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A supervillain.


Gerald Snyder was an anthropology graduate student researching a thesis on how different “primitive” peoples around the world related, socially and religiously, to animals. He was particularly interested in how people perceived and interacted with animals perceived by modern men as dangerous, disgusting, or troublesome (such as sharks, rats, bats, snakes, and some types of insects). While researching the role of the bat in Meso-american culture, Snyder learned that a museum in Philadelphia had a small non-public collection of artifacts related to that topic. He received permission to examine the collection. As he reviewed the artifacts, one in particular captured his attention — a large, beautifully-worked gold amulet or medallion depicting a bat or bat-god. As he examined it carefully, he was amazed to discover that it was actually some sort of locket; it had a concealed compartment no modern man had ever known about! With trembling hands he carefully pried it open. As it opened, there was a puff of dust that made him cough, and then... nothing. Whatever had been inside the locket had long ago crumbled into powder. Or so he thought. That night his dreams were haunted by nightmare visions of himself as a man-bat hybrid monster, soaring over the city, catching people and eating them. In the morning he was terrified to read reports in the paper of a monster just like the one he’d imagined himself being! When it happened again the next couple of nights, he knew it wasn’t just a dream — somehow the amulet had put a curse on him, or the dust was a mystic poison, or something. The point was, apparently he was now some sort of were-bat. Snyder returned home to Vibora Bay to figure out what to do. He was too scared to turn himself in to the authorities... and after a few weeks of living with the problem he realized he didn’t want to. He discovered he enjoyed being a humanoid bat, prowling the night, superior to all the humans he saw. After all, if a few homeless people became his prey, what was so wrong with that? In time Snyder learned to control his transformations, so now he can become a monster whenever he likes. He thinks of himself as Vesper, the were-bat, though he’s never used that name in public. He hasn’t been seen or caught yet, but that’s just a matter of time


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