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SPECTRAL

Real Name: David "Dave" Castiglione

Identity/Class: Extradimensional (Earth-93060/Ultraverse) human mutate

Occupation: Adventurer;
   formerly baker, business partner

Group Membership: Strangers (Atom Bob (Bob Hardin), ElectroCute, Grenade, Lady Killer, Teknight, Yrial, Zip-Zap)

Affiliations: Dr. Beniamino, Choice, Mr. DiStefano, Captain Christopher Dugan, Empire-7, Entity, Hardcase, Henrietta Hawkins (as Light Being), Bill Kern, Mantra (Lukasz), Marilee, Mike, Night Man (Johnny Domino), Prime (Kevin Green), Prototype (Jimmy Ruiz), Captain Jacob Rome, Sandy, Supra, (all Earth-93060)

Enemies: Aladdin, Chief Aula, Bastinado and his demons, Boneyard and his wives, Boneyard's elite guard, Brazen, Byter, Deathwish, Dirt Devil, Foxfire (John Reynolds), Gangsta, Generator X, Grip, Gaius "Guy" Julius Hunt, J.D. Hunt, J.D. Hunt's bodyguards, Mr. Leopold, Lightshow, Notch, NuWare, Omega Team (Gun-Nut, Needler, Trouble), Pilgrim (Bob Hardin), Powerhouse, Quattro (Book, Death Dance, Gate, Meat Hook), Rafferty, Raiders (Centipede, Gecko, Jolly Roger, Sandblast, Sangre, Scar, Yardarm), Rodent, "space station aliens", T.N.T.N.T. (Naiad, Neuronne, Taboo, Torso, Tugun, Tyrannosaurus), Waddell, War Eagle, Zara (all Earth-93060)

Known Relatives: None

Aliases: None

Base of Operations: San Francisco, USA (Earth-93060) 

First Appearance: The Strangers#1 (June, 1993)

Powers/Abilities: After gaining his super ("ultra") powers, David Castiglione can completely envelope himself at will in a sheath of individual colored flames; these flames span the spectrum of light and each empower him with different abilities. He usually chooses yellow flame. The flames do not burn him or his clothes. The properties of each flame color are:
- Red flame: Provides super strength (about three times standard human) but with near-uncontrollable berserker rage. It generates no heat.
- Orange flame: Generates hot fire up to intense heat that can melt metal at very close proximity. He can shoot flaming blast from his hands. It appears to make him lighter (but not flight).
- Yellow flame: Enables flight with speeds of up to about 100 mph at full concentration. It generates no heat. He shot a yellow blast from his hands on at least one occasion although its effect is unrevealed.
- Green flame: Generates growth in organic matter, including human tissue (for faster healing) and plant life. It burns cold and generates no heat.
- Blue flame: Burns underwater with no heat, allowing him to survive immersed indefinitely and he can speak while underwater. It appears he can generate a slipstream around himself for faster propulsion.
- Indigo flame: Enables him to survive in a vacuum, as well as create a bubble atmosphere; this can be extended to a sheath around a person if they stay within a radius of about 30'.
- Violet flame: Provides a protective sheath that makes him resistant to external attacks, including acid and radiation, and he feels no physical pain. This can be radiated out to form a protective bubble (see comments) about 15' in diameter. If this protection includes his internal body is unrevealed, but seems unlikely.
He wears a close-fitted body suit (apart from exposed head) while on missions with the Strangers and not aflame. He has basic fighting skills and keeps himself fit. Castiglione is also an astute business operator and baker. He is compassionate and caring, often being the unifying factor in the Strangers. He is an out and proud gay man.

Height: 5'10" (by approximation)
Weight: 170 lbs. (in human form, by approximation)
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Brown

History:

(The Strangers#1 (fb) - BTS) - David Castiglione ran a successful small family bakery with a shop front. As a gay man, he was out to his friends.

(The Strangers#19 (fb) - BTS) - Castiglione saw several of his friends die from AIDS.

