THE GOLDEN AGE SPECTRE ARCHIVES VOL. 1(DC, 2003; Hardcover)
Collects selections from More Fun Comics Nos. 52-70 (cover dates February, 1940- August, 1941)
Writer: Jerry Siegel
Artist: Bernard Baily
I love how Siegel inserts locales from his native Cleveland, referred to here as Cliffland, such as the Marquee Theatre, referred to here as the Markey Theatre. I also love the old-fashioned might makes right mentality of the Golden Age. Villains meet with unfortunate, and often gruesome, ends. The Spectre is judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one. I love the clothes, slang, cars, and street lights of the time.
The rampant sexism and unfavorable portrayal of minorities as elevator operators are bizarre snapshots of this bygone era. It's hard to believe how far we have come as a society in the last 70 years.
I love the rawness and innovation of the Golden Age of comics. These guys literally made up the rules as they went along. The Spectre is even referred to as “The Dark Knight” in one issue. I am not sure if it pre-dates Batman being referred to as the Dark Knight or not. If I had to guess, I'd have to say that it does not.
I am sad that this is the only Golden Age Spectre Archive available. Of course I now want All Star Archives Vols. 0-5 because The Spectre is in them. Does anyone know if he has solo stories or if he is part of the team? Are they worth getting?
The OCD zone- DC Archives are a thing of beauty. High quality restoration, paper and sewn binding...what more could you ask for? It's a damn shame that DC has done such an about face with their hardcovers in recent years.