The Batkick: Clearing the air

I'm posting this because I'm getting tired of people on the battle forums thinking the infamous incident from Tales of the Unexpected #4, where Batman seemingly hurts the Spectre with a kick, is somehow a valid point to raise in an argument. If you haven't read the issue in question or if you're one of the seven or eight people on Earth who haven't seen it floating around on the internet, here it is:

Guy in a bat-suit kicking the wrath of God.....seems legit.

This is most often brought up by people who claim Spectre's a jobber (another point that is erroneous and tiresome, but that's a discussion for another day). I raised it because a user on this site was debating on a Darkseid thread a while back, and tried to claim that the incident in Superman/Batman where he hits Darkseid hard enough to make him bleed (for the love of god, Loeb) is somehow not PIS because "Batman sometimes hurts people he shouldn't be able to". He brought up this incident as proof of that point. That was what prompted me to make this thread, though I took some time to get around to it. As you might expect, there's a context to this incident.

First of all, you need to understand how the Spectre functions. He's literally the Presence's wrath made manifest, and so in his primal form he's perpetually pissed off at everything. In his early days his rage was so all-consuming that he would have destroyed everything if Michael Demiurgos hadn't intervened and placed restrictions on his power. Michael made it such that the Spectre needed to bond with a human host to access all his power. However, the presence of the host was also a clever safeguard against the Spectre going on a rampage. The host would exercise discretion over the Spectre's activities. Therefore, the power of the Spectre was linked to the personality of the host. If the host wasn't queasy about violence, the Spectre's power would face very few limits. It's for this reason that Jim Corrigan is commonly considered the most powerful of the Spectre's three main hosts. Corrigan was a tough-as-nails homicide detective from the 1940's. His father was an evangelist preacher, and he'd been raised with the eye-for-an-eye philosophy and the idea of Old Testament-esque severity in justice. He was fine with the violence the Spectre dished out, and most of the time he supported it. And it's for this same reason that Hal Jordan is commonly considered the weakest of the Spectre's hosts. Hal was a hero, and so he stood in opposition to the Spectre's usual MO. His guilt over all the people he killed as Parallax also played a part. He was opposed to murder, and thus denied the Spectre's true nature.

Point being made is that the host can restrain the Spectre, curtailing the amount of power that flows through him. Moving on to the incident itself:

Spectre's trying to kill a criminal, but his host Crispus Allen is trying to stop him. That's restraining his power right there. Moreover, read Spectre's sentences in the last scan. He says:

a) "I thought it might make you feel better", and

b) "The human already shackles me more than I am willing."

Not only do you have the Spectre's host restraining his power from the inside, but you've got the Spectre himself feeling sorry for Batman and allowing him to vent. If Batman kicking Darkseid is valid (helpful hint: it's not) because Batman "sometimes hurts people he shouldn't be able to", then why is Batman stunned that he was able to hit the Spectre? Because he hurt someone he shouldn't be able to.

There's no Batfactor at work here. It's just the Spectre letting Bruce vent before turning away to get on with his job. Next time someone raises this point I'm just going to direct them to this blog.

55 Comments
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Posted by Adnan

Huh, I've seen that scan posted a lot myself, always wondered what the context behind it was. Thanks.

Posted by Billy Batson

Whatever makes you feel better, bane.
BB

Posted by Saren

@Billy Batson said:

Whatever makes you feel better, bane.
BB

Moderator
Posted by Billy Batson

@CitizenBane said:

@Billy Batson said:

Whatever makes you feel better, bane.
BB

LOL, where from?
BB

Posted by ReVamp

I didn't read, but good on you. ;)

Posted by Saren

@Billy Batson said:

@CitizenBane said:

@Billy Batson said:

Whatever makes you feel better, bane.
BB

LOL, where from?
BB

Second volume of Thor. Forgot the issue number.

Moderator
Posted by Billy Batson

@CitizenBane:

Figures. Shame on you for reading it.
BB

Posted by InnerVenom123

@CitizenBane said:

@Billy Batson said:

Whatever makes you feel better, bane.
BB

LMAO! Epic!

Posted by Silver2467

Nice explanation.

Posted by Billy Batson

@InnerVenom123:

Yes, yes I am.
BB

Posted by Saren

@Billy Batson said:

@CitizenBane:

Figures. Shame on you for reading it.
BB

There's an idea for a drinking game in those issues. Every time Thor yells "Nay!", drain your glass.

