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Mr. ESPer / Captain Calamity

Teen Titans Adversary
Real Name Unknown

Teen Titans File Photo:


Mr. Esper first gained notoriety as one of the Batman’s early foes that attempted local robberies using the front that he was as stage show mentalist who claimed to read minds. Mr. Esper attempted to pave the way for a west coast syndicate to move in to Gotham before the new breed of costumed criminals that had taken over foiled him.

Leaving Gotham after a few capers, Mr. ESPer came into contact with the Teen Titans when he used his helmet’s ‘sonic whisper’ to tap into Lilith’s mind – and gain access to her powers. He adopted the dual identity of Captain Calamity to wreck havoc on both East and West coasts. In a way, Mr. ESPer was responsible for bringing the Titans West group into being. In his guise as Captain Calamity, Mr. ESPer made small disasters happen to the Teen Titans that fought him. Initially, Captain Calamity was just an illusion created by the helmet. As his encounters with the two teams progressed, ESPer assumed his Calamity identity to make Mr. ESPer the illusion. The two teams eventually deduced the deception and captured him.

Mr. ESPER is revealed as Captain Calamity in SECRET ORIGIN ANNUAL #3 [1989].

Powers & Abilities

Mr. ESPer is driven by greed and power. He siphons the power of other psychics’ users with the sonic whisper from his bronze exoskeleton helmet to manipulate the minds of others with illusions.


Essential Reading

Detective Comics #352: First appearance of Mr. ESPer 
Batman #201 and 209:
Mr. ESPer returns
Teen Titans #50-52 [1976]: Titans West, comprised of Golden Eagle, Flamebird, Hawk, Dove and Beast Boy, is formed by Lilith; Captain Calamity/Mr. Esper battles the two Titan groups; Lilith and her “Titans West” group, including Gnarrk, rescue victims of more incredible disasters, and discover a connection between these events and the crimes of Captain Calamity on the East Coast. Robin and the Titans’ “first team” defeat Captain Calamity’s henchmen, and Kid Flash and Wonder Girl rejoin their teammates just in time to hear Aqualad announce his resignation: he has diagnosed his “fainting spells” as a psychosomatic illness brought on by his feelings of inferiority and uselessness to the land-based Titans team. Lilith and Gnarrk revealed to be engaged. First appearance of Titans West in issue #50. First appearance of Beast Boy, Bat-Girl [Bette Kane] and Golden Eagle as Titans.


Sources for this entry: The New Titans Sourcebook [Mayfair Games, 1990], The Official Teen Titans Index [published by ICG in 1985], Unpublished Titans Sourcebook [West End Games, 2001], supplemented by

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