Spectre Issues #17-21:                          The Search for Lightstar and Starlight...
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Issue Synopsis:

Issue #17

                Upon returning home, Spectre finds that he’s been gone for three weeks, and that Lightstar and Starlight have been missing for about two weeks.  He has lost his job at the bank, and almost kicked out of his apartment.  With no place to go, Spectre sets Bodycount up in a hotel, until an identity can be established for him.  Spectre hooks up with Starlight’s agent, Larry.  Larry says he’ll get Bodycount a false identity if Spectre helps him find his meal tickets.

                Spectre meets with Lt. Fox, trying to figure out what the police know.  Spectre reads a copy of the police report, finding that Larry didn’t give away Lightstar’s and Starlight’s identities, and since the last place they were seen (according to Larry) was each of them heading home, the police could not investigate the crime scene.  Spectre meets with Larry once again, and Larry lets Spectre into Starlight’s apartment, since Spectre already knows her identity.  Upon looking around, Spectre touches a single rose that was left on her coffee table, next to a bouquet of roses.  From that one touch, Spectre receives a vision of a man with a purple mask and glasses, with green gloves placing the rose on the table.  Spectre immediately contacts Lt. Fox, asking her for info on anyone fitting the description of his vision.  Fox meets him the next evening, and after going through a few photos, she mentions that a crime syndicate head, the Rose, is rumored to wear a similar get up.  After comparing a few notes about the situation, Spectre is adamant about the Rose’s involvement in the abduction, and begins the second part of his search...


Issue #18

                Spectre realizes that since the police weren’t able to conduct a full survey of the crime scene, that he will do it instead.  While using his telepathy to disguise himself as a detective, Spectre talks to a neighbor and finds out some interesting things about what happened that day.  Apparently around 4:17 that afternoon, the neighbor heard someone knocking on Starlight’s door, but didn’t see anyone when she was out in the hall just a moment before.  She thought it strange, and went back into the hall to double check.  When she did, she saw the door closing, just seconds after she heard another knock and the door open.  She thought nothing more of the situation, but Spectre saw it clearly through her eyes.  Either the Rose, or whoever was with him would have to be able to mask himself from sight, and take out Starlight very quickly, since there was no sound or sign of a struggle and they entered the apartment so quickly.  Remembering his conversation with Lt. Fox, Spectre’s primary suspect for the villain who assisted the Rose was Migraine, a psychic villain that Starlight had battled with alongside Lightstar.

                Spectre began going back onto patrol, to thwart whatever crime he could (in his frustration!!!) and to try to get some information on the Rose and Migraine.  After a night or two on patrol solving minor problems, Spectre became distracted by a voice calling his name.  He saw no one there, but when he redirected his attention back in front of him, a monster stood before him.  Dodging the monster’s attack, Spectre saw the illusion that was the monster begin to fade.  Blink called out for Spectre again, letting Spectre land on top of a large apartment building.  While the two bantered, the villain Vengeance (calling himself Nightstalker) began stealing Spectre’s powers.  When the fight was ready to begin, Vengeance created Spectre’s psychic weapon as a way of telling Spectre what he had done.  Spectre then used his Mind Blow attack to cripple Vengeance and wipe out Blink.  Vengeance and Spectre continued to fight, until Spectre had defeated Vengeance.  Spectre revived Vengeance while flying over the city, and in a desperate attempt to escape, Vengeance stole Spectre’s telekinesis.  Turning the tide, Vengeance began taunting Spectre, and called Glacier in for reinforcement.  Spectre, once again gaining the upper hand, dropped Vengeance.  While falling, Vengeance revealed that he is hired by super villains to steal the powers of people who give them trouble, but he knows nothing of their motivations, and thus he knew nothing of why they lured Spectre into a trap, let alone anything about Starlight.  Vengeance told Spectre that if he let him go, that Vengeance would end the battle and bear no grudge, since he was on his own (something he was NOT hired for).  Spectre agreed, let Vengeance go, and left the area before Blink (who had slipped out during his fight with Vengeance) and Glacier returned.


