Real Name: Unrevealed; Spectre may be his actual surname (though it seems unlikely)
Identity/Class: Ghost (British citizen)
Occupation: Private detective
Group Membership: None
Enemies: Unidentified bag snatcher
Known Relatives: None
Base of Operations: His offices in an unidentified town or city, U.K.
First Appearance: It's Wicked!#1 (20th May 1989)
Powers/Abilities: As a ghost Inspector Spectre could float through solid objects, levitate off the ground and was slightly transparent. He could also compact himself into small spaces. It also appears he could turn solid objects intangible if he held them while he made himself that way, as he floated through a door while reading a newspaper, and it seems unlikely he had a ghost newspaper.
(It's Wicked#1 (fb) - BTS) - Inspector Spectre was a ghost and private detective. On the door of his offices, he had hung the sign "Unsolvable cases solved."
(It's Wicked#1) - Reading in the newspaper that there had been several handbag snatchings in his area, Inspector Spectre decided to investigate. Spotting a woman with a large handbag, the ghost figured it would be a prime target and hid inside. Sure enough, only moments later, a ruffian grabbed the handbag of its owner and raced off with it. However, when he opened it he was given a fright as Inspector Spectre emerged, informing him that he was nicked. Scared straight, he returned the handbag and handed himself over to a cop, confessing his crimes and demanding he be locked away in a nice, safe cell. Watching this covertly from nearby, Inspector Spectre congratulated himself on another successful case.
Comments: Created by unknown; sadly, It's Wicked! provided no writing or art credits for the strips within.
It's Wicked! was a strange departure for Marvel U.K. For those not used to British comics, while Britain did have some comics whose format was much more akin to American titles, the most common format for British comics was weekly titles split into multiple ongoing strips. Adventure series would usually be two or three pages per issue with an ongoing story, or story arcs, while humor strips were frequently one page and usually each issue's installment was self-contained. It was very common for humor strip characters in a given title to randomly pop up in another character's strip, as if they all lived in the same town, and breaking the fourth wall was likewise commonplace. Marvel U.K. was predominately adventure strips, based purely on the fact that they originally started with material reprinted from American Marvel titles. Even when Marvel U.K. began producing its own original material, they generally stuck to the adventure strip format, with humor strips normally only represented in three panel strips (similar in format to newspaper strips), usually on the inside front page. By the mid-80s there was tiny bit of variation on this, with humor strips like Lew Stringer's Combat Colin getting a whole page to work with. Then, out of the blue, and overlapping the time that Marvel U.K. made tentative ventures into American format titles like Sleeze Brothers and Death's Head, along came the polar opposite, It's Wicked!, a humor title that was clearly trying to mimic the art and layout of Britain's highly successful Beano or Dandy comics, full of single or two page strips with anarchic but child friendly humor. The headline character was Slimer, borrowed from Marvel U.K.'s licensed title The Real Ghostbusters, but the indicia made it clear that everyone else belonged to Marvel (so who knows, we might one day see these characters again, like we have for the Star Comics characters). It wasn't a successful experiment, lasting only four months, but that didn't stop Marvel U.K. trying again later the same year with The Bog Paper, whose literal toilet humor motif seemed to be aiming more at luring in the audience served by Britain's Viz than the Beano.
Unlike most of the strips in It's Wicked!, Inspector Spectre only appeared in one issue, the very first. Why the strip was abandoned so fast remains a mystery; it couldn't be reader feedback given the next few issues had to be already produced and at the printers to keep up with the title's weekly schedule.
Could this character be living on Earth-616,
the mainstream Marvel Universe? Given how little we see of him, there's
certainly nothing within his own strip to prevent that, and a ghost
detective wouldn't even be slightly out of place among the other
denizens of Earth-616. Heck, if Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal can show up,
there's hope for a return of Inspector Spectre yet!
How do I know he's British-based, other than
that he appeared in a British title? The cop that arrests the bag
snatcher is wearing the tall helmet worn by some British police.
This profile was completed 09/16/2021, but its publication was delayed as it was intended for the Appendix 20th anniversary's celebratory event.
Profile by Loki.
Inspector Spectre has no known connections to:
A small time crook who stole handbags by snatching them from their owners in the street and then running for it, the bag snatcher had the fright of his life when his latest acquisition proved to be hiding a ghost. The incident scared him so much that he returned the goods and handed himself to the authorities, informing them that the bag contained something awful and demanding he be house in a nice, safe cell.
images: (without ads)
It's Wicked!#1, p22, pan5 (main image)
It's Wicked!#1, p22, pan1-2 (his office door and passing through solid matter)
It's Wicked!#1, p22, pan4 (bag snatcher)
It's Wicked!#1 (20th May 1989) - Helen Stone (editor)
First Posted: 09/19/2021
Last updated: 09/16/2021
Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.
All other characters mentioned or pictured are ™ and © 1941-2099 Marvel Characters, Inc. All Rights Reserved. If you like this stuff, you should check out the real thing!
Please visit The Marvel Official Site at: http://www.marvel.com
Special Thanks to www.g-mart.com for hosting the Appendix, Master List, etc.!
Back to Characters