Supporting Cast

Clarice Winston

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Clarice Winston


Residence: Cliffland, NJ
Occupation: Socialite
First Appearance (Golden Age): More Fun Comics #52 (February 1940)


Little is known of the early life of Clarice Winston prior to her debut as a socialize in 1940;s New York.  Residing in a stately home in Cliffland, an city on Earth-Two nestled in the New Jersey Palisades, she falls for a hard-bitten police officer named Jim Corrigian. While her mother disdains the blue color detective and he himself is a domineering, chauvinistic figure, Clarice is smitten and by early 1940, the two are engaged to be married.  En route to their engagement party, Corrigan receives a tip on the notorious Gat Benson and diverts to round up some of his thugs.  He misses the party and Clarice tracks him down at local hospital, angry for his diversion but grateful is OK.

As the couple drives home, they are ambushed by Gats Benson's men and taken to a nearby wharf.  There, Corrigan is crammed into a barrel and covered in cement.  The barrel is then dropped into the Hudson River and Corrigan quickly drowns.  After his death, he is called before God and judged not ready for the afterlife and sent back as an agent of vengeance.  As the mobsters move to murder Clarice as a witness, Corrigan reappears, horrifying the mobsters. When Clarice is shot, the new Spectre systemically dispenses justice, leaving the gangsters dead.  The Spectre rushes to Clarice's side and he finds his touch is enough to heal her completely.  He then informs Clarice that their engagement is off but does not share that he is now a ghost (More Fun Comics #52-53).

Shortly thereafter, Clarice's mother gets involved with a fake swami who claims he can speak to her dead brother, Clarice's uncle.  Fearing her mother is being taken in, Clarice pushes through Corrigan's rejection and recruits his aid.  He reveals the swami's racket, allowing Clarice to free her mother from the scam.  The vengeful criminals attempt to murder Corrigan and get the money from Mrs Winston they could not get my trickery by kidnapping Clairice.  When the Spectre arrives, the criminals attempt to murder the unconscious Clarice but as he rushes to save her, he is called again into the presence of God.  He is told that judgement has relented and he can now enter the afterlife but doing so dooms Clarice.  He chooses to remain a ghost and save her, killing her assailants in the process. Clarice is then left at home, confused as the mysterious figure to whom she owes her life (More Fun Comics #94).

From this point on, Corrigan's resistance to Clarice softens and they develop an on-again, off-again relationship.  While Corrigan still refuses to marry her, they continue to date and be seen socially and at one point in 1943, Clarice  even adopts a Spectre-like costume to aide the Justice Society against Brain Wave (All-Star Comics #15).  This is the last recorded appearance of Clarice Winston on Earth-Two and whether she ever learned the truth about Corrigan and what her final fate was in this timeline have not been revealed.

Prior Earth-0

The 1940's history of Clarice Winston in the post-Crisis timeline is essentially identical to Earth-Two version.  A key event that is revealed is that when the Spectre saved her after being shot by Gat Benson's thugs, he inadvertently transferred some of his essence, rendering her immortal.  For the next 60 years, she outlived two husbands and when depression drove her to suicide, she found she could not die.  When she was the sole survivor of a plane crash, she knew she was especially blessed or cursed. 

After returning to the US from extensive time in Europe, she hired an investigator to find out whatever happened to her old lover Corrigan who had disappeared in the late 1940's.   She finds him living in New York the same age and she remembers and assumes a descendant.  In her 80's, she again encounters Corrigan who reveals the full truth of his life and when she asks him to send her to the Afterlife, he refused fearing she would be condemned to Hell.  Their exchange is interrupted by Clarice's granddaughter's attempt to murder her grandmother and the Spectre switches their souls so that Clarice is young and vital and the granddaughter trapped in an aged. husk (Spectre Vol. 3 #23).

Weeks later, Clarice's granddaughter sells her soul to Azmodus to regain her youth and health and acting as his agent, starts a series of events to defeat the Spectre.  After a climactic battle in Hell, Azmodus is split into two beings, one a demon named Sekuba and the other, a man named Caraka the corrupted first host of the Spectre.  In the aftermath, Caraka recognized the soul of his lost wife Devi as the soul of Clarice Winston and as he is returned to the cycle of life to be re-born, Clarice/Devi says she will find him and break the pattern, allowing them both to move on.  She then dies and enters the cycle herself (Spectre Vol 3 #24-30).


All-Star Comics #15
More Fun Comics #52-55, #57, #61,#66,#71, #73, #75, #76 and #80