(The Strangers#1) - Castiglione was on a San Francisco tram one Thursday morning on his way to work. Two fellow passengers (Bob Hardin and Hugh Fox) took action against the excessively sexual behavior by passenger J.D. Hunt and his (secretly sex android) Candy; Castiglione helped Hardin and Fox throw him off. An instant later,  the tram was hit by the lightning-like "Jumpstart" effect, which would later trigger superpowers in its 59 passengers. The tram brakes failed and hit a car driven by Johnny Domino (later Night Man). They waited for ambulances and to report to police.

   Castiglione arrived later at the bakery and passed a free loaf to regular low-income customer Mr. DiStefano. Alone inside the shop, Castiglione's body suddenly but briefly erupted in green flame. Shocked and concerned, he later saw Dr. Beniamino, assuring him he practiced safe sex to avoid AIDS. Hearing of an incident at the tram accident location, Castiglione rushed over and found sorceress Yrial seemingly menacing onlookers and battling fellow former passengers also mutated with powers (transmuter Hardin, shrapnel-shooting Fox, sharpshooter Elena La Brava, speedster Leon Balford, plus electricity-firing android Candy). Castiglione joined them and eventually Yrial fled. The police arrived but Balford whisked his fellow ultras away. The six ultras compared notes; Castiglione tried out yellow flame, which enabled flight. Deciding to stay a team and pursue the sorceress, they focused on the unusual cloud over San Francisco. La Brava took them to the airport to her private plane.

(The Strangers#2) - Disoriented in the cloud, Castiglione risked jumping out the plane, relying on his yellow flame to keep him aloft. Discovering the jungle land of Sky Island in the protective cloud, Castiglione guided the plane to landing. But they were all soon captured and bound, their powers manifested so far all negated, while Yrial and chiefs Aula and Zara debated whether to remain a hidden people given the sudden rise in super-powered humans. Castiglione tried red flame, which triggered super-strength and rage that led to their breaking free. Disoriented by his red rage, Spectral swore not to use that color again. Eventually an understanding was reached with Aula, despite Zara's protests, and Yrial was assigned to study and help the ultras. The group decided to remain a team, calling themselves the Strangers, and seek answers to their changes and fellow former passengers.

(The Strangers#3 (fb)) - Back on ground, the Strangers hid in Hardin's parents' home where they discussed their powers over dinner and Castiglione explored other flame colors and powers. The team decided on their individual codenames (Spectral (Castiglione), Atom Bob (Hardin), ElectroCute (Candy), Grenade (Fox), Lady Killer (La Brava), Zip-Zap (Balford)). La Brava, also a successful fashion designer, created costumes for them. Yrial kept her name and original clothes.

(The Strangers#3) - Wanting to protect his secrets, vengeful J.D. Hunt sent the villainous ultra team T.N.T.N.T. (Naiad, Neuronne, Torso, Tugun, Tyrannosaurus) after the Strangers. Initially almost overwhelmed, the team fought back. Castiglione used his blue flame to chase Naiad underwater and incapacitate her. Victorious, the Strangers introduced themselves to the quickly assembled media.

(Hardcase#4 (fb) - BTS) - Suspicious of a connection between J.D. Hunt and the Aladdin ultras they had just fought, the Strangers sought help from prominent ultra Hardcase.

(Hardcase#3) - The Strangers arrived at Hardcase's mansion, where the hero and his girlfriend Choice had just returned from a battle.

(Hardcase#4) - Aggressively prepared for further fighting, Hardcase and Choice calmed down when they realized the Strangers were there peaceably. They discussed Aladdin's connections with ultras and decided to join forces investigating an Aladdin secret base at Groom Lake, Nevada. Nearing the site, they split into three teams for reconnaissance, but were all incapacitated by Aladdin ultra agents (Dirt Devil, Foxfire, Grip, War Eagle); Yrial and Spectral were knocked out by fiery flyer Foxfire's air-depleting vacuum.

