An aspect of the Presence, the Spectre is His Vengeance. After creation, there was a rebellion and many of Presences angel's were cast from him for their actions. When the angel Raguel/Aztar, who rebelled with Lucifer, repented of his sins, The Presence had the angel stripped of his memories prior and he become the incarnation of His wrath, set to deliver Divine Justice and Vengeance for the murdered dead and those who sin against God as penance for its actions. The Spectre was created to replace the being Eclipso, the Spirit of Gods Revenge who was no longer suitable to be the Wrath. The Spectre is the one who is "responsible" for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as the ten plagues of Egypt, splitting the Red Sea, and tumbling the walls of Jericho.When The Godhead took human form, it was determined that Compassion and Redemption (that which Jesus represented) could not walk the Earth at the same time as Wrath and Vengeance, and The Spectre entity was cast into limbo where remained until the crucifixion of Jesus. Following that, The Spectre burst forth in an event dubbed "Dies Irae" (Day of Wrath) by the Phantom Stranger and ripped through the world, casting divine vengeance on many people until the Archangel Michael informed the entity of the new "rules", and The Spectre must be bound with a human soul to walk the Earth again. The Spectre initially refused the command, but had little choice in the matter.
Following "Dies Irae", and the creation of the new "rules" as dictated by The Presence, the Archangel Michael took the form of a Hindu deity and acquired the soul of a man named Caraka to be the first soul bound to The Spectre (a Christian was not chosen because Michael felt it would be too soon). Caraka found trouble in being The Spectre, as he had disrupted the natural cycle of things and caused his family (who had gone through various stages of reincarnation) grief. In the end, Caraka was separated from The Spectre again, and merged with the succubus Sekuba, to become Azmodus when he started to rebel against his mission.
Over the ages, the Spectre would be merged with the souls of many men and women, taking as many forms, all of whom were haunted by Azmodus while performing the Spectre's mission of punishing the wicked.
The Spectre was created by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily and first appeared in More Fun Comics #52 released in February 1940. In this first incarnation, the Spectre was a New York City cop, Jim Corrigan. Within the next year, the Spectre became the founding member of the Justice Society. He with the Society from their debut in All Star Comics #3 (Nov. 1940) until All Star Comics #23 (Dec. 1945) which was also around the same time he stopped appearing in his regular feature in More Fun Comics.
The Spectre was not seen again until Showcase #60 (Feb. 1966) which was just about 20 years since his last appearance in comics. The Spectre would appear regularly ever since in the pages of DC Comics. The Spectre took others as host though including GCPD cop, Crispus Allen, and fallen Green Lantern, Hal Jordan.
Currently Jim Corrigan is once again the host of the Spectre in DC's New 52.
Modern Age Version
In 1940, Jim Corrigan, a New York City cop was attacked by mobster Gats Benson following a sabotage on the part of his "stoolie" Louis Snipe. Jim was shoved into a barrel filled with cement where he was then thrown into the river, where he later choked on liquid cement and died. Corrigan, unable to come to terms with his death while the people who killed him remained free ("I have seen damn little of God's justice, mine I know exists.") God decided to have Corrigan merge with the Spectre entity and become the newest incarnation of the Spirit of Vengeance. Corrigan quickly used his abilities once he returned to Earth to exact punishment on Gats and the present mobsters, who has also kidnapped Jim's then-fiancé, Clarice Winston. In the fight, Clarice was fatally wounded, but Jim tied part of his spirit to her, so that she would always be alive. Of course, following this, Jim called off the engagement to Clarice.
