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NO. 799
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SECRET of the EIGHTH SUPERMAN - PART 8 of 8
CONCLUSION -- THE SECRET REVEALED!
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Part 8 of 8: BEYOND THE SINISTER BARRIER

In this series, reader, we have seen seven Superman imitators. This issue, we go beyond the sinister barrier to reveal the secret of the Eighth Superman imitator... THE SPECTRE.

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The Spectre is former detective Jim Corrigan, a murdered detective who was brought back to life as a powerful spirit being called THE SPECTRE. As the ad above mentions, the Spectre was written and created by the author of Superman, namely Jerry Siegel. The Spectre was like a ghostly version of Superman. Both characters had similar missions...
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When the Golden Age Spectre was "revived" in the Silver Age... author Gardner Fox "borrowed" the title from another story, and that story also inspired Murphy Anderson's cover.
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During the "Beyond The Sinister Barrier" story, Spectre mentions that while the forces of evil have been at work for centuries, so have the forces of GOOD, as exemplified by...
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First issue of The Spectre's own title...
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The Gardner Fox/Murphy Anderson generally fought cosmic-level menaces, and he was portrayed as a figure who brought divine justice -- a deviation from the character's original role as an agent of divine VENGENCE.

But the Ghostly Guardian was returned to his retribution-loving roots in a memorable series of stories by Michael Fleisher and Jim Aparo. Pictured below, the original art for the first page in that series, which ran in ADVENTURE COMICS.
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The Fleisher/Aparo Spectre was NOT shy about hunting down criminals, and visiting upon them a vengence so brutal it shocked the comic-reading world...
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Two of Jerry Siegel's co-creations met when Superman ran into the Spectre -- literally -- in DC COMICS PRESENTS #29. The Ghostly Guardian materialized out of nowhere to prevent the Man of Steel (who was trying to save an unconscious Supergirl) from penetrating a barrier protecting the great beyond...
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Superman failed to penetrate the sinister barrier -- but don't worry, reader, Robby won't fail. Nothing can stop my DIAL. Get ready! We are about to reveal the secret of the eighth Superman! It starts with young Jerry Siegel.

Jerry Siegel grew up in Cleveland. His father owned a clothing store. One night, a robber broke into the store while Mr. Siegel was still there. The stress proved too much for him, and he died of a heart attack during the robbery. Jerry hadn't even reached his teens yet.

Pictured below, the scene as depicted by Ross MacDonald (imitating the artistic style of Superman co-creator Joe Shuster in Marc Tyler Nobleman's BOYS OF STEEL (2008, Knopf).

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NO! NO! It wasn't fair! It wasn't fair! The man who broke into his father's store might just as well have killed him outright! That man was a CRIMINAL and a murderer. That man deserved to DIE...
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-- and WORSE.
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MUCH, MUCH WORSE...
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HE DESERVED...
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THE WAGE OF SIN IS DEATH!
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EXCELLENT!

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DIAL B for BLOG #800

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