(The Strangers#4) - The Strangers, Hardcase and Choice were imprisoned inside a specially designed holding pen with a force field that resisted any direct attack from their powers. Senior Aladdin agent Mr. Leopold told them they would only gain freedom by joining Aladdin but they all refused. Lady Killer was inadvertently injured by Grenade's impetuous blast at the force field and Spectral tried using his green flame to repair bone and healed her. Grenade and Hardcase used their powers against each other to bring down the force field and the freed heroes fought Aladdin forces. Spectral melted the edges of a door behind them to provide more time to escape but eventually Aladdin forces caught up with them in the labyrinthine base. Spectral chose a rematch against Foxfire and used his yellow flame blast to blow out Foxfire's flames. A truce was reached between Aladdin and the Strangers (plus Hardcase and Choice) to keep out of each other's affairs.

(The Strangers#5) - After receiving emergency communication pagers from Lady Killer, the Strangers went separate ways for personal time. In civilian guise, Spectral visited his friend Sandy in hospital, who was in the last stages of AIDS. Sandy told him many recognized him as Spectral but it didn't bother either. Spectral made time to see Sandy to see if he could heal Sandy of AIDS using his green flame, but inadvertently accelerated Sandy's condition and he died. Spectral, having ignored the Strangers emergency call to help Sandy, finally rushed to help them against the near-undefeatable death-dealing ultra Deathwish. Seeing the weakness, Spectral used his green flame to make the villain grow beyond his ability to support his own existence and Deathwish seemingly perished. Afterward, Spectral revealed he was gay to the group and they remained supportive of him as team members.

(The Strangers#6) - The Strangers cleaned up the damaged street after the battle while Deathwish's unconscious human host was ferried to hospital where Deathwish was reborn. The villain again confronted the Strangers but, having learned from the previous fight, was no longer affected by Spectral's flame. The team were overwhelmed until Yrial intervened by releasing the power of the Light Being within nurse Henrietta Hawkins and villain was vanquished.

(Break-Thru#1) - Aladdin's Dr. Rains called in the Strangers, specifically Spectral for his color-based powers, for their views on the sudden unusual light-shifting activity of Amber Hunt, suspended in the sky, which caused deranged behavior in many people. In his green flame form, Spectral saw that Amber's shifts in light went beyond visible light, with eventual ultraviolet threatening lethal radiation on Earth. The Strangers and Mantra flew up to investigate Amber's situation and, despite Prototype (Jimmy Ruiz)'s interference, Mantra determined it was the Entity on the Moon calling for assistance through Amber. Powerful hidden manipulator Rex Mundi sent his villainous teams Quattro (Book, Death Dance, Gate, Meat Hook) and Omega Team (Gun-Nut, Needler, Trouble) to eliminate Amber but his counterpart the Alternate sent in the Solution team (Dropkick, Outrage, Shadowmage, Tech) to join the Strangers and other heroes to protect Amber. With the Moon glowing to match Amber, the heroes next course was to travel to the Moon and help the Entity.

(Prototype#5) - Flaming orange, Spectral was at the front of the Strangers breaking into J.D. Hunt's base where they commandeered and launched his nuclear-powered space shuttle, intending to use it to go to the Moon, but it was preprogrammed to go to a Russian satellite instead. Meanwhile, J.D. Hunt had Prototype (plus heroes Empire-7 and Supra) pursue them in an ex-Russian rocket. Automatically docking, the Strangers investigated the space station; Spectral used his protective violet flame. They found it seemingly abandoned until they were attacked by savage space aliens that could quickly reconstitute themselves. Prototype's team arrived to find the Strangers constrained in the aliens' tentacles.

(The Strangers#7) - Prototype's team helped free the Strangers and they soon discovered the aliens' slime was lethally corrosive. The heroes fled into a dead end but bickering led to Prototype unintentionally breaching the hull. His team rapidly suffocating, Spectral tried indigo flame; its radiance created a protective air bubble. Atom Bob sealed the breach and the heroes split into three to destroy the hungry aliens and find escape. Prototype and the Strangers evacuated the space station on the shuttle while Supra and Empire-7 perished.

