Is This The Real Life? Fox TV Just Got the Rights to DC Comics’ The Spectre
According to the ever reliable Deadline, Fox has not only acquired the rights to The Spectre, a DC Comics character old enough to be created by Jerry Siegel and Bernard Baily in 1940. They’ve also got a writer, producers, and a production studio.
Allow me to explain why I’m excited about this: The Spectre is very cool. Okay, I’ll elaborate. The Spectre is a supernatural force of vengeance in the DC Universe that must be embodied in the body of a dead mortal host in order to properly do its job. The Spectre has also had a shadowy hand in some of the biggest events in the DC universe, including the Crisis on Infinite Earths. The Spectre embodies my favorite theme of superhero comics: normal people processing events and entities beyond their ken. The Spectre is very much on the nose of television’s current trend of dark but grounded and modern supernatural stories.
Here’s another reason why this could be really awesome: the Spectre’s host. There are quite a number of people to choose from for the main character, with the opportunity for bold choice quite apparent.
The Spectre’s first host was a guy named Jim Corrigan, a righteous police detective murdered by the mob, whose ability to judge right from wrong was deemed worthy by the billion year old angel. His second known host was in fact Hal Jordan himself, after the former Green Lantern had nearly destroyed the universe while possessed by Parallax (yeah, that yellow guy from the bad movie), desiring to atone for his crimes. This dovetailed nicely with the Spectre’s own origin: a repentant angel sentenced to be the embodiment of vengeance after siding with Lucifer in the war on Heaven. He also allies himself with Norman McCay in Mark Waid’s totally non-canonical-but-who-cares Kingdom Come. His latest host, however, is the one that, in my dreams, would be the main character of the show: Crispus Allen, former Gotham City police detective and former partner to Renee Montoya.
Not only would this add some needed diversity to the genre of noirish fantasy crime stories on television (Allen is an African American man), and provide the show’s writers plenty of pathos to be found in the widow and sons that Allen left behind when he died, I could also pretend that if Crispus Allen had a show about him, somewhere in its canon would be a place for Renee Montoya.
While I could conceive that a television writer might be interested in exploring a completely new and female host, well, I know well enough not to get my hopes up. Of course, the should might even focus on a new host every week or something, in a sort of subversion of what Quantum Leap was all about.
And then, of course, they would have to do crossovers with the CW’s putative Deadman adaptation.
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