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Crispus Allen was a Metropolis police officer before relocating to the Gotham City Police Department's Major Crimes Unit. Allen was a disciplined officer, finding strength from his family and believing that the role Batman played was a necessary component in the fight against crime. Allen was partnered with Renee Montoya, and the two had a long string of successes working together. He was a loving and devoted husband and father to two children, and placed their safety above all else. Despite his family's strong religious beliefs, Allen remained an agnostic, refusing to believe in a God who could let so much evil exist in the world.
Allen's life took a tragic turn when he and Montoya tracked gang members into a deserted building. Without waiting for backup, per police procedure, they split up and trailed the criminals. Black Spider II suddenly appeared and shot Montoya, who avoided serious injury thanks to her bulletproof vest. The costumed criminal took aim at Montoya's unprotected head, but Allen arrived before he could fire and fatally shot Black Spider.
As Internal Affairs officers began their routine investigation, the corrupt crime scene officer, Jim Corrigan, pocketed the bullet Allen had fired that killed Black Spider. Corrigan kept it to sell on the collectors' black market, but without it IA was unable to complete its investigation. Tipped off by IA, Montoya tracked Corrigan and beat him to retrieve the evidence before he could sell it. While this freed Allen from suspicion, it fouled IA's separate investigation into Corrigan, and marked the partners as enemies in Corrigan's eyes. This news also placed a strain on Allen and Montoya's partnership.
Obsessed with obtaining evidence against Corrigan, Allen began putting in extra hours on his own, hiding his work from Montoya. Eventually learning of Allen's efforts, Corrigan had an informant who was about to speak out against him beaten to death. Subsequently Corrigan lured Allen into finding the body before cravenly shooting Allen in the back. In his role as an investigator, Corrigan tainted the crime scene, thereby avoiding arrest. Montoya, unable to nail Corrigan, suffered an emotional breakdown, left the force, and set off on a self-destructive path.
Allen left behind his wife, Dore; his sons, Jacob and Mal; his mother, Violet; and two brothers.
As Allen's body lay in the city morgue during the events known as Infinite Crisis, the Spectre was forced by God to take Allen's corpse as its new human host. Allen's spirit was unwilling to accept this divine intervention, however, and initially tried to reject it. Nevertheless, the Spectre was summoned to Stonehenge by Earth's practitioners of magic to help usher in the Tenth Age of Magic. This new incarnation of the Spectre meted out justice by killing the villainous Star Sapphire for her past misdeeds.
Allen and the Spirit of Vengeance later came to an agreement that would give Allen's spirit a year to roam the Earth and study humanity before accepting the Spectre's presence. Without a human to anchor the Spectre, all humankind was threatened. Allen's spirit remained largely in Gotham, watching over his family and witnessing the fruitless investigation into his own death; he even discovered Batman's true identity. As the year ended, the Spectre returned and Allen finally accepted his fate.
By this time Allen's younger son, Mal, had determined on his own that Corrigan must have killed his father. Seeking revenge, Mal murders the corrupt cop, only to be confronted by the Spectre immediately after. Allen had no choice but to condemn his son to death for committing the crime. Because of this, Allen recognized his role as the Spectre's moral compass and always ensured that the punishment fit the crime.