(Break-Thru#2) - The Strangers piloted the shuttle to the Moon, where they joined Hardcase, Choice and the Solution. A battle soon raged: the heroes versus and Quattro and Omega Team, although the enhanced Prime was knocked back and secretly healed by Mantra, who found out the Entity's secret. While the heroes addressed the chaos unwittingly unleashed by the distressed Entity, Rex Mundi's two teams fled. Several heroes downloaded data from the Entity but it exploded before all could be retrieved. The heroes realized that the Entity initiated many Jumpstarts through history on Earth, seeking help for its crashlanded predicament on the Moon. Spectral felt that many of the powers from their Jumpstart were specifically targeted to facilitate travel to the Moon (such as his indigo flame to survive in vacuum). He also wondered how much of humankind's history had been influenced: civilization, the Renaissance, and which influential individuals?


(The Strangers#8) - The Strangers left in the stolen Aladdin shuttle and landed it at Edwards Air Force Base, where Mr. Leopold confronted them but was dismissed by Air Force Captain Dugan. Spectral later privately confronted Dugan that he'd just helped a gay man (the US military embroiled in controversial don't ask/don't tell rulings at that time), but Dugan assured him not all military were so conservative. The Strangers left only to be confronted by Chief Aula, who demanded Yrial return to Sky Island. Yrial initially resisted with the Strangers' help, but acquiesced and left with Aula. The Strangers followed and landed by plane. Yrial considered herself a Strangers member and escaped with them but stopped as her people gave chase and she surrendered, having secretly given a clue about her people to Lady Killer. She accepted imprisonment in a mystical stone and the Strangers left. Finding the clue, they all resolved to help Yrial.

(The Strangers#9) - The Strangers (except Yrial) rejoined each other in the Caribbean to investigate Yrial's clue but were attacked by ultra pirates, Scar and his Raiders, who didn't realize their targets were ultras as well. During the opening spar, Spectral blasted Scar, not realizing that the pirate would absorb his power for an hour. Depowered, Spectral swam to a nearby island where he was attacked by the other three Raiders. Atom Bob freed him but further fighting saw Jolly Roger knock out Spectral. Atom Bob realized he could transform people and duped Scar into attacking his own crew. The Strangers left victorious, having alerted the Coast Guard to the bound pirates. But Atom Bob realized then the extent of his power was virtually limitless.

(The Strangers#10) - The Strangers continued searching information for Yrial; Spectral burnt blue aiding ElectroCute in the underwater search. The two chanced upon a portal to a demon dimension and both were dragged inside by demons, Spectral's range of flames having no effect. The other Strangers changed into costume and followed through the breach. Their ultra powers didn't work except for Atom Bob's, who created magic that matched the demon realm's ruler Bastinado. A furious fight of raw magical power left Bastinado defeated (and Atom Bob secretly with the taste of real power and drive to change himself as the most powerful Stranger of all, creating the mysterious identity of Pilgrim seeking to dismantle the Strangers and eventually gain more power). The Strangers rushed to escape, but instead fell off a deep cliff.

(The Strangers#11) - All falling were powerless except Zip-Zap, whose hyper-metabolism saw his powers returned earlier and he generated a vortex that slowed their descent, landing on the enormous celestial body the Wold. Zip-Zap scouted the patchwork domains while the others slowly recovered. His powers restored, Spectral wanted to fly and also explore but leader Lady Killer forbade it. They waited for several days for Zip-Zap, who found the Entity and was told where Sky Island was located. He rushed back, gathered the Strangers in a vortex and zoomed them back through the demon dimension and breach to Earth.

(The Strangers#12) - The Strangers stormed Sky Island, confronting Chiefs Aula and Zara with the truth. Recognizing the world beyond had changed, Aula freed Yrial and the Strangers left united.

(The Strangers#13) - Back in their base, police Captain Rome sought the Strangers' help against the villainous Boneyard, who had hijacked a flight to gain the heroes' attention to secure their help locking away the demons they had unintentionally released. At the airport tarmac, the Strangers were joined by sorceress Mantra, enemy of Boneyard, and a dramatic fight ensued. But powerful Boneyard teleported away with Atom Bob. Mantra directed the Strangers to Atom Bob's new location and they flew there with magical help from Yrial and Mantra, but were attacked by Boneyard's wives and elite guard (including Notch). Their foes vanquished, Mantra and the Strangers continued their pursuit of Boneyard and Atom Bob. On the way, Mantra (the male mage Lukasz trapped in a female body) politely asked Spectral about being gay. They soon found Boneyard but a new breach allowed Bastinado and other demons to come through.