Moderator
Posted by Billy Batson

@CitizenBane said:

@Billy Batson said:

@CitizenBane:

Figures. Shame on you for reading it.
BB

There's an idea for a drinking game in those issues. Every time Thor yells "Nay!", drain your glass.

*fakes interest*
Go on.
BB

Posted by Saren

@Billy Batson said:

@CitizenBane said:

@Billy Batson said:

@CitizenBane:

Figures. Shame on you for reading it.
BB

There's an idea for a drinking game in those issues. Every time Thor yells "Nay!", drain your glass.

*fakes interest*
Go on.
BB

Moderator
Posted by Billy Batson

@CitizenBane:

Hope you studied.
BB

Posted by MrDirector786

Nice explanation. I'll post this blog anywhere I see people using this to downplay Spectre or something.

Posted by Spiderslike

I'm sad to say I one of the few people who never knew of this till now

Posted by The Poet

learn something everyday...

Moderator
Posted by ComicMan24

Cool, nice. I had seen it being mentioned in battle forums in the past but I hadn't read the story and was curious about it.

Posted by DoomDoomDoom

@The Poet said:

learn something everyday...

Posted by MonkeyToe

Nice post Bane.

Posted by NightFang

@DoomDoomDoom said:

@The Poet said:

learn something everyday...

Posted by AtraCruor

Just further reason and proof that Crispus Allen is the most worthless host the Spectre's ever had. Black Atom's big World War III rampage would've never happened had even Hal been the Spectre and if Corrigan had been the host, he would've probably killed him. Same with Crispus neary getting killed during Final Crisis. He's just useless. Corrigan needs to come back again but I doubt it will happen since he's actually in heaven.

Posted by Saren

@AtraCruor said:

Just further reason and proof that Crispus Allen is the most worthless host the Spectre's ever had. Black Atom's big World War III rampage would've never happened had even Hal been the Spectre and if Corrigan had been the host, he would've probably killed him. Same with Crispus neary getting killed during Final Crisis. He's just useless. Corrigan needs to come back again but I doubt it will happen since he's actually in heaven.

Firstly, Batman kicked the Spectre, not Crispus. Crispus was inside him trying to stop the Spectre. Crispus nearly got killed during Final Crisis because he lost his faith after he had to kill his son, and so a lot of his power dissipated. Once he got it back he purged Anti-Life from creation.

Moderator
Posted by AtraCruor

@CitizenBane: I understand that. I'm saying that Crispus holding the Spectre back in this instance is just further proof of how useless he is.

Posted by Saren

@AtraCruor said:

@CitizenBane: I understand that. I'm saying that Crispus holding the Spectre back in this instance is just further proof of how useless he is.

Why? Because he didn't want the Spectre to kill someone he felt shouldn't be killed?

Moderator
Posted by primepower53

This thread....is full of win.

Posted by AtraCruor

@CitizenBane: Crispus' judgement isn't the best when it comes to restraining the Spectre. He sat back and let Black Adam butcher and entire country and then stomp through most of the world's heroes and country defenders, killing who knows how many innocents in collateral damage alone, let alone the heroes that killed or maimed.

Posted by Saren

@AtraCruor said:

@CitizenBane: Crispus' judgement isn't the best when it comes to restraining the Spectre. He sat back and let Black Adam butcher and entire country and then stomp through most of the world's heroes and country defenders, killing who knows how many innocents in collateral damage alone, let alone the heroes that killed or maimed.

Considering that the unbound Spectre went on a rampage killing hundreds of innocent people, crippling heroes and destroying beings who maintain order for the entire universe, I doubt his judgement is all that great either. You could just as easily claim that Hal's Spectre was responsible for all the deaths caused by the Sinestro Corps since he didn't kill Sinestro despite having the chance, and even let Neron live despite their being no reason to do so other than his own guilt. Spectre doesn't intervene for things like that because then he just becomes a plot device. Superboy-Prime is terrorizing New Earth? Call the Spectre! The Sinestro Corps are destroying the planet? Call the Spectre! Black Adam is killing everyone in Bialya? Call the Spectre!

Moderator
Posted by AtraCruor

@CitizenBane: You're forgetting that at the start of Day of Vengeance the Spectre stated that he was loosing his focus and all of his faculties weren't there because he was left unbound. That is not his fault and he knew that something was wrong with him. Eclipso, using Jean Loring's body, took advantage of that and manipulated him into thinking that magic was the root of all evil which caused his slaughter of magical people.

Posted by Buckshot

Kicking Darkseid and Spectre are nice and all, but this is my favorite Batkick of all time.