The Spectre was encouraged to use his power for good by Percival Polanski (also known as "Percival Pop, The Super Cop"), a patrol man who witnessed both Corrigan's and Benson's demise. Percival was a friend to Corrigan in that he was much more human than the other police officers, something that Jim felt he needed. Jim, however, quickly became associates with other "minutemen" and joined with Dr. Fate and others on multiple occasions until finally joining The Justice Society of America during World War II. After World War II, the Spectre fought the demon Azmodus, who trapped the him in Corrigan's undead frame for nearly two decades with amnesia inflicted on the both by mistake. During the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Spectre travelled back in time and used his powers to preserve creation while the multiverses' heroes battled the Anti-Monitor. Despite depowering and banishing the Anti-Monitor back to his universe and making sure that the multiverse does not come into being, The Spectre was left in a comatose state for the remaining duration of the Crisis, only to be recreated afterwards with his powers greatly diminished for several years.
Eventually Jim Corrigan began to fray at the edges when he regained his full memories of his past he had otherwise forgotten. Finding that Percival Pop had eventually resigned from the force as Corrigan started to neglect him, culminating in Percival dying alone in a motel room, only to be found some days later. Percival however didn't hold a grudge against Corrigan for this as he knew it was a little much for him to be seen as a superhero, when he knew he was a bit of a fool whenever Corrigan wasn't assisting him. Corrigan would also find out that his first action of binding Clarice Winston's spirit to him, meant that he was keeping her alive way past what her aging body could endure. Clarice's daughter, Clarissa out of pity and because of Azmodeus' influence attempted to kill her mother, only for the Spectre to immediately return and punish her for trying by switching their bodies. Clarice wasn't happy with what Corrigan had done and the broken Spirit was eventually attacked by Azmodeus. With the help of Madam Xanadu, who fancied herself a close friend of the Spectre more than Corrigan, Clarice and Father Richard Craemer, who had been assisting Jim for some time when he found his faith waning, the Spectre eventually triumphed over Azmodus making the demon repent its actions and returning Caraka to the cycle of Rebirth he relived in while Sekuba was banished back to Hell. In the aftermath of the battle with Azmodus, the Spectre journeyed to the part of Hell ruled by Shaithan, Sekuba's demon master, to retrieve the soul of Clarissa before wiping her mind of her past life to make it possible for her to live a new one where the Spectre wouldn't influence her rise or fall.
Worse was to come however later on when Corrigan began to loose sight of his mission, one he had begun to think of as unending when a man murdered another near Clarice's old apartment making him kill the offender several times over before Heaven stepped in. Whatever council he sought from his friends seemed to have no effect on him, and eventually the Spectre began to influence Corrigan with its Old Testament version of justice, resulting in the Spectre judging the entire country of Vlatvia as corrupt, even it's innocents would eventually make war in the civil war that hat ravaged the country since the fall of the Soviet Union. The only survivors of the conflagration would be Count Vertigo and his opponent in the struggle as a cruel joke on the Spectre's part to see if they would continue to fight over the wasteland. This was a breaking point for many, Superman was asked by the President of the United States to put the Spectre down with the Spear of Destiny. While the Phantom Stranger gathered his allies to take on the Spectre directly and Madam Xanadu gathering Corrigan's friends to reason with him. Superman was stopped in his mission by the Spectre, who showed him the result of him being slain by Superman, unknown to all before Superman had departed, the Spear had been infected by the madness of the previous owner; Adolf Hitler, and Superman would have been driven to the same madness had he used the Spear. The Phantom Stranger ending up battling an Eclipso possessed Spectre alongside Etrigan and Doctor Fate, while Madam Xanadu tried to make Corrigan come to his senses, ultimately succeeding.