(Mantra II#12) - The Strangers helped Mantra fight Boneyard and his minions. Spectral used his powers to create a vacuum to subdue the rogue demons still loose in the vicinity. Boneyard and the demons were banished through portals.

(The Strangers#20) - Spectral, Lady Killer, ElectroCute, Grenade and Zip-Zap discussed the positives of the trading card deal for the Strangers' positive profile and income.

(The Strangers#15) - At their base, the Strangers reviewed those 16, including themselves, whom they knew were ultras from the cable car Jumpstart. They then went their separate ways on personal matters.

(The Strangers#16) - Atom Bob and Grenade held a block party for friends and key guests to give back to their Oakland neighborhood. All the Strangers attended except Spectral, who kept to his personal life.

(The Strangers#24 (fb) - BTS) - At some point, Spectral began a relationship with Bill Kern.

(The Strangers#17) - Despite Lady Killer having okayed members having private lives, Spectral was chided for being late for a Strangers meeting at their headquarters to discuss strategy against the nefarious and mysterious Pilgrim, who had threatened individual Strangers and gathered villains. As it finished, Spectral noted that the others ignored that he was left alone while they coupled up. Days passed and the Strangers joined Lady Killer's new fashion line launch, acting as security, but the ultra killer Rafferty stealthily broke through, almost murdering Lady Killer, but Spectral saved her. Atom Bob disappeared, replacing himself with a construct, and suddenly appeared as Pilgrim with Byter, and asked Rafferty to join his army against the Strangers. Rafferty refused and it led to a staged fight between Pilgrim and the Atom Bob construct behind a force field during which Rafferty escaped (after killing the quiet ultra Auntie).

(The Strangers#19 (fb)) - Pilgrim offered the Strangers a vague clue as to his real identity, which they misinterpreted in the heat of battle.

(The Strangers#17) - Spectral, Grenade and ElectroCute blasted Pilgrim's force field; a blinding flash hid Hardin's change from Pilgrim back to Atom Bob, and the Atom Bob construct to a Pilgrim construct, so as to confuse the Strangers. Atom Bob then made it appear that the Pilgrim construct and Byter teleported away. Spectral healed Atom Bob's apparent arm injury from Byter.

(Prime I#21) - Spectral was amongst several Strangers interviewed by reporters asked for comment on Prime's seeming death at the hands of Rafferty.

(The Strangers#18) - Time passed and the now-suspicious Strangers continued trying to work out who Pilgrim was, possibly even one of their own. Spectral patrolled the skies with Yrial over the bay area near their pier base. The Strangers united at their base but were caught in a surprise and coordinated attack by Scar and his Raiders. Jolly Roger snuffed out Spectral's yellow flame with his electricity-blasting pistol. Seeing the Raiders' imminent victory and the Strangers all knocked out, Atom Bob feigned unconsciousness and secretly transformed into Pilgrim elsewhere, gathering his private army (Brazen, Byter, Gangsta, Generator X, Lightshow, Powerhouse, Rodent, Zara) while leaving an inert Atom Bob construct behind. The Raiders readied to kidnap the Strangers but Pilgrim and his allies warped in, quickly defeating and expelling them. As the Strangers recovered, Pilgrim promised his army each a Stranger to slay the next day and they teleported away. Again, Pilgrim secretly turned into the real Atom Bob, who left a distracting clue about the sentient android Teknight. The Strangers set off to find Teknight, thinking he was Pilgrim in disguise.

