Since the beginnings of human civilization the Spectre Force, or the Divine Wrath has patrolled the lands of man. Watching, waiting in the night for the unjustly killed, the murdered and the butchered. Then swift judgment gives bloody vengeance to the murderers. Since the birth of Christ, the Wrath has been bonded to a mortal host, to be its moral guide and anchor to humanity. In the twentieth century that anchor was detective Jim Corrigan. As the Spectre they were one of the most powerful beings in the universe.
If we are to believe the texts, three seconds after creation there was a rebellion in Paradise. A rebel band of angels led by Lucifer Morningstar attempted to wrestle control of Heaven from the Presence. As punishment they were cast out to the burning planes of Hell where they became the beings that mortal men know as demons. It is not always realized but is possible for demons of repent, one such repentant demon was Aztar. Coming before the gates of Heaven he found his way barred by the archangel Michael. He begged to be forgiven and said that he would accept any punishment. Aztar was transformed; any memory and residual personality were wiped away, leaving nothing of Aztar. In its place was placed a portion of the might of Heaven, the wrath of God. He became a being of divine justice forged from the injustice of punishment without mercy. This Spectre was formed to replace the being of Eclipso who had once been the Wrath of God but had become too difficult to control and so was discarded.
This entity of Divine Wrath, the Spectre Force, was the being that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, the one that humbled the Pharaoh and killed the first born of Egypt. The Divine Wrath was the horn blast that brought down the walls of Jericho and stopped the sun in its tracks. For centuries the Wrath of God punished and humbled mankind, until the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. At that instant, the Divine Wrath was cast into limbo, for these beings of total vengeance and total forgiveness could not walk the same earthly plane together. 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. The Divine Wrath was displeased with this, not wishing to take on the frailties of a soul and its persona and emotions. However, Michael would not hear any argument and was able to force the Wrath to yield. He then sought out the soul of a person who thirsted for swift, vengeful justice.
In India, Caraka and his family were slain by the witch Lady Beltane. In the limbo that exists between planes of reality, Caraka cried for justice. The archangel Michael appeared to him, in the form of the god Kali, who Caraka worshiped. He asked Caraka if he would be willing to bargain his soul's rest for the chance to avenge his family's death. Caraka said yes and his soul mixed with the essence of the Divine Wrath. Thus, Caraka became the first true Spectre, a killing ghost that sought justice and enlightenment. The Spectre was unaware of its past as a divine force. As far as it knew, it was merely a human soul who had been granted divine power. Eventually Caraka would turn from his mission and was stripped of the Spectre Force, instead he bonded with a force from Hell and became Azmodus who swore revenge on all later Spectres.
Over the centuries, there were many who were joined with the Divine Wrath to become the Spectre. Like their predecessor, none of the Spectres were aware of their true origin as the Divine Wrath. All of these beings were very clandestine and none gained world-wide recognition.
Powers & Abilities
Divine Wrath: As a spiritual entity, the Spectre cannot be slain in the conventional sense, though he can be destroyed. As Corrigan he was still very much the same as he died. But as Spectre, Corrigan's personality is influenced by the Divine Wrath (which has no personality of its own) and he becomes somewhat colder and distant as a result. Since WW II, the Spectre's persona has become increasingly distant from his humanity.
The Spectre's powers were reduced after the Crisis on the Infinite Earths, but he is still the most powerful human spirit on Earth. The Spectre and the physical body of Jim Corrigan can exist independently of each other. However, if they do not reunite within 24 hours, Corrigan's body will die and the Divine Wrath will return to the Ether until a new Spectre is chosen.