The collector button features Spectre along with fellow Justice Society heroes, Flash and Green Lantern- according to Yo Go Re over at OAFE.Net, this is from the cover of All-Star Comics #2. Spectre started out as the avenging undead spirit of murdered cop Jim Corrigan, assigned to be the Wrath of God, but came to be much more than the JSA hero of the 1940's, later taking Crispus Allen and Hal Jordan as his new hosts. He is arguably the most powerful being in the DC Universe, essentially the embodied wrath of God. Kinda scary! :D
One thing the glow-in-the-dark chase variant is missing is the subtle paint shading that makes Spectre's eyes look as though they are glowing- very effective! Spectre's cape is a seperate piece from his head, a swivel joint at the neck. He has the typical, great articulation all DCUCs share, and the sculpt is artfully simple, absolutely nailing the iconic look of this other-worldly character. There isn't a lot to the Spectre's outfit, so the cloak, gloves and boots had to be perfect, which they are, even in the way the folds pleat his cape in back.
When author and former theology student John Ostrander brought the character into the modern age, he placed the Spectre in complex, morally ambiguous situations that posed certain ethical questions. He also added several new concepts into the Spectre's history, revealing that the Spectre was meant to exist as the embodiment of the Wrath of God, and Jim Corrigan was but the latest human spirit assigned to guide him while he existed on Earth. He also portrayed the Spectre the fallen angel named Aztar who had participated in Lucifer's rebellion, but then repented, serving as the embodiment of God's anger as his penance. (Wikipedia)
My favorite part of the Day of Vengeance series I just read was the Spectre's battle with Captain Marvel, in attempt to destroy all magic in the Universe. Convinced by Eclipso that that all things that follow the rules of the physical universe follow God's law, and anything contradictory breaks God's law and is therefore evil. Though the Enchantress channel the power of magicians around the world through Captain Marvel, it's too much in the end, driving her temporarily mad and allowing the Spectre to defeat the Big Red Cheese!
Another perhaps greater battle in Day of Vengeance is that between Spectre and Nabu, the powerful entity that trained Kent Nelson/Dr. Fate in the magic arts after he opened the ancient wizard's tomb. Long unsuccessful in finding a host for the Spectre, Nabu, last of the Great Lords of the Ninth Age, is forced to confront him. In fatally injuring Nabu, the Spectre gains attention of "the Presence", who is finally forced to contain the ramaging spirit. The dying Nabu hands his helmet to Detective Chimp, who has Capt. Marvel throw it into space to let chance find the new Dr. Fate and welcome the Tenth Age of Magic. Pretty heavy stuff!
Along with Dr. Fate, I often think of Deadman when in the same category as Spectre for obvious reasons. Deadman wasn't a big player in Day of Vengeance, but he was shown in one of the panels, part of Phantom Stranger's team hunting down monsters that escaped the Rock of Eternity that Spectre smashed while killing the wizard Shazam. Like the Spectre, Deadman used another being as a host to search for his murderer and serve justice. Below are pictured the Spectre and Deadman with The Spectre Annual #1, Vol.2, 1988, in which the two spirits battle the Proto-Demon at the gates of Hell! Riveting!
Some other great Spectre issues in my collection:
*All Star Squadron Vol.3, No.28 (DC, Dec. 1983) The Spectre Vs. The Justice Society! Goofy, but fun :D
*The Spectre Annual No.1, "Lost in Memory" (DC, 1995) Team up w/Dr. Fate! BubbaShelby turned me on to Mankdrake & Ostrander's work on Martian Manhunter, which I loved, and wisely recommended their work on the Spectre as well. Great stuff!
*The Spectre, No.38 (DC, Feb. 1996) Check out that spooky cover by Donald David- brilliant!
More Later- Make It FUN!