Finally Corrigan came to terms with his many problems when he and the Spectre ventured into one another in search of God, when searching for him physically had failed. The Spectre came to see Corrigan's harsh childhood under his god-fearing father, while Corrigan saw the hidden origins of the Spectre before coming face to face with a being claiming to be God while busy devouring Micheal the Arch-Angel. Despite his many conflicts with the angel over the ages, the petty nature of this God who claimed it was his right to do with Creation as he saw fit, prompted Corrigan to take on the guise of the Spectre and kill him. Father Craemer who had suggested the trip thought Corrigan had only managed to kill his own view of God, as he himself could still see God, as a man of faith. The result would be that Corrigan realized his time as the Spectre was over and that it had been so for some time, he simply just refused to move on from it all. After retrieving Corrigans bones from the police, Cramer would hold a ceremony for him, though Corrigan thought it wouldn't be attended by anyone because of his behavior, he was to be surprised when it was attended by his friend Nate, his girlfriend Alex, the Phantom Stranger, Madam Xanadu, the Israeli hero Ramban, Doctor Hazzard (who had served as mystical adviser to the President), the Patriot (the American icon), the core of the JSA, Michael Holt (whom Corrigan talked down from committing suicide and take up the mantle of Mr. Terrific, the funeral would be the first meeting between the JSA and Holt), Corrigans other spiritual adviser Lonetree, Superman & Batman (who admitted they hadn't always agreed, but the 60 years of Corrigan trying meant something to them both) and Swamp Thing who came as a representative of Gaea. Also Nightwing, Aquaman, the Flash (Wally West), Zatanna and a number of other acquaintances were present when Corrigan put down the mantle of the Spectre and ascended to Heaven, where Clarice was waiting for him.
After everyone had departed the unmarked stone the funeral had been held at, a glowing spark wrote on its surface: Jim Corrigan, Servant of God.
Hal Jordan, Spirit of Redemption
Hal Jordan, as the villain Parallax, died reigniting Earth's Sun. His spirit was consigned to Purgatory for his sins. During the Day of Judgement, where Asmodel, the fallen angel had merged with the Spectre to wage war on Heaven, Hell and Earth, a group of heroes attempted to get Corrigan to vacate Heaven and become the Spectre again. Corrigan however couldn't and wouldn't leave, since he was now at peace, Micheal however prompted the heroes to search Purgatory for a new host, something his superiors wasn't pleased with. While there, the group encountered many dead heroes, but eventually found Hal Jordan who was selected after hearing his plea for a chance to right the wrongs he committed as Parallax. Much to Batman's displeasure if not outrage that Jordan had been brought back instead of Corrigan, Jordan went to do his part, but was quickly joined by Neron, who had escaped Hell by hiding inside Superman. The demons Neron and Asmodel, along with Hal Jordan, merged and did battle inside of The Spectre for control of the entity. Each of the three were asked by the entity why they should be chosen. Hal declared that he was not worthy, for the crimes he had done while Asmodel reasoned how alike they were and Neron attempting to instill the belief that the Spectre was already Hell's greatest provider of souls. The Spectre, to punish Hal and to cleanse the spirit of Hal from Parallax , merged with this spirit. Unwilling to accept a mission of vengeance and wrath, Hal manipulated the entity of The Spectre to redeem himself--something that the spirit itself was against at times. Hal attempted to redeem other fallen souls during his time as The Spectre, such as Harvey Dent--only to learn that Harvey needed both sides of his life. He also attempted to overthrow Darkseid of Apokolips , but learned that he was unable to do so, as Darkseid had a greater purpose for being and as it was foretold, would only die at that hands of Orion, his son. Similar missions also took place, with Hal being guided by the spirit of Abin Sur, who was damned by giving Hal Jordan the ring. The Spectre entity, however, was becoming affected by Parallax, and the creature of fear was making twisted variations of the judgments made by The Spectre. Eventually, Hal was freed from Parallax, and The Spectre, his job done, left the ghost to be resurrected by Ganthet who guided Jordan back into his body, that had survived inside the Sun and retrieved by Kyle Rayner.
