The Blasphemy Boys
Their official title under the U.S. government was the Working Group on Unsettling Anomalies, Classification and Containment, but people who knew them knew them as the Blasphemy Boys. In an era of bootleggers and tommy guns, they investigated and vanquished the supernatural.
The Working Group on Unsettling Anomalies was established by the President at the urging of Seamus Finneran, possibly the world’s foremost expert in the demonic at the time. Finneran felt it was vital that there be an organization to defend against the dark forces he knew slithered in the hidden corners of reality. Unfortunately, he saw extensive research into those forces as key to that defense, and over time that exposure tainted him in ways unnatural and dark.In 1929, the Blasphemy Boys were sent on a last minute mission to Bangor, Maine that ended in tragedy, with at lease one agent, Carruthers, being driven insane. A similar mission two years later, also last minute, met with similarly disastrous results. Sent to look into new acquisitions at the Ashton Museum in Baltimore, their investigation had led them into the sewer system, where they were attacked by a horde of Batrachi. The creatures killed Brownie, and Greg “the Big Hunk” Hussarian, under the influence of a force from beyond our reality, could not help but gun down his own teammates. Cal was forced to fire a bullet into his head, but even that was not enough to free Hunky from the horrors, for his disembodied spirit was seen dragged down into eldritch depths. Only Cal, Desiree, and Breslow survived the ordeal.
There were various oddities about the whole mission. In addition to its last minute nature, orders had been to keep Cal in the dark about it. He only learned of it because Desiree sought his help after the mission turned sour. Furthermore, the Batrachi seemed to know the Blasphemy Boys were coming.
After the mission, Cal went to speak to Seamus Finneran about the strangeness surrounding it all, and to arrange a return mission. He could not help noticing something immensely disquieting about the very presence of his superior, whose voice “crawled in [his] brain like an insect...”
While called "boys," the term could be considered a slight misnomer. The woman Desiree, while technically only part of the steno pool, was as close to a full-on member as to make no difference.
In later life, Cal named his children Gregory, James, and Desiree, presumably after his old teammates.
The name Carruthers has been used for both a member of the Blasphemy Boys and for one member of the cosmic superhero team the Apollo Eleven. A writer re-using a name, or are the two related?
Before the issue’s release, the group was referred to as the Blasphemy Agency in some promotional material. In-story, however, the only time they've ever been referred to as such is by the Broken Man in issue #1. Since his grasp on sanity can be loose, it's unclear whether this is an actual alternate name for the group.