(Night Man: The Pilgrim Conundrum Saga) - The Strangers found, fought and defeated Teknight but Night Man swung in and let their would-be foe speak. Teknight was searching for the Strangers to warn them of Pilgrim's nefarious plot to destroy the Strangers, having planted seven bombs around San Francisco to force the Strangers to work separately. Night Man helped each Stranger as they confronted one of Pilgrim's army; Spectral fought Lightshow, but the two were too evenly matched. With Night Man's appearance and distraction, Spectral chose red berserker flame as a last option, forcing Night Man's intervention to stop Spectral's fury, but this left all three unconscious. Elsewhere, Yrial discerned the pattern of the bombs' locations and, with all of Pilgrim's army defeated, the Strangers homed in on her (while the quickly recovered Night Man dismantled most of the bombs), although the Atom Bob there was just another construct while the real Hardin was at Strangers HQ.

(The Strangers: The Pilgrim Conundrum Saga) - Believing the final bomb to be at the Strangers base, they raced back to find Pilgrim there with Byter and a bomb. Yrial's magic forced Pilgrim's retreat and secret transformation back to Atom Bob. By now, Night Man had determined the identity of Pilgrim, shocking the other Strangers that it was Bob Hardin. With his secret revealed. Hardin transformed into Pilgrim and gloated. The Strangers, Night Man and Teknight all pursued and battled the power-mad Pilgrim to Coit Tower, wearing him down, until he transmuted trash into intense radiation. Spectral cast up a protective bubble (see comments). But eventually Pilgrim fell and was made unconscious by Yrial's magic. All the Strangers were devastated by Hardin's treachery.

(The Strangers#19) - Back at their base, the remaining Strangers were all trying to cope with the betrayal of their teammate. Spectral tried to console Grenade, who was angry and lashed out at Spectral. But Spectral remained calm and felt that as long as Hardin was alive, he could be saved. Spectral tried to keep the emotional team from falling apart. Soon after, the other Strangers heard Teknight's pledge to help after he saved her from Grip and they welcomed Teknight as a new teammate.

(The Strangers#21) - At the airport, Lady Killer and Yrial took Atom Bob's inert body onboard a plane to Andorra. ElectroCute raced ahead to take the wheel of the car for a carefree drive but a mafia-planted bomb severely damaged her android body. The remaining Strangers took her to J.D. Hunt at NuWare (where she had been created) and, quickly overcoming Hunt's enhanced bodyguards, aggressively asked J.D. Hunt to repair her and he complied. Spectral and Zip-Zap held J.D. Hunt hostage while Grenade and Teknight monitored ElectroCute's repair elsewhere.

(The Strangers#22) - J.D. Hunt's son Guy Hunt confronted Spectral and Zip-Zap at the Stranger's base, dismissing their secretary Marilee. Guy Hunt threatened to dispose of the three now-captured Strangers at the NuWare base, so Zip-Zap and Spectral rushed to NuWare, Spectral choosing to go by water. Once at NuWare, they freed Atom Bob, Teknight and ElectroCute while blasting away more bodyguards and Waddell, the manipulative scientist who reassembled the android. Back at Strangers base, Spectral had his friend Mike make the final repair to ElectroCute and she kissed both, surprised, in thanks.

(The Strangers#24) - After leaving the comatose Atom Bob at the Andorran clinic and battling the voodoo menace of Taboo, Lady Killer and Yrial returned and rejoined their team at their pier base, comparing adventures. Swearing vengeance, Taboo pursued the duo and assembled an updated T.N.T.N.T. villainous team (Taboo, Naiad, Tugun, Neuronne, Tyrannosaurus). Several days later. the Strangers reconvened and Spectral introduced his partner Bill Kern, but T.N.T.N.T suddenly attacked. Each villain targeted a Stranger and Spectral incapacitated Tyrannosaurus by using his flame to suck away the air, but was knocked out in turn by Taboo. The villains fled in a helicopter, but with the Strangers' flying members still unconscious, they were unable to give chase. Later, the Strangers, all recovered, wondered on the new T.N.T.N.T.'s future.

Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, Rick Hoberg, Tim Burgard, Darick Robertson.

