Superman and the Spectre: A Matter of Conscience, Epilogue: Bloody Hands

by Dave Barnowski

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That night, in a room in the Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane, Billie Joe Haskins was resting. The staff members were on their guard now. They would be for the next days and weeks, maybe even months, if he was unlucky, but then — then, by God, he’d kill one of them, sure as spit. Maybe two before they could get help. All he had to do until that blessed day was wait until they let down their guard.

The Spectre suddenly appeared before him with his arms folded as he hovered above the floor.

A bemused look formed on Billie Joe Haskins’ face as he said, “What you want, spook? I know you ain’t gonna kill me. You gonna haunt me?” Haskins laughed good and long at his joke.

“No,” said the Spectre. “I’ve come to tell you that each time you try to kill someone, you will go into uncontrollable and extremely painful convulsions.”


“You will never kill again, Billie Joe Haskins.”

“No! You can’t do this to me!” Haskins said as stood up in bed and went after the Spectre with murder in his eyes — only to be overcome with painful convulsions. The Spectre vanished.


Later, in the nether realm where the Spectre resided, he and Jim Corrigan talked.

“Haskins belongs in Hell,” demanded the Spectre. “His victims cry out for him to rot in Hell.”

Corrigan looked at the Spectre. “Maybe, maybe not. I know you cry out for vengeance. But Hell held no fear for the man. I figure what I did to him is Hell on Earth.”

The Spectre looked at Corrigan for a moment and then smiled a malicious smile that made Corrigan shudder as the spirit said, “True enough, Corrigan, true enough.”

Corrigan turned to leave the realm in which the Spectre resided, and the Spectre asked him to stay.


“I have something to tell you.”

“What? I’m tired and am in no mood for games.”

“Very well, Jim. I wanted to tell you that I had no influence whatsoever over you the night the Justice Society was formed. The deaths of those men in the German fleet — their very blood — is on your hands and your hands alone.”

Corrigan looked very hard at the Spectre and said, “I know, Spectre. Deep down, I’ve always known that.”

The End

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