Infinite Crisis & One Year Later
Following Hal Jordan's return to life, the host-less Spectre was seduced by Jean Loring having become Eclipso due to Alexander Luthor's schemes to break down magic into a more chaotic form as a build up to Infinite Crisis. Eclipso convinced the Spectre that magic and its reality warping capabilities were an affront to God's creation, since it warped it, and that the only remedy was to destroy magic and all its practitioners. The Spectre waged a war against magic, destroying magical locations, raising entire dimensions and murdering and maiming hundreds of mystical practitioners including most of the Lords of Order and Chaos. It's actions would prompt the Enchantress to gather a group of mystics under the name of Shadowpact, to oppose the Spectre, out of everyone in the Oblivion Bar at the time, only the Nightmaster, Detective Chimp, Blue Devil, Nightshade and Ragman would join what was considered a suicide mission. Incredibly though, the Shadowpact had some success when they recruited Black Alice and faced the Spectre, first by rendering it powerless, but in finding it impossible to permanently destroy the Spectre, even with its own power, the Shadowpact managed to banish Eclipso to a non-decaying orbit around the sun. As the Spectre's powers returned to it however, it departed to battle the wizard Shazam and eventually the last Lord of Order: Nabu. Upon the mortal wounding of Nabu, the Presence was finally drawn to the Spectre and its actions and forced it to seek out its next host, Crispus Allen. The effect of the Spectre's misguided war was felt everywhere as the Tenth Age of Magic began with the death of Nabu and many mages found their craft changed, some gaining power, others finding it changed (such as Raven accidentally setting a bedpan on fire when she had attempted to heal the badly wounded Superboy) and some loosing them.
Allen however didn't want the job, so the Spectre would spend the next year brooding over its actions while remaining at Eclipso's side. The only break in this was Ralph Dibny being led to it by Felix Faust posing as the Helmet of Fate as part in a long quest to bring back his wife Sue, who the insane Jean Loring had accidentally murdered in an attempt to bring Ray Palmer closer to her. The Spectre temporarily possessed Ralph to meter out judgement on Jean for her crimes against both of them. Ralph had the idea to trap Jean in a sane state of mind while endlessly reviewing herself murdering Sue, but he could not go through with it. Knowing that this was how the Spectre regularly punished people, Ralph left the Spirit in disgust.
A long standing member of the Gotham City Police, Detective Crispus Allen was murdered by Jim Corrigan (unrelated to the previous host), a corrupt officer who thought Allen was onto him. At his own funeral, Allen was approached by the Spectre to take up the mantle, but refused to be part of it, thinking he would then be allowed to move on, as he already hated his spirit existence where he could do nothing but watch the world around him. The Spectre then told him that he would return in a year to see if Allen had changed his mind. Being unable to be seen, heard and touch, for the most part, Allen capitulated after the year and accepted, while the Spectre spent the year brooding over the paralyzed form of Eclipso orbiting the sun. Allens first task however proved to be his worst, as his youngest son had just killed Jim Corrigan for murdering his father, but had not been apprehended for it. Having been forced into his new role as The Spectre, Crispus finds it one of the least enjoyable things he's been a part of--especially The Spectre's notably morbid sense of humor in delivering judgment against people. Until a meeting with The Phantom Stranger, Crispus felt that he was, essentially, a worthless carry-on to the Spectre, still forced to watch horrible crimes unfold before he could step in and let the Spectre take vengeance. Though he has recently learned that he has the ability to manipulate the power of the entity whenever Spectre cannot, and has even begun to develop other abilities--such as the ability to touch. Crispus hates being Spectre and hates working for God in general, due to the fact that he was forced to kill his only son by god himself. Recent developments have caused The Spectre and Crispus Allen to have strong disagreements, though Allen feels at least partially bound by his job, even without any faith in God.
Eventually however, Allen learns to have faith during Darkseid's last attempt at ruling the Earth, where the biblical Cain manifested in Vandal Savage's body and sought revenge. Allen was separated from the Spectre by the Spear of Destiny, but chose to remain in active as his tenure so far half left him cold inside to almost everything. It would take the heroic attempt of wresting the Spear from Cain by Crispus' old colleague Renee Montoya (as the Question), the Huntress and three men who had murdered the mortal form of the Radiant, the Spirit of Mercy before Crispus came to understand that there was a plan for everything, when Renee used the Spear to resurrect his son.