The reboot of the Ultraverse in the Black September event ended the Strangers run and virtually all the members disappeared, although their key ally Night Man continued and Zip Zap guest-starred in a speed race in Prime II#10 (Zip Zap's membership in the Strangers was recognized by the public, but it wasn't clear if the group was still around or disbanded). The afterword in the final issue, Strangers #24, included finished covers for issues #25-27 in a possible 3-part storyline where the Strangers appear to encounter aliens. They definitely receive new costumes, confirmed in the "next issue" box of issue #24 which states "celebration of the Jumpstart! With new costumes, and party guests from beyond the stars!" One can only speculate how many completed (or near-complete) issues were lost as Black September hit and how much is left today decades later.

The cover of The Strangers#16 issue shows Spectral engaged in the big brawl between the Strangers and Pilgrim's future new recruits at the block party, but Spectral was not in attendance.

In the final battle with Pilgrim in The Strangers Annual, Spectral throws up a protective bubble as a defense against the intense radiation generated by Pilgrim. Spectral is initially colored purple in the protective green bubble, then green, but it doesn't match the green flame's power set. I consider this a coloring decision to contrast Spectral's bubble against Pilgrim's purple radiation storm.

The Strangers#20 issue is a curious filler issue that doesn't quite fit between #19 & #21 and its "happy" feel doesn't sit well later, so I've slotted it in earlier.

The Strangers#23 issue is a story dedicated to Lady Killer and Yrial against Taboo. The other Strangers appear in one silent panel in battle (readers know it is against Hunt's forces in #22).

The Ultraforce Origins 2-page story in January 1994 is a summary of the team's origins and offers no new information.

Artist Frank Fosco stated he did uncredited ghosting layouts for Rick Hoberg on The Strangers#5 on his Facebook page on 6/16/2021.

Englehart did some diligent research for real life placement; the cable car line passes near the San Francisco Art Institute with the appropriate crossing streets listed and nearby Coit Tower. Coincidentally, I caught a cable car on this line when I briefly visited SF a long while back, a few years before the Appendix gave me a proper introduction to the Ultraverse and welcomed me to explore further!

In case it's not clear, Spectral's spectrum of flames is visually linked to the gay pride emblem of the rainbow flag, particularly as David Castiglione is gay.

Profile by Grendel Prime.

CLARIFICATIONS :
Spectral/David Castiglione has no known connections to:


Bill Kern

Bill Kern was Spectral's romantic partner. The two had been seeing each other for over two months before Spectral introduced him to his Strangers teammates when the villainous T.N.T.N.T. group led by Taboo suddenly attacked. Lady Killer was very quickly rendered unconscious and Kern took her to safety away from the fight. Once the fray was over and the Strangers recovered, he stood alongside the heroes as they discussed what had just happened.

 

 

 

 

--The Strangers#24


Sandy

Sandy was a friend of David Castiglione and was being treated in hospital for AIDS. David made time to see Sandy in hospital soon after the Strangers formed and the heroes' identities were not yet fully disclosed, but Sandy recognized him and David freely admitted it. David ignored a Strangers pager call and tried use his green flame to help heal Sandy. Unfortunately, the growing effect of the green flame also strengthened the AIDS cells throughout Sandy's body until eventually all the human tissue gave out and he died.

 

 

 

 

 

 

--The Strangers#5


images: (without ads)
Night Man: The Pilgrim Conundrum Saga, p35, pan1 (main image, yellow flame)
The Strangers#1, p15, pan5 (headshot)
The Strangers#1, p2, pan1 (civilian clothes on tram)
The Strangers#15, p6, pan1 (Strangers costume, no flame)
The Strangers#3, p11, pan5 (blue flame)
The Strangers#5, p11, pan6 (green flame)
Prototype#5, p1, pan5 (orange flame)
Prototype#5, p29, pan1 (violet flame with tentacle)
The Strangers#7, p9, pan1 (indigo flame with radiance)
Night Man: The Pilgrim Conundrum Saga, p41, pan4 (red flame)
The Strangers#24, p10, pan5 (Bill Kern)
The Strangers#5, p9, pan3 (Sandy)


