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The Spectre is a fictional mystic entity and superhero who has appeared in numerous comic book published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in a next issue ad in More Fun Comics #51 (January 1940) and received his first story the next month, #52 (February 1940). He was created by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily, although several sources attribute creator credit solely to Siegel, limiting Baily to being merely the artist assigned to the feature.
The Spectre's career began in 1940 (More Fun Comics #52, February 1940), when hard-boiled cop Jim Corrigan was murdered. His spirit was refused entry into the afterlife, however, and, in the guise of a grey-skinned humanoid being in green cloak, gloves, trunks and boots was assigned to eliminate all evil from the world by an entity referred to only as "The Voice" (generally conceded to be God).
The Spectre began by seeking bloody vengeance against Corrigan's murderers in a grim, supernatural fashion. The Spectre proved quite popular, and was awarded charter membership in the first ever super-hero team, the Justice Society of America in All Star Comics. Another reward was the resurrection of the body of Jim Corrigan, from which the Spectre's ghostly form could emerge and function independently (seen in More Fun #75, January 1942).
During the mid-1940s, the popularity of superhero comics began to decline, and the Spectre suffered as a result. He was reduced to playing the role of "guardian angel" to a bumbling character called "Percival Popp, the Super Cop" (first appearance, More Fun #74, December 1941). Eventually, Jim Corrigan enlisted in the military to serve in World War II, and on his departure, the Spectre became "permanently" invisible (in More Fun #90, April 1944), becoming a secondary player in his own series. The feature's final installment was in #101 (January–February 1945), and the Spectre made his last JSA appearance at the same time, in All Star Comics #23 (Winter 1944–1945).
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