Justice League Unlimited #37
DC Comics (November, 2007)
WRITER: Matt Wayne
PENCILER: Min S. Ku
INKER: Jeff Albrecht
COLORING: Heroic Age
LETTERER: Mike Sellers
EDITOR: Rachel Gluckstern
The Spectre has separated himself from Jim Corrigan and is going after criminals already in prison and even members of the Justice League when they try to stop him. Deadman, with Jim’s help, takes Batman and Hawkgirl to visit his master, the spirit of the Universe Rama Kushna. She agrees to help but wants to see why Batman’s vengeance is tamer than even the Spirit’s usual style, which means forcing Batman to relive the events of his parents’ murder. Thus she allows Deadman to take over the Spectre, which along with Doctor Fate solving the magical mishap that caused the Spectre to go crazy, allows Jim the chance to reclaim the Spectre.
What they got right: The Spectre’s brand of karma payback (I’ve often questioned his status as God’s “spirit of wrath” given his style versus the Biblical God he claims to come from) is not always a good fit for kids comics but the story does a good job working around it (though I’d be surprised if he didn’t have his fish fry…with criminals he turned into fish and put on a frying pan just before the story cuts away–yet they say nobody was hurt later). The story overall is pretty good.
What they got wrong: By this point seeing Batman’s origin is so old hat that I’m pretty sure a future generation will know the story while already in the womb. His style of vengeance versus the Spectre’s isn’t even important to the story. It’s like a theme that was forced into it.
Recommendation: A decent enough tale worth checking out.