Jim Corrigan is a Gotham City Police Detective whose fiancee is kidnapped, He is guided by The Phantom Stranger on the instructions of The Voice. He leads Jim Corrigan to the abandoned warehouse where she is being kept, but this turns out to be a trap. Jim Corrigan and his girlfriend are killed by the kidnappers and he is then transformed into the Spectre who accuses the Phantom Stranger of betraying him. As the Spectre is about to attack the Phantom Stranger, the Voice intervenes and sends the Spectre off to inflict his wrath on those who are more deserving of the Spectre's wrath.
It is revealed that the Voice chose Corrigan to be "the mirror of his desire for justice" (though Corrigan believes in vengeance) and imbued him with divine powers. Jim returns to work as a police detective in Gotham City but his rage causes him to practice vengeance rather than justice in his alter ego as the Spectre. The Phantom Stranger attacks Corrigan's police precinct, convinced that Corrigan was the one who kidnapped his family out of revenge.
After the two exchange blows physically and verbally, the Voice himself intervenes in the form of a Scottish Terrier (his sense of humor) and informs the Stranger of his mistake, setting him on the right path. The Voice also sets Corrigan straight on his duty, making him realize he is meant to exact justice, not wrath.
Batman calls in Jim Corrigan and Batwing to investigate Arkham Asylum because he believes something supernatural is going on and was already busy trying to end a violent gang war in Gotham. Jim and Batwing investigate and discover a demonic Deacon Blackfire commanding an army of corrupted humans and demons in the sewers beneath the Asylum
Major Story Arcs
During the years with his powers lessened by The Presence, The Spectre and, thus, Jim Corrigan, worked as a "Psychic Detective" with Madame Xanadu, who had taken a portion of The Spectre's power and manipulated it to give the illusion that Corrigan and The Spectre were separate entities. This power was also used to create several additional employees, who gave the impression of the organization being more than it was. Following this, and various revelations relating to it, Corrigan left the agency and wandered the Earth only to return to New York where he met Amy Beiterman (who becomes his love interest). Along the way, his powers returned as Madame Xanadu released what powers she held, following a brief stint as The Spectre. During this period, Azmodus returns, and Amy is killed by a serial murderer going by the name "Reaver", which sends The Spectre into a fury. Following Amy's death, Jim becomes emotionally distraught and lashes out at various people, even going so far as to destroy the country Vlatava, finding that its sins are too deep to simply wash away.
The Phantom Stranger, worried that The Spectre might end up destroying the Earth, pools together the team of Madame Xanadu, Zatanna Zatarra, Etrigan, and Dr. Fate in an attempt to possibly curb the obviously hostile spirit. During this battle, Eclipso returns, and manages to take control over The Spectre. After Jim retakes control of The Spectre, he forces Eclipso back into his crystal and sends him out into orbit. Jim then decides to take Reverend Richard Craemer as his spiritual adviser. Jim also played a large part in Michael Holt becoming the second Mr. Terrific, telling the distraught man of the original Mr. Terrific and his untimely death.
During the events of Final Night, The Spectre bound himself to Gaea, the spirit of the Earth, to keep her replenished until such a time that the sun was restored. The Spectre also played a major part in the event "The Haunting of America", wherein The Spectre sought pieces of an item called The American Talisman all the while attempting to remove them from the wrong hands. The combination of this event, as well as Final Night, prompted Jim/The Spectre to take periodic residence in the body of Nate Kane, a New York detective and former friend of Amy. It was during this time that Jim noticed himself distancing from The Spectre, ultimately deciding it was in his best interest to remove himself from the power and find his peace with Amy.