Issue #19

                Spectre decides that the streets aren’t giving him that many answers, and decides (as Morgan) to go to the college to use their computers for info.  Not finding anything about the Rose on the Internet, a student helps him and directs him to the library to look through old newspaper articles.  There he finds out that the Shocker once worked for the Rose.  Contacting Lt. Fox, she gives Spectre the cellblock and number to where the Shocker is locked up at on Ryker’s Island.  Spectre, in disguise, flies to Ryker’s Island and lands on the ledge outside of the Shocker’s cell.  Spectre begins to question the Shocker about the Rose, to which he isn’t much help.  But, by probing the Shocker’s mind, Spectre gets the names of several fences and gangsters that have worked for the Rose.  Spectre, leaving Ryker’s Island, then sneaks into the house of one of the fences, and uses the same technique to find out where one of the Rose’s current gangsters (Tommy “Gun” Chivatel) is staying.  After telekinetically taking out Tommy’s guard, Spectre enters the penthouse and disarms Tommy.  Probing Tommy’s mind, he learns the telephone number that Tommy calls to get in touch with the Rose’s advisor and counselor.  Spectre then knocks Tommy unconscious and uses the number to calls the Rose’s right hand man.  The man on the other end of the phone line tells Spectre that they knew he was going to call, and told him he was too predictable.  At that moment, a giant hand reaches in through the sliding glass doors, grabbing Spectre and pulling him out of the penthouse, crushing the life from him....


Issue #20

                Feeling the icy grip around him, Spectre didn’t need to look up at the giant figure holding him to realize that he was in Glacier’s grasp.  Spectre, using his telekinesis, managed to force his way out of Glacier’s hand after nearly having all of the life either squeezed or frozen from him.  Landing safely on the ground after nearly being blasted to a pulp by a giant ice blast, Spectre used his psychic invisibility to give him an edge.  Glacier responded by blanketing the battlefield in snow, mistakenly thinking that Spectre had actually turned invisible.  Spectre merely adjusted his psychic invisibility, and began to psychic blast the frosty giant.  Glacier, being tired of these games, began covering the hotel next to them in ice, causing the building to start caving in on itself.  Glacier commanded Spectre to reveal himself, and Spectre did in order to save the lives of the people inside.  Then the two began to battle, going toe to toe.  Glacier, almost defeated, created a huge ice club, in order to smash Spectre with it, but Spectre used his psychic blast, causing Glacier to lose his balance and the club smashed into the side of the building, causing the building to truly collapse.  Spectre, using his telekinesis to hold what parts of the building up that he could, finished Glacier off with one desperate, final psychic blast, then returning his efforts to saving the building and the people inside.  He noticed Blink pulling Glacier’s normal sized unconscious body away, but could do nothing about it due to the people who were in danger of being crushed or falling to their deaths.  A few minutes later, the Thunderbolts showed up, Atlas assisting Spectre with the building while Mach-1 and Moonstone began rescuing people from the higher levels.  Once the danger was averted, everyone introduced themselves to Spectre, and after a small amount of conversation, Spectre left to continue his search for the Rose.


Issue #21

                Realizing that he’s getting nowhere fast, Spectre speaks with Lt. Fox and gets more information on Migraine.  Spectre then hooks up with Larry, and after a small argument about the current situation with Starlight and Lightstar, Larry makes arrangements for Spectre to have an interview after the coverage of his fight with Glacier from the previous night.  Spectre shows up and agrees to an interview, where he answers a lot of basic questions, as well as mentioning the Rose’s name on the air and claiming to have beaten Migraine before.  After another argument with Larry, Spectre leaves the station, only to run into Migraine a few blocks away.  After some witty banter from both sides, Spectre attacks Migraine with a kick to the jaw, which knocks Migraine out in one blow!  Spectre then roused Migraine for questioning, asking the whereabouts of his friends.  Migraine claimed they were dead, but a mental probe by Spectre revealed that he really didn’t know.  What he did know was that the Rose was dealing with an alien named Orion for alien technology, and that Orion had something to do with Lightstar’s powers.  Satisfied with the answers he pried, Spectre went to call Lt. Fox to have the NYPD pick Migraine up.  After the call, however, he was attacked by Blink, who just happened to have brought along Shock, Plantmistress, Earthshaker, and Glacier.  After two mind blasts, Spectre had defeated all of them but Glacier, who in turn shot an icy blast at Spectre.  The blast caught Spectre’s leg while he was dodging and ice formed up his entire body, forcing him off balance and ending with him crashing to the ground, unconscious.