Character » Spook appears in 69 issues.

    The Spook is a Batman villain who uses unique gadgets to seem like a ghost and commit crimes.

    Short summary describing this character.

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    Val Kaliban was a CIA operative and  a professional escape-artist. He was an expert in extracting information through hypnotism and his skills as an illusionist allowed him to use specialized scare tactics during an interrogation. Unfortunately, Kaliban suffered a mental breakdown after his last mission in Bolivia. Kaliban's superiors were in the pockets of a corporate head named Morris Baron who wanted access to the oil fields in Santa Terre. The agreement was if Kaliban removes the feudal general and his junta from Santa Terre then the rebels will aid Baron in his financial endeavors.  

    The mission went sour when the general started a correspondence with Morris. The general made a sweeter deal than the rebels could offer and Morris decided to sell out Kaliban's position in Santa Terre. Even though, Kaliban endured enormous amounts of torture, he managed to escape. The psychological turmoil that Kaliban was put through made him truly believe that he was dead and he wanted to take his revenge on Baron as well as his superiors. 

    Spook followed his condemners to a winter retreat that was being held by Bruce Wayne. Among the attendees was Samuel Vaughn, David Gracy, Jason Maconi, Morris Baron, Benjamin Yates and Bruce's date Cynthia Rutherford. Bruce asked each of these men to attend because he wanted to discuss a potential breakthrough in conservation research for the entire planet. Gracy saw this gathering as a profitable outlook for armaments. Maconi agreed to this meeting because he would like Bruce's support in ending the occupation of several oil companies in his native land of Nigeria. 

    Bruce opens the afternoon's festivities with a toast to a hopeful joint effort between each fellow corporate head who can instill conservationist practices in the world's commerce and put pressure on opposing industries that infect the world's finances. Later that evening, the lights throughout the entire mansion go out. Everyone suspects the blizzard outside must have caused the outage but Bruce thinks otherwise seeing as how Vaughn and Gracy are not present at the dinner table. 

    Bruce tells his guests to remain in the dinner hall while he looks for the others. Bruce eventually finds Vaughn's body splayed across his bed. Bruce takes a closer look at Vaughn's neck and notices indentations as if someone choked the life out of Vaughn but no fingerprints to speak of. Suddenly, Bruce hears Gracy's screams. Bruce runs to Gracy's room and finds Gracy's body bound to a chair. All of sudden, Bruce comes under attack by an unknown party crasher. Bruce paralyzes his attacker by knocking his trachea causing the attacker to fall to the ground and gasp for air. 

    Unfortunately, Kaliban was still present in the room even though Bruce couldn't see him. Kaliban calls out to his cohort Darwin to make his getaway while he contends with the confused Bruce Wayne. Kaliban goats Bruce in attacking him and Bruce takes the bait. Bruce lunges at Kaliban only to discover it was an illusion. Bruce crashes through a window and almost falls three stories. Fortunately, his grappling hook caught a nearby rain gutter. Bruce descends to the bottom and discovers a foul odor in the air. He follows the scent to the wine cellar where he finds all the servants. Kaliban and Darwin had killed the hired help before they made their move against the intended victims.  

    Bruce returns to his guests to report the bad news but then Kaliban makes his presence known with an eerie threat to all those responsible for his supposed death. Bruce tries to convince everyone to stay together until the helicopters arrive to pick them up on Monday but Morris refused to wait two days to be picked off by some "Spook". Morris went to his room while the others stayed in the main hall. Bruce tells Cynthia to keep everyone calm while he goes to the library. Cynthia wonders why Bruce is going against his original plan of not splitting up. Bruce tells Cynthia it was Morris who suggested to have the winter retreat at this particular mansion. Cynthia agreed and Bruce made his way to the library. 

    As it turns out, this mansion was built during the 1800's and smugglers used secret passageways in the mansion to conceal stolen goods and contraband. Bruce puts on his Batman suit and heads down one of the secret passageways. Batman inevitably gets the drop on Darwin. Batman interrogates Darwin and demands to know who the Spook is. Darwin wasn't much help since he was a simpleton but he did give Batman a stash of Kaliban's journals. After Batman finally understood who the Spook was, he confronted Darwin again about where the Spook was but Kaliban shoots Darwin before he could say word.  

    Batman tries to chase down Spook but with no success. Batman returns to the main hall and makes his presence known to the remaining guests. Batman tells the guests that Morris Baron may be in league with the Spook but Maconi quickly disagrees when he sees something troubling outside. Batman and the guests find Baron's body lying on the blood covered snow with a sword rammed through his chest. Batman and the guests return to the mansion only to be trapped in the main hall. Steel doors come crashing down and seals everybody in the main hall then the Spook begins pumping gas into the ventilation system. The guests try to break the windows but the glass is shatter proof.  

    Batman reluctantly reacts by showing everyone a secret passage way that leads out of the main hall. The guests make their escape through the passage way but the passage closes on Batman before he could get through. The Spook appears in front of Batman in the main hall with a lighter in his hand. Spook scoffs at Batman's efforts to stop him from exacting his revenge. With the flick of his finger, the lighter ignites and the main hall explodes. Fortunately, Batman's suit is flame retardant plus he took cover. Batman tries to regain his equilibrium as he looks for the Spook's charred body but there was nothing to speak of. 

    The explosion made an opening to outside so Bruce discards his Batman suit and makes his way to the wine cellar in order to help the remaining guests. The helicopter arrives just as Bruce was leading his guests to the outside. The helicopter takes to the air with everyone on board but something is troubling Bruce. Spook wouldn't have given up so easily. Bruce makes his way to the cockpit to discover the pilot is dead and Spook is causing the helicopter to crash into a mountain side. Bruce fights off the Spook while Maconi takes control of the helicopter. The scuffle between the Spook and Bruce causes them both to fall out of the helicopter.  

    Fortunately, Cynthia grabs Bruce's hand and Bruce clings onto Spook's robe. It doesn't take Bruce long to notice that Spook has made another quick getaway and he releases the Spook's ghastly robe into the night. Bruce starts putting two and two together when Alfred calls him at the airstrip. It turns out Yates made a deal with Kaliban. Yates would give Kaliban access to the mansion so he could inflict his bloody vengeance on Baron in exchange Spook would kill the remaining attendees at the winter retreat. Alfred had been following Yates' movements and he had made preemptive bids to buy out each attendees company                            

    who has used his extraordinary acumen together with special effects to commit spectacular crimes and leave the impression that he is really a ghost. He has been defeated by Batman time and again.

    Someone calling himself the Spook was recently killed by Damian Wayne after holding the Mayor hostage. Damian beheaded him, quickly putting an end to the confrontation. It is unknown if this was Val Kaliban, the second Spook, or another person posing as the Spook.


    The Spook used special effects such as inflatable effigies of himself that can float through the air, finger-tip and boot suction cups for scaling buildings, and smoke machines for obscuring the perceptions of others.


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