After trying to take over heaven, Asmodel is put in hell and is tortured by Neron . Rhyming demon Etrigan makes an offer with Asmodel. The Spectre is waiting for another soul to bond with, and Etrigan says he can bond Asmodel with the Spectre. Etrigan summons the Spectre, who kills Asmodel. Etrigan uses Asmodel's ashes to merge Asmodel with the Spectre. Asmodel bonds with the Spectre then gets his vengeance on Neron, turning him into glass. He then summons all of hell and attempts to have his vengeance by destroy everything in God's image, until there is only his. On Earth, some of the heroes try to stop him but their first attempt is futile and they are easily overpowered. Next, the Sentinels of Magic attempt to stop him. They are able to temporarily steal a portion of Asmodel's power and store it in a crystal ball. Weakened, Asmodel sends the demons of hell to try and break the crystal ball, so Asmodel can regain his powers. Although powerless, Asmodel is still able to silence the Phantom Stranger.
When Etrigan tries to take the ball, Madame Xanadu claims to have seen the future and breaks the crystal ball willingly. With his powers restored, Asmodel continues on his rampage. Hal Jordan attempts to stop him but is seemingly powerless against Asmodel and is turned into stained glass. Hal Jordan is revived by Dr. Fate and along with the Sentinels of Magic, and summons the Green Lantern Corp. who hold Asmodel off for a while. Captain Marvel then uses the Spear of Destiny to weaken the Spectre. Hal Jordan and Neron attempt to merge with the Spectre. A fight between Asmodel, Neron, and Hal ensues. They are stopped by the Spirit of Vengeance who decides to judge them and pick the best host. It chooses Hal Jordan who becomes the new host for the Spectre.
Day of Vengeance
Lacking a human host, a unstable Spectre goes on a rampage imposing draconian laws and punishing petty crimes with huge punishments. After being tricked into thinking that magic is against God's will, Spectre turns his attention to the magic community slaughtering many. During this time he also transformed the Phantom Stranger into a mouse, removing Madame Xanadu's eyes, trapping Dr. Fate in his Helmet and killing the wizard Shazam.
The Spectre is seen first fighting Blackbriar Thorn. Before fighting Blackbriar Thorn Spectre killed over 700 sorcerers. And destroyed 6 Atlantean sorcery schools. After killing Blackbriar Thorn he set the Mist forest on fire which gave that entire dimension it's magic source. When killing the 700 sorcerers he says he will stop when all magic is destroyed and only then will evil wither on a vine. Spectre then goes throughout the world killing people who did anything bad. Such as killing a person who stole 6 dollars from his mothers purse, a woman who cheated on her husband, a girl who spoke rudely to her father and a man who cheated on his taxes. He is flying when he hears a voice in his head, he makes her appear and it is Eclipso. Spectre starts out by getting rid of the big guns in the magic community. He turns Phantom Stranger into a mouse, teleports Dr. Fate into his helmet and blinds Madame Xanadu. He then started destroying places where magical types gather. Spectre is then seen fighting Captain Marvel.
He fights Captain Marvel and is winning until Enchantress gives Captain Marvel extra power which he use to fight Spectre. Spectre then tells Eclipso to fly them out before anyone sees them. Spectre tells Eclipso when he destroys all magic he will then kill himself being a being of almost pure magic. He comes to an island and start to fight Shadowpact only to get his powers taken away by Black Alice. Spectre then gets his power back and teleports to Wizard's place. Shazam tries to stop him but, Spectre just cuts the stream of magic he gets his from. Spectre then fights Wizard and kills him. In his final battle with no host, The Spectre does battle with Nabu and kills him. In killing Nabu, The Spectre causes the creation of the 10th age of magic, and is also shoved into the corpse of Crispus Allen as an act of judgment by The Presence.
During Darkseid's rise to power, Crispus Allen once again became disgruntled with his duty when tried to exact vengeance upon Libra for murdering Martian Manhunter, only to find that God has forbidden him from claiming Libra. Enraged, Crispus renounces God, but is, despite his objections, pulled away to his next victim: Renee Montoya, the Question. Spectre attempts to kill Question for a crime she didn't commit, stating that god knows, but just doesn't care, but is stopped by the Radiant, a spirit embodying God's mercy. After a heated discussion, they are attacked by minions of Darkseid, only for the spirits to find that they have no power over those under the control of the Anti-Life. They take shelter along with some survivors in a church, only to be attacked by another follower of Darkseid: Vandal Savage, now reborn as the biblical Cain.
