On the original Earth-4 continuity of the Charlton comics, Dr. Spectro was a scientist who discovered the potential healing properties of various colored lights. Rather than take him seriously, the science and medical communities considered him a joke. Spectro soon found himself working in a cheap circus as a novelty act.
Later, a group of bank robbers sought to use Spectro as a distraction during a robbery. Angry at their disbelief in his powers, Spectro struggled with the gang and was knocked into his experimental equipment, exposing him to his own hate-causing light.
After Captain Atom foiled the bank robbery, he came across the now mad Spectro causing havoc in the streets. Spectro and Captain Atom come to blows, with Spectro utilizing his new found abillity to absorb and feed off of energy. Atom is eventually able to defeat Spectro by feeding him too much energy, causing him to disperse into light.
Spectro later appears as a member of the huge super villain army during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, stationed on his native world of Earth-4.
Following the revelation that Captain Atom had operated in secret for a number of years and the publication of his "history", reporter Mabel Ryan decided to track down the man who was Dr. Spectro. Though all of the material in Captain Atom's "biography" was actually false, a computer run through of known criminals came up with Roy G. Bivolo as the most likely person to be Dr. Spectro.
Further investigation proved Bivolo could not have been Spectro, but that his father, who had perfected the technology which enabled Roy to become the Rainbow Raider, had an assistant named Tom Emery. Ryan speculated that Emery was also Dr. Spectro, and confronted the man with her case, offering him money in exchange for his story.
Emery at first denied ever hearing of Dr. Spectro, but then decided to cash in on his knowledge of the Bivolo scientific technology. He agreed to tell his story, but Ryan discovered he was a fraud. Undaunted, Emery decided to prove to the US government that he knew they were lying to the public and he became the living embodiment of the lie. He donned a technology laden costume and became the real Dr. Spectro.
After committing several public crimes to call attention to himself, he came into conflict with Captain Atom. The battle was no contest and Captain Atom took Spectro to jail.
Powers and Abilities
Dr. Spectro uses prisms for various effects.
In Other Media
Dr Spectro appears in a cameo role in the Justice League Unlimited episode "Dead Reckoning" and "The Great Brain Robbery". He was seen as one of the latest recruits in the Secret Society.