Biographical Information
Real NameJames Spector
Wild Card TraitsTelepathic suggestion, regeneration
Social Information
CitizenshipCitizen of the United States, deceased
OccupationCriminal, assassin, former accountant
AffiliationsEgyptian Freemasons
First AppearanceAces High
Final AppearanceAce in the Hole
CreatorWalton Simons

James "Demise" Spector is a fictional character from the Wild Cards series of books. He possesses the ability to kill by locking his gaze to that of his victim and inducing his experience of death into them.


Demise was struck by the wild card in the spring of 1985 and died en route to the Jokertown Clinic. Dr. Tachyon tried an experimental process on him in an attempt to save him, with unexpected results. Spector awoke screaming, heralding a six month tortuous stay in the clinic's intensive care unit.

Following his medicated return to sanity, Spector spent several weeks in therapy. During this time he discovered that while he was remembering his death, anyone he locked eyes with would become ill. He experimented on an orderly and held the man's gaze long enough to kill him.

This discovery of what he could do, and the fact that he had now become a murderer caused Spector to flee the clinic. Further experimentation in the weeks that followed led him to determine the effective range of his ace and also an incredible regenerative ability.

After three months on the run, Spector was abducted and recruited into the Egyptian Freemasons by Nurse Gresham of the Jokertown Clinic, and the Astronomer. The Astronomer dubbed him "Demise" and quickly put him to work for the Freemasons. For a time Spector became a tool of the Astronomer, an assassin with no direct contact to link him to the crime. Eventually, Demise was able to win free of the Astronomer's control, but became one of his former mentor's targets when the insane ace went on his infamous Wild Card Day rampage. Demise's neck was broken during the Astronomer's attack, but he revived again when Fortunato returned his head back to its correct position. Knowing that he would never be safe while the Astronomer lived, Demise killed him when he later found the older man in a heavily weakened state.

Demise was later hired by Chrysalis to kill the Puppetman, Gregg Hartmann, at the 1988 Democratic National Convention, although he failed in this task amid events that turned the convention into a scene of chaos. When Spector crossed paths with Mackie Messer, the young German psychopath decapitated him. Picking up the severed head, Messer used his vibration power to shake Demise's brain apart, but Demise simultaneously used his gaze to kill Messer.

The decapitated Demise was presumed dead and was taken to a morgue, where he started to regenerate a new head. Dr. Tachyon stabbed Demise with a dagger, and, when the Demise's body jerked, Dr. Tachyon arranged to have Demise cremated before Demise could recover.

Wild Card TraitsEdit

His ace allows him to kill by locking his gaze with that of a victim and inducing his experience of death into. The process is usually lethal, although he can stun his victim if he so chooses. His power can be blocked effectively enough by mirror shades as these prevent him from locking eyes.

Demise also has unparalleled regenerative abilities and is able to heal rapidly from trauma, including the ability regrow severed extremities.


Demise is tall and lean with stringy dark brown hair and a dark, raggedy moustache. He has a perpetually dishevelled, unwashed look about him.


Demise became impulsive and psychotic as a result of his death experience. He drinks heavily, though it gives him no satisfaction. Spector generally enjoys nothing about life and has been known to indulge in pleasure binges, usually of a sadistic nature, to reassert any kind of humanity within himself. He is easily irritated and is quick to kill anyone who does so.

Selected ReadingEdit

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