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Tuesday, 16 July 2019

The Spectre 5 - who killed Jim Corrigan?

Moench, Colan, and Mitchell begin a two part story in The Spectre 5 (Aug 87) that reveals just how Jim Corrigan got into the vessel in the locker in the first place. Garcia-Lopez provides the pensive cover.

As the issue opens, Jim Corrigan becomes aware that he never questioned how he wound up in the vessel that Kim Liang brought to Madame Xanadu. He even realizes that Xanadu must have made him not think about until now. So he sets out to solve the mystery of his own murder, and heads to his old apartment. He finds a note that he wrote and concealed in a hole in the wall, about "the call of Stygia," but this means nothing to him.

There is another plot thread that will weave together with the main one as the story goes on, about some mysterious subway murders. We see a racist workman encounter what seems to be the ghost of his mother, but it turns into a nasty racist stereotype, which kills him. 

Jim and Kim Liang head down the backstairs to Madame Xanadu's, and along the way share a quick kiss. Xanadu tells Jim about a visitor she had towards the end of the Crisis on Infinite Earths, who talked about how she killed a man with her kiss, emitting a red mist. This means nothing to Jim until Xanadu mentions the woman's name, Gina. At that point, he recalls how she hired him to find her missing lover, but wound up falling for Jim during the case. And, of course, Jim was the man she killed with her red mist breath. Xanadu goes on to explain how she helped the woman by controlling the minds of some workmen who took his body in the vessel and put it into the locker.

Jim contacts Pete Quarral, wanting his old case files, but winds up remembering more about the case on his own, anyway. He heads to Gina's home, but it was destroyed in the Crisis, and there is just a pit leading down into the subway. Jim heads down there, and Kim Liang shows up to join him as they encounter a red swirling mist. The Spectre leaves Jim's body, and has discovered the foundations of a skyscraper are being worn away. How does this all tie together? Find out next issue!

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