Moderator
Edited by Saren

@AtraCruor said:

@CitizenBane: You're forgetting that at the start of Day of Vengeance the Spectre stated that he was loosing his focus and all of his faculties weren't there because he was left unbound. That is not his fault and he knew that something was wrong with him. Eclipso, using Jean Loring's body, took advantage of that and manipulated him into thinking that magic was the root of all evil which caused his slaughter of magical people.

And later in Dead Again when he was trying to persuade Crispus to be his new host, he admitted that the things he had done in Day of Vengeance were wrong (which was why he sought out Crispus, he wanted to make sure it would never happen again). He was unbound there again, and his faculties were perfectly fine. He was tricked by Eclipso precisely because his judgement isn't exactly stellar.

Moderator
Posted by AtraCruor

@CitizenBane: He knows that he needs a human to have the proper judgement to deam out vengeance but he didn't seek out Crispus. The Presence had already bound him to his spirit (Infinite Crisis 4) after he killed Nabu. Dead Again was just his trying to convince Crispus to completely bond. I don't believe the Presence would've allowed the Spectre complete free roam after DoV so there still had to be a connetion between the two. However, this has gotten away from what I was saying to start with xD and that is Corrigan should be brought back as the Spectre's host due to the reasons we've both given.

Though I do want to say one more thing. Yes I agree the Spectre could very well be a plot device in many of the heavy battles but the reason I cited Black Adam's rampage and Allen allow it was because it was specifically brought up, and by the Martian Manhunter I believe, and his being held back by Allen with the book even showing Crispus sitting on a roof which the Spectre partially formed behind him.

Posted by HolySerpent

Nice article

Posted by nickzambuto

@CitizenBane said:

I'm posting this because I'm getting tired of people on the battle forums thinking the infamous incident from Tales of the Unexpected #4, where Batman seemingly hurts the Spectre with a kick, is somehow a valid point to raise in an argument. If you haven't read the issue in question or if you're one of the seven or eight people on Earth who haven't seen it floating around on the internet, here it is:

Guy in a bat-suit kicking the wrath of God.....seems legit.

This is most often brought up by people who claim Spectre's a jobber (another point that is erroneous and tiresome, but that's a discussion for another day). I raised it because a user on this site was debating on a Darkseid thread a while back, and tried to claim that the incident in Superman/Batman where he hits Darkseid hard enough to make him bleed (for the love of god, Loeb) is somehow not PIS because "Batman sometimes hurts people he shouldn't be able to". He brought up this incident as proof of that point. That was what prompted me to make this thread, though I took some time to get around to it. As you might expect, there's a context to this incident.

First of all, you need to understand how the Spectre functions. He's literally the Presence's wrath made manifest, and so in his primal form he's perpetually pissed off at everything. In his early days his rage was so all-consuming that he would have destroyed everything if Michael Demiurgos hadn't intervened and placed restrictions on his power. Michael made it such that the Spectre needed to bond with a human host to access all his power. However, the presence of the host was also a clever safeguard against the Spectre going on a rampage. The host would exercise discretion over the Spectre's activities. Therefore, the power of the Spectre was linked to the personality of the host. If the host wasn't queasy about violence, the Spectre's power would face very few limits. It's for this reason that Jim Corrigan is commonly considered the most powerful of the Spectre's three main hosts. Corrigan was a tough-as-nails homicide detective from the 1940's. His father was an evangelist preacher, and he'd been raised with the eye-for-an-eye philosophy and the idea of Old Testament-esque severity in justice. He was fine with the violence the Spectre dished out, and most of the time he supported it. And it's for this same reason that Hal Jordan is commonly considered the weakest of the Spectre's hosts. Hal was a hero, and so he stood in opposition to the Spectre's usual MO. His guilt over all the people he killed as Parallax also played a part. He was opposed to murder, and thus denied the Spectre's true nature.

Point being made is that the host can restrain the Spectre, curtailing the amount of power that flows through him. Moving on to the incident itself:

Spectre's trying to kill a criminal, but his host Crispus Allen is trying to stop him. That's restraining his power right there. Moreover, read Spectre's sentences in the last scan. He says:

a) "I thought it might make you feel better", and

b) "The human already shackles me more than I am willing."

Not only do you have the Spectre's host restraining his power from the inside, but you've got the Spectre himself feeling sorry for Batman and allowing him to vent. If Batman kicking Darkseid is valid (helpful hint: it's not) because Batman "sometimes hurts people he shouldn't be able to", then why is Batman stunned that he was able to hit the Spectre? Because he hurt someone he shouldn't be able to.

