This page is about the character in the comic book series. For info on the TV Series, see Anton Trese (TV Series).
Creation and conception
Budjette Tan worked with Mark Gatela in writing for The World of the Unknown, an anthology radio show featuring supernatural stories akin to The Twilight Zone. In it, he voiced an unseen which Mark named Anton Trese. Eventually, the radio station featuring the show closed down.
As Budjette took a break from comics in 1999 to focus on his career, he was influenced with various mythology and urban legends as well as works like Stephen King's Crouch End, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The X-Files, and most prominently Carlo Borromeo and Reno Maniquis' The Witness. The latter eventually inspired Budjette to rework Michael Andara, a character he created with Brandie Tan and Mark Gatela for Payaso, into a protagonist of a supernatural police procedural named after Anton Trese, the narrator of their old radio show. He shuffled with the premise, with one of the drafts turning Anton Trese into a tabloid reporter going after Andara for information.
In June 2005, Kajo Baldisimo texted him about wanting to make a monthly 20-page comic book. Budjette obliged and started reworking the script with Anton Trese he already had into a one-shot, concerned that their busy schedules wouldn't allow them to write another one. He used two earlier drafts he made as well as some elements in an earlier pitch he sent for Marvel Knights into a short scene. This had Anton, armed with a buntot-pagi, face against an aswang named Mama San. However, the creators decided to change the protagonist into a woman, eventually developing it into Alexandra Trese.
The character was eventually used as Alexandra's father, which was referenced without being named throughout the first eight issues. Anton made his main series debut in Trese: Mass Murders, opening the book's first issue, A Private Retaliation.
Anton responded to a patient's invitation accompanied by Miranda, Puti, Amang Paso, and Alexander Trese. Puti attacked a creature under the house's stairs, severely injuring himself. The patient then attacked them by manifesting wraiths that were impervious to their magical attacks. Anton was blinded by the wraiths but Amang Paso, unaffected by the wraiths, guided them to safety. He eventually saved this patient by sacrificing one of his memories.
Anton and Alexander put a stop to the Theater of Doom, freeing a pair of female aswang that were forced to fight each other for entertainment. The aswang wore theater masks that controlled their bloodlust, manifesting every time they battled. They remained loyal to them due to their help, serving as Alexander's personal bodyguards.
At some point, Anton bought a wine collection from an action that turned out to be haunted by the ghost of a sommelier named Robert Dredson Sundico. After failing to exorcise Robert's spirit, the two compromised to Anton not opening the wine bottles without Robert's permission as he uses his sommelier experience to advise Anton on wine purchases.
Children and Training Alexandra
Anton and Miranda eventually married and had six children that were prophesied in the visions of the Seven Seers. The fifth child died soon after she was born, but her twin sister Alexandra survived. Alexander asked the fastest tikbalang to bring her body to the Metalero, who was assisted by the Babaylan of Makiling in forging her body into a kris named the Sinag.
The Fort Bonifacio Massacre
Anton responded to Captain German's call regarding the death of Janette Lucero and four Scout Rangers in a stripper club. After her insistence, he brought the 15-year-old Alexandra with him. Together, they analyzed the crime scene, concluding that this was a ritual feeding done by an unidentified woman and her children. Puti and Bantay arrived shortly after, detecting the woman's scent. Anton asked Puti's pack to track down the scent, and told German and his sergeant Guerrero to find information about the victims' commanding officer.
The next morning, German and Guerrero reported that the Scout Rangers (nicknamed the Skeleton Crew during their tenure under Sergeant Scullion) served under Lieutenant Hidalgo, who was recently promoted. Puti reported not long after that the woman and a number of her accomplices got a supply of firearms from gun-smuggling aswang. Anton realized that the woman was planning to attack Hidalgo's gathering in his house. He asked German and Guerrero to warn the military in advance, told Puti and his pack to investigate near Bonifacio, and brought Alexandra with him to interrogate Corporal Raul Lanares, a member of the Skeleton Crew detained in an asylum.
