The Spectre is the mystical cosmic embodiment of God's wrath.
Loosed on Earth by the almighty Presence in 776 BC, the Spectre is the mystical embodiment of the Presence's wrath. When the angel Raphael, who rebelled against Heaven with Lucifer, repented his sins, the Presence transformed him into an avenger that would inflict his wrath on sinful souls. The Spectre destroyed Sodom and Gommorah, spread the ten plagues across Egypt, and brought down the walls of Jericho. After the birth of Jesus, whose mission was to teach people compassion, the Presence decreed that the spirits of vengeance and forgiveness should not exist on Earth at the same time. The Spectre bided in Limbo until Christ's death. When Jesus died on the cross, the Divine Wrath was released from his exile and sought vengeance on mankind for the death of Christ. He was interrupted by the archangel Michael, who informed the Divine Wrath that due to the example of Christ, all aspects of God were now to be bound to human souls, as decreed by God himself. Then, forced to bond with mortal souls to manifest his power, the Spectre leaped forth, meting out vengeance down the centuries.
In the 1930s, the Spectre was bonded to Jim Corrigan, a police officer murdered by gang members. Together, the two solved crimes and metted out punishment to the guilty. He also served time as a member of the Justice Society of America. He participated in the Crisis on Infinite Earths and was instrumental in fixing Parallax's damage to the timestream during the Zero Hour. However, Corrigan finally grew tired of remaining on Earth and was allowed to ascend to Heaven. The renegade angel Asmodel took control of the Spectre until the heroes convinced the spirit of Hal Jordan to bond with the Spectre, becoming its new host. Ultimately, the Spectre helped bring about Hal's revival, aiding in removing the creature Parallax from his soul.
Host-less following Hal Jordan's return to the living, the Spectre continued about his duties without direction until Eclipso, herself acting under orders of Alexander Luthor Jnr., found him and convinced him that if the forces of good like law and order were about following the rules, that Magic was by definition the source of all evil due to its tendency of breaking the rules of nature.
After confronting and temporarily transforming the Phantom Stranger into a mouse, the Spectre trapped Doctor Fate inside his own helmet and burned out Madame Xanadu's eyes before methodically destroying the gathering places of all magical or magic-oriented beings on Earth; including the Bewitched Club in San Francisco, the Fountain of Youth in Florida, and the Mist Woods; killing Blackbriar and thousands of other magic users in the process.
Eventually the Spectre turned his attention to the Rock of Eternity and the Wizard Shazam and was forced to fight his champion, Shazam, in Budapest. In an attempt to stop the Spectre by removing his encourager, the Shadowpact forms to attack Eclipso and incapacitates her before moving to channel the energies of the world's magical beings into Shazam to help him fight the Spectre. While their initial attack ended in a stalemate, the team later managed to entrap Eclipso in orbit around the sun without any shadow for her to gain power from. Meanwhile the Spectre had defeated Shazam and confronted the wizard within the Rock of Eternity where, despite the wizard's attempts at reasoning with the single-minded spirit, the Spectre killed the wizard by absorbing his power and destroyed the Rock of Eternity directly over Gotham City.
After further razing the city of Atlantis, the Spectre started to seek out the other Lords of Chaos and Order; killing T'charr and Terataya; rendering the heroes Hawk and Dove powerless. Gathering together, Doctor Fate, Zatanna Zatara, Madame Xanadu and the Phantom Stranger form a plan to coerce the Spectre into continuing his rampage and destroy the energies of creation until the Presence was forced to intervene and stop the spirit itself; binding the spirit into the body of GCPD Detective Crispus Allen; who had been recently killed by the corrupt forensic scientist Jim Corrigan.
As the Infinite Crisis began to separate the planet into multiple Earths, the planet's remaining magic users assembled at Stonehenge to call forth the Spectre to help defend the realms of magic. While the Spectre did appear, he simply killed Star Sapphire (Deborah Camille Darnell) for her past crimes and abandoned the remaining magic users to their fate.
- New players can select a pre-made character template inspired by the Spectre.
- The Spectre, overcome with rage, has begun creating Reapers and unleashing them upon the citizens of Metropolis to dispense his judgement. Oracle discovers that Eclipso is behind this. With the assistance of Hal Jordan and Green Arrow, the player must enter the Metropolis Courthouse and battle with Spectre to free him. After destroying four crystals that trapped Spectre, the players end up fighting Spectre when he wants a human host. During the fight, Spectre possesses Green Arrow and then possesses Green Lantern. When Eclipso arrives at the scene, Spectre leaves Green Lantern's body and possesses the player, allowing them to briefly fight as Spectre himself.
- The Spectre first appeared in More Fun Comics #51 (February 1940)
- The Spectre's appearance in DC Universe Online is based on a redesign by concept artist Mike Pedro who felt that the character's original look was outdated. Jim Lee liked the redesign so much that he included it in the game.
- One of the Spectre's more notorious foes was Azmodus, an evil entity who was the combined essences of Caraka, first host to the Spectre, and a demon known as Sekuba.
- Without a host the Spectre has no concept of appropriate force for a crime and treats all misgivings; ranging from murder and rape to speaking rudely against a parental figure, with the same punishment of ironic torment and death. This is because, as far as the Spectre is concerned, everybody is sinful, in the "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" sense. As such, he requires a host to exercise appropriate judgment.
- The Spectre once tried to pass judgment on the Joker but failed, because for all his viciousness, the Joker is still crazy and thus not responsible for his actions.
- Spectre DC Database