of the crime, in an abandoned astronomical observatory, Field Marshal Offal debriefs his commandos on "Operation Green Cloud. Regarding the mission an unmitigated success, Offal sends his ransom demands to the Mayor's office. Offal demands one billion dollars from the city's treasury, to prevent another guerrilla attack on the city. Against Corrigan's advice, the Mayor acquiesces to Offal's demands. Corrigan offers to deliver the ransom money personally. Unbeknownst to Corrigan, he is followed to the ransom drop by Earl Crawford.

Corrigan is picked up by helicopter, and flown to Offal's observatory. Crawford manages to follow, by car. Once the helicopter has landed, Offal's man takes possession of the ransom money, and gasses Corrigan. Suddenly, the Spectre emerges from the green cloud of death enveloping Corrigan. Corrigan's would-be killer screams as the Spectre fuses him into the surrounding rocks. Entering the observatory, the Spectre is met with concentrated gunfire, as Offal's men attempt to repel the ghostly intruder. The Spectre enlarges a pair of calipers and simultaneously impales the two gunmen. Field Marshal Offal makes a run for it. While in the process of unmooring his speedboat, Offal is attacked by a squid, grown to gigantic size by the Spectre. Offal's blood curdling shrieks precede him into the squid's gaping maw, as it feasts upon him. Crawford, finally, reaches the observatory. He discovers Offal's man fused into the rock, and realizes the supernatural force he has been pursuing has been there. Crawford locates Corrigan, and inquires as to whether or not the detective witnessed Crawford's mysterious occult force. Corrigan, though, saw nothing at all.

"The KIng is Dead; Long Live the King!"

In the Atlantean royal chambers, Weisbogg, an Atlantean inventer, presents Aquaman with a prefect robot duplicate. The robot is programmed to handle matters of State, when Aquaman is, otherwise, engaged in more adventurous activities. Bored and bothered by the demonstration, Aqualad leaves the royal chambers. Aqualad is concerned that if Aquaman turns over all duties he feels to be less relevant then his heroic duties, he will lose touch with the people of Atlantis. Lost in thought, Aqualad swims outside the dome, and away from the city of Atlantis. It is then that he encounters the Bugala. Having faced the monstrous leviathan once before, when it menaced the undersea colony of Eldfur, Aqualad returns to Atlantis to garner aid. Viewing the danger on a monitor screen, Aquaman sends his robot duplicate to keep his scheduled appointment with the Canadian ambassador, while the Sea King engages the Bugala. Sending out a telepathic command, Aquaman attempts to drive the Bugala away from Atlantis. While the Bugala proves to be immune to Aquaman's telepathic powers, the Sea King does pick up another telepathic signal emanating from Atlantis. Aquaman charges the Bugala, but is swatted aside, slamming hard into a coral outcropping. The strike reveals something fishy about the Bugala, leading Aquaman to abandon the fight and return to Atlantis. Aquaman disrupts the meeting with the Canadian ambassador, dramatically punching off the face of Weisbogg's robot Aquaman. Aquaman destroys the control device inside the robot's head, causing the Bugala, also a robot, to collapse. Aquaman arrests Weisbogg. Outside the Atlantean dome, the Black Manta realizes that his scheme to destroy Atlantis' defenses has failed. He vows to return, one day, to slay Aquaman, and take Atlantis for his own.

  1. "The Gasmen and... the Spectre" (Spectre) written by Michael Fleisher, script continuity Russell Carley, penciled and inked by Jim Aparo.
  2. "The King is Dead; Long Live the King!" (Aquaman) written by Steve Skeates, penciled and inked by Mike Grell.




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Retro Review -- Fleisher & Aparo's Spirit of Vengeance! 0

  First Impressions:There was a series of comics by the incomparable Jim Aparo (the Shadow, Batman, etc.) in The Spectre, the spirit of vengeance and his alter ego, detective Jim Corrigan.   The cover was well-done:   giant squid with a giant eye, devouring the bad guys with the Spectre supervising his macabre work! Michael Fleisher (Jonah Hex) wrote another great story, showing the various ways the Spectre puts the bad guys away.   Lead-in Story: The Gasmen and the Spectre takes us to a...

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