Comic Book / Caballistics, Inc.

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Caballistics, Inc. is a comic featured in 2000 AD.

The British government sells off a nearly defunct department originally tasked to fight off Nazi occultism during World War II to a mysterious entrepeneur. He reforms the organization into Caballistics, Inc., a private agency to fight off supernatural threats.

Followed by a Spin-Off series, Absalom.


This comic provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Dr. Brand is rarely seen without a bottle after Jenny gets possessed by a demon.
  • Asshole Victim: Demon Jenny hits the bars a few times in search of fresh victims, one of whom was apparently a serial rapist and another one a child molester. Justified because she mentions that she feeds on human sin.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Invoked. Lawrence Verse and Hannah Chapter answer the two questions they're asked most often, one of which is whether those are really their names.note  They're not, but a gimmick like that draws in more clients for their monster hunting business.
  • Badass Preacher: Lawrence Verse is an ex-Catholic priest who was forced to give up his vocation after an incident involving, as another character put it, "the novel use of a chainsaw during the Rite of Exorcism."
  • Blood Bath: Readers first meet Solomon Ravne in the middle of one such bath, surrounded by the naked, bleeding corpses the blood had to have come from. Because Ravne is suggested to be Really 700 Years Old, it may be that such a bath is needed to maintain his age and appearance or prolong his life.
  • Born-Again Immortality: Ravne and Jenny's baby was possibly conceived so that Ethan Kostabi could be reborn in a new host body.
  • Creative Sterility: Ethan Kostabi created Solomon Ravne and his (mentioned but unseen) "siblings" as an experiment to create new life. Because he is a Fallen Angel and not God however, he couldn't give his children a soul as he doesn't have one of his own nor does he know how to create one.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The entire comic is in black and white, which adds a lot to the creepy atmosphere.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Dr. Brand abruptly meets his end when Ness pushes him in front of a train.
  • Emotion Eater: At one point Hannah Chapter and Lawrence Verse go hunting for a psychic vampire who feeds on the loneliness and despair of its victims. It was also a shapeshifter, as it assumed the form of a deceased girlfriend of Hannah.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • Hannah and Lawrence are introduced being in the middle of a gunfight against a horde of zombies.
    • Ravne is introduced having slaughtered several people to bathe in their blood.
  • Fallen Angel: Ethan Kostabi, the Chessmaster of the series, is in fact an angel who fell down to Earth several thousand years ago and has since been living under different human identities.
  • Fantastic Noir: Whereas Caballistics is more straight Urban Fantasy horror.
  • Former Regime Personnel: Solomon Ravne was a member of Sonderkommando Thule during World War II. He still carries his old Luger as his Weapon of Choice.
  • Ghostapo: The strip makes mention of Nazi Germany's occult warfare division, Sonderkommando Thule, very frequently. When the titular Caballistics, Inc. was still functioning as a secret department in the British Government at its peak during World War II, as Q Department, Sonderkommando Thule was their biggest enemy. Solomon Ravne is revealed to have been a former member.
  • Golem: An Israeli occult division creates a Golem to kill the immortal Nazi Solomon Ravne, aka "Der Teuffel", for his crimes in the Holocaust. However, the Golem is stopped by Demon-Jenny for her own reasons.
  • Gorn: Several characters meet rather messy ends throughout the strip.
  • Guns Akimbo: Hannah is fond of a pair of 9mm pistols.
  • The Ketchup Test: During the mission at the Luddgate studio, Hannah tastes some of the blood the team finds all over the floor. It's not real, being merely Kensington Gore, but the substance itself is dripping down from mid-air.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: The demon possessing Miss Simmons is visible in a reflection.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Ethan Kostabi, the reclusive multi-millionaire pop star of the 1970s who brings the titular organization together, is based to several extents on David Bowie.
  • Noodle Incident: All that is known about the circumstances surrounding Lawrence Verse being forced to leave the Catholic priesthood is that he used a chainsaw while performing the Rite of Exorcism. The complete details are never made clear to the reader, although it's later suggested to have involved, at least in part, a zombie attack on the island of Martinique in 1995.
  • Occult Detective:
    • The main characters. Cabbalistics, Inc. was formed when Department Q, a Ministry of Defense department originally created in the 1940s to combat Nazi occult warfare, is privatised by the British government.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: During World War II the Nazis were running a program to assassinate Allied political and military leaders and replace them with homonculi. They were given this knowledge by Solomon Ravne, who is revealed to be one himself.
  • Plant Person: During a mission Hannah is captured by a female earth spirit who is rooted in a tree's vines underground. Naturally, she thinks humanity should be wiped out.
  • Plato Is a Moron: The Chessmaster in the strip is one Ethan Kostabi, an eccentric former rock star from the 1970s strongly resembling David Bowie. Whenever Kostabi's success as a musician is described, comparisons are always made to Bowie, and Bowie is always described as having been greatly inferior—having sold fewer albums and having "scavenged a career out of the discarded fads and influences that Ethan left in his wake".
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Hannah fights monsters and demons on a daily basis. She also happens to be a big fan of horror movies, which comes in pretty handy when the team is trapped inside a horror film dimension by an evil director. Also the author of the unpublished book Mixed-Up Flicks For Mixed-Up Chicks.
  • Really 700 Years Old:
    • Solomon Ravne is suggested to be around 300 years old and must keep up his more youthful appearance through ritualistic Blood Baths and other forms of The Dark Arts.
    • Ethan Kostabi is in fact a 2000 year old angel who fell to Earth.
  • Red Baron: Solomon Ravne, an immortal former Nazi, became known as "Der Teufel" (The Devil) to his victims during the Holocaust.
  • Red Shirt: During the group's first mission to stop a zombie incursion in the London Underground, they're accompanied by a group of special forces who are clearly there to serve as cannon fodder.
  • The Soulless: Solomon Ravne doesn't possess a soul, as he's not human but a homunculi created by a Fallen Angel. This makes it possible for him to sneak up on Michael Magister, whose psychic sensors only work on beings with souls.
  • Staking the Loved One: Hannah Chapter reveals to a psychic vampire that before becoming an Occult Detective she was once involved with a woman who turned into a zombie, forcing Hannah to blow her head off. She turns off her com so that Lawrence (her closest friend) can't hear this.
  • Taught by Television: Invoked. When Miss Simmons asks if Lawrence Verse and Hannah Chapter have much experience in dealing with paranormal situations, Hannah snarks that they just play a lot of videogames.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Two of them. Solomon Ravne is an immortal sorcerer who is also a former Nazi, while Jenny is possessed by a demon who initially keeps herself hidden from the others.
  • Trapped in TV Land: When the team investigates a haunting at the derelict Luddgate film studio, they find themselves trapped inside various horror movies produced by the studio after a failed demonic extraction of Jenny. Turns out that the studio head was an occultist who built his own dimension to both play out his own fantasies and to trap people in an illusion so he could suck out their lifeforce to sustain himself.
  • Virgin Sacrifice: Subverted. Before Ravne offers Miss Simmons as part of a demonic sacrifice, he asks her if she's a virgin. When she says she isn't, Ravne explains how she best suits his purposes because innocent virgins don't actually make the best sacrificial offerings to Hell.
  • Violent Glaswegian: Michael Ness is a former SAS commando who was locked up in a mental institution and is quite the Torture Technician. Supposedly, he has an interrogation technique which involves half a dozen shards of metal and a cigarette lighter.

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