Cain seeks vengeance upon the Spectre for branding him with the mark of Cain, and has in his possession the spear of Destiny, the only weapon which can harm him. After a brief battle, Cain uses the Spear to Separate Crispus Allen from the Spectre-Force, and make the Spectre his slave. He then commands Spectre to speak the Anti-Life equation with his godly voice, putting the whole world under Darkseid's power. However, Question and Huntress, protected from Anti-Life by Radiant, manage to wrestle the spear away from Cain. We then learn that because free will is God's greatest gift to mankind, the battle for free will must be decided by mortal hands, and this is why Spectre was powerless. Question accomplishes this when she uses herself to purify the spear and give it to the Spectre. Crispus Allen, his faith in God restored and him once again joined with the Spectre, uses it to undo the damage he has done enthralled, and delivers his judgment unto Cain. Following the events of Revelations, Spectre and Radiant appear to have retreated to limbo, as a group of mystic were later seen unsuccessfully attempting to summon him to battle Darkseid. The Spectre and Radiant also battled Mandrakk, attempting to prevent him from entering our universe, but were both defeated by the Dark Monitor.
During Blackest Night, a group of heroes (Zatanna, Blue Devil, and Phantom Stranger) inspect the grave of Boston Brand. When Black Lantern Pariah comes and warns the group that the world is now in danger before sending out a cluster of black lantern rings. The rings recruit Crispus Allen, as he is a dead being, into the Black Lantern Corps, forcibly binding the Spectre to Crispus's body. Black Lantern Spectre commandingly decides he wants Hal Jordan to return as Spectre. With the Spectre's transformation into a Black Lantern, the fate of the universe looked bleak. However, The Spectre was set free by Hal Jordan possessed by Parallax. Then Atrocitus tried to make him into a Red Lantern , but the Spectre overpowered the ring and told him that the true Spirit of Rage was not to be messed with.
Powers and Abilities
The Spectre is one of the most powerful magical and cosmic entities in the DC creation, capable of battling such universal foes as the Anti-Monitor and Parallax. While the Spectre's power unchecked is nearly unlimited and is capable of shattering universes, he is generally limited by the Presence to a lower level of power to prevent the power from corrupting it and its hosts. Despite his low showings due to mainly PIS, CIS and plot inconsistencies; Spectre has displayed incredible feats both with a human host and unbound. Some of the examples of the feats that were accomplished by his hosts include but not limited to; defeating Zero Hour Parallax (who was powerful enough to restore much of Pre-Crisis multiverse) , summoning etherical divine energies of a hundred universes to blast a child who was possessed by a reality warping demon, easily forming itself as a dimensional barrier that prevented two universes from colliding, overcoming the reality warping of a powerful demon lord and defeating him in its own realm in Hell and etc. Unbound Spectre's feats include but not limited to; easily beating Thunderbolt (A 5th dimensional being), leeching magic from everywhere in the universe, killing Lords of Order and Chaos without much trouble and most importantly depowering Mr Mxyzptlk, who is already powerful enough to easily wipe out the multiverse and etc. Since he is a virtually omnipotent being, he can have and has access to pretty much every power as it was stated by himself when he basically said ''Shazam'' and turned Captain Marvel back into Billy Batson. He usually applies flight, intangibility, invisibility, size manipulation and minor reality manipulation. But can apply more complex and powerful magicks and abilities as well, such as traveling between dimensions and universes, growing his astral body to a size that is bigger than a solar system and even as big as a universe, manipulating weather, draining life force, literally going into the peoples' psyche and souls that actually contain individual realities or universes and beating them, applying positive energy and anti matter force and etc.