Appearances:
The Strangers#1 (June, 1993) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Burgard (inks), Chris Ulm (editor)
The Strangers#2 (July, 1993) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Burgard & Larry Welch (inks), Chris Ulm (editor)
The Strangers#3 (August, 1993) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Burgard & Larry Welch (inks), Chris Ulm (editor)
Hardcase#3 (August, 1993) - James Hudnall (writer), Jim Callahan (pencils), Rodney Ramos (inks), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
Hardcase#4 (September, 1994) - James Hudnall (writer), Roger Robinson (pencils), Larry Welch (inks), Chris Ulm & Hank Kanalz (editors)
The Strangers#4 (September, 1993) - Steve Englehart & James Hudnall (writers), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Burgard (inks), Chris Ulm (editor)
The Strangers#5 (October, 1993) - Steve Englehart (writer), Frank Fosco (layouts), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Dave Simons & Tim Burgard (inks), Chris Ulm (editor)
The Strangers#6 (November, 1993) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Dave Simons (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
Prototype#5 (December, 1995) - Steve Englehart, Tom Mason, Len Strazewski (writers), Roger Robinson (pencils), Jeff Whiting (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The Strangers#7 (December, 1993) - Steve Englehart, Tom Mason, Len Strazewski (writers), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Eldred (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
Prototype#6 (January, 1996) - Len Strazewski & Tom Mason (writers), Roger Robinson (pencils), Jeff Whiting (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The
Strangers#8 (January, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg & Steve Skroce (pencils), Tim Burgard (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The Solution#5/2 (January, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Adam Hughes (pencils & inks), Roland Mann (editor) (reprinted in Ultraverse Origins the same month)
The Strangers#9 (February, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg & Steve Skroce (pencils), Tim Eldred (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The Strangers#10 (March, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Eldred (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The Strangers#11 (April, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Eldred (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The Strangers#12 (May, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Eldred (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The Strangers#13 (June, 1994) - Mike W. Barr & Steve Englehart (writers), Mike Gustovich (pencils), Thomas Florimonte (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
Ultraverse Premiere#4/2 (June, 1994) - Kurt Busiek (writer), Kris Renkewitz (pencils), Jeff Albrecht (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
Mantra I#12 (June, 1993) - Steve Englehart & Mike W. Barr (writers), Terry Dodson (pencils), Jasen Rodriguez (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The Strangers#14 (July, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Eldred (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The Strangers#15 (August, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Eldred (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The Strangers#16 (September, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Eldred (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The Strangers#17 (October, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Eldred (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The Strangers#18 (November, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Tim Eldred (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
Night Man I#14 (November, 1994) - James Robinson & Steve Englehart (writer), Dean Zachary (pencils), Bruce McCorkindale (inks), Roland Mann (editor)
The Strangers#19 (December, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Steve Ellis (pencils), Tim Eldred (inks), Roland Mann & Kara Lamb (editors)
Night Man: The Pilgrim Conundrum Saga (January, 1995) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Jack Keefer (inks), Roland Mann & Kara Lamb (editors)
The Strangers: The Pilgrim Conundrum Saga (January, 1995) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Barb Kaalberg, Scott Reed, John Strangeland (inks), Roland Mann & Kara Lamb (editors)
The Strangers#20 (January, 1995) - Len Strazewski (writer), Sam Payne (pencils), Thomas Florimonte (inks), Roland Mann & Kara Lamb (editors)
The Strangers#21 (February, 1995) - Steve Englehart (writer), Paul Abrams (pencils), Thomas Florimonte (inks), Roland Mann & Kara Lamb (editors)
The Strangers#22 (March, 1995) - Steve Englehart (writer), Paul Abrams (pencils), Thomas Florimonte (inks), Kara Lamb (editor)
The Strangers#23 (April, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Barbara Kaalberg (inks), Kara Lamb (editor)
The Strangers#24 (May, 1994) - Steve Englehart (writer), Rick Hoberg (pencils), Barbara Kaalberg (inks), Kara Lamb (editor)


First posted: 06/23/2021 - happy Pride Month!
Last updated: 06/23/2021

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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