First Appearance: Detective Comics (1937) #742
Spectre (DC)(05 - Crispus Allen)
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View a chronological listing of this character's appearances
52: The Companion (2007)
TPB Batgirl (2000)
- '52: The Companion'
#24 Batman (1940)
- 'Bruce Wayne: Murderer?, Part Two: Batgirl'
HC Batman (2002)
- 'Broken City'TPB
- 'Broken City'TPB (2nd Printing)
- 'Broken City'#585
- 'Measure for Measure'#587
- 'Officer Down, Part 1: These Are Your Rights'#596
- 'City on Fire'#597
- 'Crooked Miles'#598
- 'Santa Klaus is Coming to Town!'#607
- 'Death Wish for Two, Conclusion'#621
- 'Broken City, Part Two'#623
- 'Broken City, Part Four'#625
- 'Broken City, Conclusion'
Batman [GER] (2001)
Batman 80-Page Giant (1998)
#3 Batman Noir: Eduardo Risso: The Deluxe Edition (2013)
- 'All the Deadly Days'
HC Batman: Bruce Wayne - Murderer? (2002)
- 'Batman Noir: Eduardo Risso: The Deluxe Edition'
Batman: Bruce Wayne: Fugitive (2003)
Batman: City of Light (2003)
#2 Batman: Family (2002)
- 'Chapter Two'#3
- 'Chapter Three'#4
- 'Chapter Four'#5
- 'Chapter Five'#6
- 'Chapter Six'#7
- 'Chapter Seven'#8
- 'Chapter Eight'
#6 Batman: Gotham City Secret Files (2000)
- 'Chapter Six: Machinery'#8
- 'Chapter Eight: Blackout'
Batman: Gotham Knights (2000)
TPB Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (1989)
- 'Hush Returns'#13#32#37
- 'Spoiler Space'#52
- 'Pushback, Book Three'
#183 Batman: Officer Down (2001)
- 'War Games: Act 2, Part 2 of 8: Philosophical Differences'
Batman: Orphans (2011)
#1 Batman: Orpheus Rising (2001)
- 'Part 1: Army of the Knight/Part 2: Red Alert'#2
- 'Part 3: Way of the Bat/ Part 4: The Twist'
Batman: The Greatest Stories Ever Told (2005)
Batman: Turning Points (2001)
TPB Batman: Two-Face and Scarecrow Year One (2009)
- 'Turning Points'#5
- 'Old as the Stars'
TPB Batman: War Games (2005)
- 'Batman: Two-Face and Scarecrow Year One'
Birds of Prey (1999)
#27 Catwoman (1993)
- 'Officer Down, Part 3: Armed and Dangerous'
Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre (2006)
TPB DC Comics Presents: Batman (2010)
- 'Crisis Aftermath: The Spectre'#1
- 'Dead Again, Part One'#2
- 'Dead Again, Part Two'#3
- 'Dead Again, Conclusion'
Detective Comics (1937)
Gotham Central (2003)
#1 Infinite Crisis (2005)
- 'In The Line of Duty 1'#2
- 'In The Line Of Duty 2'#6
- 'Half A Life, Part One'#7
- 'Half A Life, Part Two'#8
- 'Half A Life, Part Three'#9
- 'Half A Life, Part Four'#10
- 'Half A Life, Part Five'#11
- 'Daydreams and Believers'#12
- 'Soft Targets Part One of Four'#13
- 'Soft Targets Part Two of Four'#14
- 'Soft Targets Part Three of Four'#15
- 'Soft Targets Part Four of Four'#23
- 'Corrigan Part One'#24
- 'Corrigan Part Two'#25
- 'Lights Out'#28
- 'Keystone Kops Part One'#29
- 'Keystone Kops Part Two'#30
- 'Keystone Kops Part Three'#31
- 'Keystone Kops Part Four'#32
- 'Dead Robin Part One '#34
- 'Dead Robin Part Two Of Four'#35
- 'Dead Robin Part Three Of Four'#36
- 'Dead Robin Conclusion'#37
- 'Sunday Bloody Sunday'#38
- 'Corrigan II Part 1'#39
- 'Corrigan II Part 2'#40
- 'Corrigan II Part 3'
#1 JLA Special (1998)
- 'DC Comics Proudly Presents: Infinite Crisis'
#6 JLA/JSA: Virtue and Vice (2002)
- 'JLA - Die neue Gerechtigkeitsliga'
#68 Robin (1993)
- 'Bruce Wayne: Fugitive, Part Six: Time & Motion'
#86 Two-Face: Year One (2008)
- 'Officer Down, Part 2: Behind the Lines'#110
- 'Scattered Fruit, Part Four: Emptying the Nest'
Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia (2002)
Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)
G.C.P.D. (DC)(Post Crisis)
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