There's no Batfactor at work here. It's just the Spectre letting Bruce vent before turning away to get on with his job. Next time someone raises this point I'm just going to direct them to this blog.

but he's batman

Online
Posted by Nudeviking

Best Bat-Kick ever. Hulk can get hit by mortar fire with no ill effect, but one kick from a dude in a batsuit knocks the wind right out of him.

Posted by TDK_1997

I haven't even seen this picture till now.But interesting blog.

Posted by Maniac2312
@TDK_1997 said:

I haven't even seen this picture till now.But interesting blog.

This. 
@Nudeviking: But Hulk had his eyes closed, when he felt Batman's boot tap his solar plexus he reflexively let out the air.......*rolls eyes* ;)
Posted by SigersonLTD

I'm one of the seven or eight you referred to above. Even if you're more powerful than Batman in this case, you still feel a punch or a kick in some way, unless you're ethereal, as Spectre should be. Therefore, it follows that the statement "Batman hurts people he shouldn't be able to" is invalid at best, and spurious at its worst.

Posted by htb106

how could bats even hurt the spectre

Posted by Mildor

Sure, the spirit cannot act without the soul´s will or consent which is a resemblance of a catholic with the Holy Spirit

But doesnt the spectre should recognize that instead of using a mere regular soul and then other soul who irresponsibly fall of grace by betraying their corps purpose and chant should use the soul of the man who have the strongest will in all DC (and Marvel) who´s keen reflections decipher what the world is and puts to live. That being would be the nearest approach to God´s will in DC.

Maybe there´rent enough intellect to stablish a challenge to HIM

Even the spectre will tell: hey with which name we are maybe Batman has more weight?

Posted by Yung ANcient One

Bravo

(+)

Posted by warlockcaster

I would love to see the Joker have a run in with the Spectre. After his chemicals, guns, bombs, and assorted cowardly attacks proved useless his last moments would sound something like this:

Joker: Why smite me, I'm just an agent of chaos, only a dog chasing cars. I'm not a monster, I'm just ahead of the curve.

Fwooooosh!!!

Spectre: Wrong, you are everything that is dark and evil in the hearts of men, and now you are nothing but a blazing pile of ashes.

Thanks by the way for clarifying where the bat-kick scan comes from. It always confused me as well.

Posted by feebadger

MAN you're good! Absolutely agree with you on the Spectre kick and to further add to the argument against, if i wasn't expecting it and i was suddenly hit in the face with a packet of Lifesavers, then i would be a little thrown aback to. Doesn't mean that the packet of Lifesavers could beat me in a fight.

So, to clarify;

Batman = Packet Of Lifesavers

Spectre = My face

Outcome: Batman has his arse handed to him and Spectre has minty fresh breath afterwards.

Nice blog.

Posted by batfan1939

Anyone else like to see Batman as a host for the Spectre? It would be interestig to see the contrast in their attitudes, since in many ways, the Spectre is exactly what Batman's fought being all these years. Or maybe Jason Todd? The Spectre is EXACTLY what he wants to be.

Posted by henryarguelles5

@Nudeviking: I have never seen this! Bless you for posting this.

Posted by Nudeviking

@henryarguelles5 said:

@Nudeviking: I have never seen this! Bless you for posting this.

You're welcome dude.

Posted by Onemoreposter

@buckshot said:

Kicking Darkseid and Spectre are nice and all, but this is my favorite Batkick of all time.

Best Bat-Kick ever. Hulk can get hit by mortar fire with no ill effect, but one kick from a dude in a batsuit knocks the wind right out of him.

Those are both epic. Batman's got a new feat of foot coming up in the latest issue of Batman Inc.

Batman can now get through steel.

Posted by BlueLantern1995

Nice explanation. I'll post this blog anywhere I see people using this to downplay Spectre or something.

Or upping Batman's abilities.

Posted by gotwillpower
Edited by lordraiden

@buckshot said:

Kicking Darkseid and Spectre are nice and all, but this is my favorite Batkick of all time.

@nudeviking said:

Best Bat-Kick ever. Hulk can get hit by mortar fire with no ill effect, but one kick from a dude in a batsuit knocks the wind right out of him.

Those are both epic. Batman's got a new feat of foot coming up in the latest issue of Batman Inc.

Batman can now get through steel.

Why is Batman not wearing his boots in the bottom pick breaking the sword barefoot? Was that too show how powerfull his feat can be when bare??

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