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Webcomic / Lady Spectra & Sparky

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Lady Spectra & Sparky to the rescue!
Lady Spectra & Sparky is a superhero comic created by J. Kevin Carrier. It began as a series of self-published minicomics in 1991, and began appearing as a webcomic in 2008.

Schoolteacher Paula Carson and her daughter Jill are secretly Lady Spectra & Sparky, the costumed crimefighters of Apollo City. With their laser wristbands and other gadgets, they battle such supervillains as Repo-Beast, Black Sundae, and Skullduggery in Silver Age-style adventures.

The comic stopped updating in June 2019 with no explanation.

Lady Spectra & Sparky contains examples of:

  • Action Mom: Lady Spectra
  • An Aesop: Lady Spectra is prone to lecturing.
    Lady Spectra: Compassion, Sparky. It's the thing that separates us from the animals. Don't ever forget that.
  • Applied Phlebotinum: White Hole energy, which can be used as anything from a laser to a force beam to an invisibility field.
  • Canon Welding: Sparky shared an adventure with Glorianna, when the latter was briefly transported to the 21st century.
  • The Cape: Lady Spectra
  • Clothes Make the Superman: Spectra & Sparky's powers come from their wristbands and other gear.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Lady Spectra was inspired by the exploits of other superheroes to become a crimefighter.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: Lt. Bernie Kominsky, head of the Apollo City police department's "Super Villain Unit".
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: In the very first story, Sparky fends off an angry alien UFO pilot by offering him a bouquet of flowers.
  • Find the Cure!: Spectra seeks a cure for poisoned ice cream in "I Scream, You Scream".
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Spectra is transported to a primitive world in "The Killer's Replacement" — more specifically, the world of Glorianna, JK Carrier's other major comic character. As Spectra came from modern times, she tends to uphold Thou Shalt Not Kill by utilizing non-lethal weaponry made from mundane objects available in Glorianna's time. In a more direct example, the storyline ended with the farmers' selecting their blacksmith as their new ruler while ignoring Spectra's suggestion of democratic government.
  • Guest Strip: Other writers and artists have frequently pitched in.
  • Hell Invades Heaven: In the "Ultra Squad: Demon War" storyline.
  • Hero's First Rescue: Before becoming Lady Spectra, Paula Carson gets her first taste of action when she defends her laboratory against an intruder.
  • Home Base: A converted lighthouse.
  • Invisibility Cloak
  • Kid Sidekick: Sparky
  • Mama Bear: Lady Spectra, particularly in "I Scream, You Scream" when Sparky is poisoned.
  • Massive Multiplayer Crossover: The "Ultra Squad: Demon War" storyline featured guest-stars from several 1990s mini-comics, including Mister Mid-Nite, Doc Saphire, Cassiopeia the Witch, and Madame Boogala.
  • Perilous Power Source: The White Hole energy that powers Spectra & Sparky's equipment is potentially deadly at higher intensities.
  • Reed Richards Is Useless: Justified by Lady Spectra's promise to her husband not to let the military get hold of their technology.
  • Secret Identity: Schoolteacher Paula Carson.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes
  • Superheroes Wear Tights
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Paula and Prof. Carson.
  • Thememobile: The Prismobile, a car shaped like a giant flashlight.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Sky Death, the White Knights and various other villains.
  • Training the Peaceful Villagers: Spectra leads a peasant revolt against a cruel landowner in "The Killer's Replacement".
  • Where Does He Get All Those Wonderful Toys?: A lighthouse headquarters, a souped-up car, and other hi-tech gear, all on a teacher's salary.