The two of them interviewed Raul, communicating with him through his summoned spirit. He told them of how the Skeleton Crew used rebel captives to summon a war god after a farmer taught them a spell, which fueled their blind rampage through rebel camps in the mountains. They lost the last remaining rebel, but she showed up two years later, raiding military outposts, and drove Raul into insanity.
Anton and Alexandra found two wargods, Darago and Darranga, and asked them for any possible war deities that fit the description. From the evidence they presented, they deduced that the deity was Talagbusao, and that the killings were done to feed the warchildren. They warned that Talagbusao was planning on a ritual that involved eating his children to make his stay on Terra Mundo permanent.
They found Puti, Max and Dober's bodies after they were killed by the warchildren. Sergeant Guerrero notified them that he had lost contact with Hidalgo's patrol. He instructed Captain German to warn the military and brought his daughter with him to Amang Paso to ask access to the duwende tunnels as well as his help. After bribing him with chocolate, Anton drove through the tunnels and emerged in Hidalgo's house, ramming his car into Talagbusao.
He instructed Alexandra to bring the warchildren to the duwende tunnels and distracted Talagbusao with a summoned swarm of black creatures. Talagbusao managed to hit him by relying on his sense of smell, and gravely injured him with a gunshot to the torso. Alexandra helped him escape through the duwende tunnels with Amang Paso and the warchildren. With Anton safe, she managed to banish Talabugsao out of Terra Mundo.
After Alexandra's victory, he remained bedridden for a while due to his injuries. Bringing the warchildren to his household, he decided to keep them under his care after seeing their potential help to the family. Nicknamed as the Kambal, they were bonded to the masks from Alexander's bodyguards, whom he lost to the Maligno Horde.
He sent out a notice to his contacts in the underworld for a book that contained the spell to summon Talagbusao, hoping to prevent his return.
Great Balete Tree Trials
The night before Alexandra undertook the Trials, she discovered the book detailing the prophecies of the Seven Seers. Choosing to tell her the truth, Anton and Alexander go on to explain her role in the prophecy, the fate of her twin sister Sinag, the existence of her baptismal gifts, and the four clans of aswang that plan to stop her from finishing the trials, and the prophecy of how her trials will end. Though Alexandra was apprehensive, he explained that the aswang will come after her even if she refused to continue the trials.
Anton, the Trese family, and some trusted allies defended Alexandra from the four rebel clans of aswang against her prophecy. He ordered the Kambal to stop prioritizing his safety and to protect Alexander first instead. At the height of the battle, he sacrificed his own lifeforce to protect the tree with a spell, ending his life.
Anton is a medium-built man with black hair and a very pronounced widow's peak. He often wears a black long sleeved camisa de chino and wields a balisong inscribed with ornate lettering.
As the Babaylan-Mandirigma, he was proficient in the magicks of the Babaylan as well as the combat expertise of the Mandirigma. He wielded a balisong that he uses both in combat and in conducting spells. He was also a doctor, actively attending to patients with special cases.
Anton's balisong is used to extract and submerge the severed eyeball of the subject into a glass of water. The incantation "Testigo" is uttered, showing the person last seen by the eyeball. The conductor must mentally specify the person's identity. The water can then be poured onto a parchment medium such as napkin, imprinting the image onto the medium.
Basic Summoning Spell
The blood of the subject is mixed with melted candlewax in a basin of water, and the name of the spirit is called out. The spirit assumes corporeal form through the wax in the basin, and can stay to verbally communicate as long as the candle used burns.
The spell can also be used on catatonic patients to communicate with their consciousness.
Anton pulls out a black stone, whispering into it. The stone then separates into a swarm of black flying creatures, hindering the vision of anyone enveloped in it.
- Afterword of Trese: Murder on Balete Drive
- The Executioner's Squad
- Rules of the Race
- The Baptism of Alexandra Trese
- The Fort Bonifacio Massacre
- Night of the Creeps
- The Last Full Show
- A Private Retaliation
- Patient 414 in Mandaluyong
- Slaughter at Brgy. Pacifica
- At the Intersection of Balete and 13th Street