Of all the surprises in “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” one of the biggest had Oliver Queen temporarily gain the powers of the Spectre from Jim Corrigan in the afterlife to turn the tide of battle against the Anti-Monitor. And while Oliver may have sacrificed himself to use the last bit of Spectre Force within himself to undo the Anti-Monitor’s damage and merge several worlds to create Earth-Prime, the Spectre should still play a role in the Arrowverse moving forward — just bonded to a different human host to allow the Green Arrow to enjoy his much-deserved eternal rest.
As the Spirit of Vengeance, the Spectre traverses the DC Universe to carry out his own lethally twisted sense of justice upon evildoers, often in macabre ways matching their respective crimes. In the comics, the Spectre answers only to God has usually been bonded with murdered police detective Jim Corrigan, with a human host necessary to keep the Spirit of Vengeance from going on an uncontrollable rampage as seen during Infinite Crisis. Later appearances have seen Green Lantern Hal Jordan bonded to the Spirit of Vengeance as well as murdered Gotham City Police detective Cris Allen.
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A previous incarnation of Corrigan had been introduced in the Arrowverse during the single season of John Constantine’s short-lived solo series on Fox. Introduced as a New Orleans police detective, Corrigan teamed up with Constantine and his companion Zed on two separate occasions. While Corrigan was spared his untimely end over the course of the series, Zed would receive visions of his murder and subsequent rebirth as the Spectre as Constantine helped influence Corrigan to exercise lethal force more openly while on the job. It’s unclear if this Corrigan still exists following the creation of Earth-Prime but a precedent has been set.
It’s also important to note that this is not the same version of Jim Corrigan that the heroes of the Arrowverse had encountered during the crossover in the afterlife and gave his Spectre Force powers temporarily to Oliver. Constantine makes the brief observation that the Corrigan they met with hailed from a different universe, meaning the Spectre Force hadn’t been completely consumed by Oliver’s final battle against the Anti-Monitor and subsequent restoration of the multiverse. And while this leaves the door open for Constantine’s old friend to finally inherit the Spectre Force, another classic Arrowverse character could potentially make the supernatural transformation after bonding to the Spirit of Vengeance.
The Spectre has historically chosen fallen crimefighters as its host body, usually murdered police detectives. The most likely candidate among fallen police officers in the Arrowverse would be Quentin Lance, the one-time Mayor of Star City and father of Laurel and Sara Lance. Murdered by Ricardo Diaz at the end of Arrow Season 6, a resurrected Quentin in the form of the Spectre would haunt both Sara and Laurel, especially should the planned spinoff series starring Laurel assuming the mantle of Black Canary to defend Star city once again take off.
Another candidate to become the Spectre would be Joe West, a career police detective, father of Iris West-Allen and Wally West and Barry Allen’s surrogate father figure on The Flash. Joe has largely taken a backseat on the popular Arrowverse series as new superheroes have joined Team Flash to protect Central City. If Joe were to be murdered, it would send shockwaves across Team Flash as the West family patriarch would fall in the line of duty. And as Barry would grapple with the loss of another parental figure, Joe’s resurrection as the Spirit of Vengeance would likely unnerve the Scarlet Speedster and Kid Flash even more as Joe would return darker and more unforgiving than ever before, tasking Team Flash with reminding the Spectre of his forgotten humanity.
There are a lot of different directions for the Arrowverse to take should it decide to further incorporate the Spectre further into its shared television universe. Jim Corrigan and his history with John Constantine had already been established long before the Crisis as well as the presence of alternate universe Spectres existing in the afterlife. But the Arrowverse could take a much different direction with its established characters and give one of them the nod to become its own distinct incarnation of the Spectre. Oliver’s temporary ascension during the Crisis had proved such a radical shift could work. And as the heroes still acclimate to Earth-Prime, the Spectre’s legacy looms heavily over the new reality with the possibility for a new Spirit of Vengeance to arise.
All five episodes of “Crisis on Infinite Earths” are set to be included with the Blu-ray releases of Arrow: The Eighth and Final Season and Arrow: The Complete Series as a special limited edition bonus disc. The Blu-rays are slated for release on April 28.
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