The Spectre can be injured or slain by sufficient force of magic, such as the Spear of Destiny (Which is actually the bane of all beings that possess super powers, not just Spectre) due to the blood of Christ and Captain Marvel while being fed magical powers from nearly every source of magic remaining on Earth have been able to give Spectre a fight, but Captain Marvel only surprised him, and the trick will not work twice. When the human host moves on, the current Spectre will be no more, and the human spirit and the Divine Wrath will separate, the Spectre appears to remember very little of its time with its former hosts other than known they were there. The main limitation to the Spectre's powers are the rules that have been put upon it by the Presence, which forbids the Spectre from walking the mortal plane without a human host, there are certain characters that it cannot affect to any lasting degree, such as Nekron (Though Spectre was shown to easily affect beings that don't have a soul;like King of Tears and Neron), Darkseid (Who is protected by the Source) and Cain (who's death God has forbidden). The main difference between host and unbound Spectre is that, while unbound, he has shown to be able to leech magic from anywhere in the universe he is in, as shown in his fight with Nabu and Shazam. Also the psyche of the host can limit the efficiency and power of the Spectre as well. For example, Corrigan's desire to become a living man again greatly halved Spectre's power and as Phantom Stranger stated, that made him easily susceptible to beings that Spectre could have easily overcomed.
Also, while host-less, the Spectre was rendered powerless when Black Alice stole his powers temporarily, leaving it an intangible but indestructible ghost as even with his powers Alice was unable to destroy it.
Jim Corrigan has been the Spectre for many years, and his status as The Spectre, and time, have caused his faculties to wain. As such, he is no longer the swift judge that he once was, requiring an additional being to aid him in his judgment against the evil that he knows is coming, but cannot act against. The assistance comes from Norman McCay, a broken pastor who watches as the world he knew comes crumbling down, all the while his stoic companion stands and observes. In the end, McCay has The Spectre, if but for a moment, remember who he was as Jim Corrigan, and the two become friends.
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths (2010)
The Spectre appeared in his short on the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths two disc DVD. The short was written by Steve Niles.
Superman/Shazam!: Return of Black Adam
The Spectre appears a one of the many shorts in this movie (as detective Jim Corrigan). A wealthy man is killed by a bomb by his pool, and Corrigan investigates since he briefly dated the man's daughter. He deduces that a complex bank robbery was the reason he was killed, and begins with one of the dealers, who is also one of the best movie effect designers in L.A, with tons of horror movie statues and previous works. Spectre arrives at his office, controlling his horror movie creations (Werewolves, Zombies, Vampires and a Exorcism esque possessed creature). The man barely escapes into his warehouse, where he is crushed by his King Kong replica.
Later, a man who got a cut of the money is escaping to Mexico with his prized sports car. The Spectre forces him to crash, and then fixes and possesses his car to kill him. Later, Corrigan arrives at his former girlfriend's house. He deduces that she hired to people to kill her father so she can inherit his fortune, then gave a cut to the criminals (the movie designer and car driver). She attempts to seduce Corrigan, then shoots him when her efforts fail. The bullets pass through him, and he chases after her. He then forces all the money she stole into a mini tornado around her, and the papers cut her to death. The main story plot seems to be loosely base on that of Adventure Comics #432 in which three hired hands, hired by Maxwell Flood, kill Adrian Sterling by planting a bomb in his pool.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
The Spectre is seen in the teaser of the episode "Gorilla's in our Midst!". He teams with Batman against Professor Milo , who trained hundreds of rats to steal diamonds across Gotham for him. Batman easily defeats Milo, and explains to Spectre that mercy and justice are more effective then Vengeance. Spectre then turns Milo into solid cheese and releases all of his rats, enjoying his screams.
The Spectre appears in an episode of "Batman: The Brave and the Bold." This episode features Batman in a confrontation with Joe Chill, the murderer of his parents. The Spectre and Phantom Stranger then place a bet on whether or not Batman will take revenge and kill Joe Chill, with Spectre obviously betting that Batman will go through with it. Ultimately, Batman does not enact his vengeance and spares Joe Chill's life, only for Chill to "accidentally" fall off a roof and die. The Spectre is voiced by Mark Hamill.