Killer Croc

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Killer Croc
Croc01.jpg
Killer Croc by Eric Powell.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman #358 (April 1983)
Created byGerry Conway
Gene Colan
Don Newton
Curt Swan
In-story information
Alter egoWaylon Jones
Team affiliationsSecret Society of Super Villains
Notable aliasesCroc, King Croc
Abilities
  • Superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, stamina, durability, and senses
  • Expert swimmer
  • Expert Marksman
  • Hardened scale-like skin
  • Razor-sharp claws and teeth
  • Imunity to toxins
  • Regenerative healing factor
  • Experienced alligator wrestler
 
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Killer Croc
Croc01.jpg
Killer Croc by Eric Powell.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBatman #358 (April 1983)
Created byGerry Conway
Gene Colan
Don Newton
Curt Swan
In-story information
Alter egoWaylon Jones
Team affiliationsSecret Society of Super Villains
Notable aliasesCroc, King Croc
Abilities
  • Superhuman strength, speed, agility, reflexes, stamina, durability, and senses
  • Expert swimmer
  • Expert Marksman
  • Hardened scale-like skin
  • Razor-sharp claws and teeth
  • Imunity to toxins
  • Regenerative healing factor
  • Experienced alligator wrestler

Killer Croc is a fictional character, a supervillain who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. He is an enemy of Batman. The character was created by writers Gerry Conway & Gene Colan and by artists Don Newton & Curt Swan. While there was a shadowy cameo in Detective Comics #524 (March 1983),[1] his first full appearance was in Batman #358 (April 1983), which was also the first appearance of Jason Todd.[2][3]

Fictional character biography[edit]

In Croc's initial string of appearances, a Batman and Detective Comics crossover story arc that culminated in Jason Todd adopting the mantle of Robin, he was depicted as an unnamed, shadowy figure in a trenchcoat. A ruthless criminal who wants to become the crime kingpin of Gotham City, Croc works behind the scenes using methods like sniping to eliminate his criminal competitors. He briefly is in competition with a small army of Batman villains under the leadership of the Joker. When Batman finally confronts his mysterious foe, the villain is revealed to have a massive physique and reptilian appearance. It is then revealed that his real name is Waylon Jones, born with a form of atavism that imparted him with reptilian traits. His drunk aunt grew to hate her nephew's hideous appearance and brutal behavior. While still an adolescent, his aunt abused him and bullied him by calling him names like "lizardboy" and "a reptilian freak".[4] Croc killed his aunt and became a criminal. After countless killings and biting off Aaron Cash's hand, he faced off against Batman and the new Robin, who defeated him.

In these original, pre-crisis appearances, Killer Croc resembled a powerfully-built man covered entirely in green scales, but was still basically human in his facial proportions and build. He was also originally depicted as gunning down Jason Todd's parents (this was later retconned to make Two-Face their murderer). His appearance and personality have become increasingly bestial, explained in the comics that his disease has slowly robbed him of all identifiable human traits. In his most recent appearances, he has an elongated snout and tail.

In Batman #489, Killer Croc attacks a shopping mall. After delivering several blows to Croc, Batman is distracted by a glimpse of Bane. Croc then grabs Batman and tries to break his back again. He fails, and Bane pits himself against Croc, breaking his arms. He is then put back into Arkham Asylum.

When Bane breaks the inmates out of Arkham Asylum in the Knightfall saga, Croc attempts to get revenge on Bane. While in the sewers, he smells Bane and goes after him and the two fight each other atop a ledge. Bane casually breaks one of Croc's arms again, but Croc keeps fighting him through it until the ledge they are standing on breaks and the two fall into the sewers. The fight ends up as a draw. Croc later returns, attacking the docks to try and lure Robin out, but is defeated by Dick Grayson (now acting as Batman after Bruce defeated Valley before taking time off for self-analysis) without realizing that he is facing a new Batman.

In a storyline that ran in Batman #521 and #522, Croc is summoned by a paranormal force to break out of Arkham and make his way to the Louisiana swamps. Batman follows him there, only to find that the mysterious force is actually Swamp Thing, who offers Croc a place in the swampland where he can finally give in to his animal side and live free from human persecution.

Killer Croc has appeared in both the Hush storyline and its chronological follow up, Broken City. In the former, he is infected with a virus that greatly increases the rate of his devolution, 'overseeing' a kidnapping for Hush before Batman defeats him.

In 2005's Detective Comics #810, Killer Croc attempts to cure his condition. When the doctor fails, Croc devours her.

In Infinite Crisis, Croc becomes a member of Alexander Luthor, Jr.'s Secret Society of Super Villains.

One Year Later during the Face the Face storyline, Killer Croc is shown to have been feeding on the dead body of Orca.[5] He next shows up in Countdown where he breaks free from his shackles in Arkham Asylum and attempts to kill Jimmy Olsen, who uses elastic powers to escape. Killer Croc is then subdued.[6]

He is later seen among the exiled supervillains in Salvation Run. After the Martian Manhunter is defeated and imprisoned in a fiery cage, Croc suggests that he eats him. Lex Luthor forbids it however.

During the Final Crisis storyline, Killer Croc can be seen as the member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains.[7] Killer Croc is later turned into a Justifier.[8]

In the Battle for the Cowl storyline, Killer Croc is recruited by a new Black Mask to be a part of a group of villains aiming to take over Gotham.

During the events of Brightest Day, Killer Croc is accidentally released from his cell by a guard whom Osiris kills when Deathstroke and his band of Titans infiltrate Arkham. While attempting to flee from the facility, he is attacked by Osiris who mistakes Killer Croc for his old enemy Sobek.[9]

The New 52[edit]

In this timeline of The New 52, Killer Croc makes an appearance in the flash back in Roy Harper's memories, having the head of a crocodile. He is seen fighting Roy in Hell's Kitchen but quickly notices Roy isn't fighting back. He figures out that Roy's trying to have him commit assisted suicide ("death by croc"), and comforts the ex-sidekick knowing Oliver Queen screwed him over publicly by taking his shares of Ollie's Company and tells him that this is not the way to go out. Roy says he was not that bad of a guy before blacking out, but Killer Croc reminds him next time he will not be so nice.[10] He is then passingly referenced by Roy as he is Roy's current sponsor for his alcoholism at the time when Roy was in a bar with Jason Todd. Roy is only drinking water, but knows Waylon would disapprove.[11]

Powers and abilities[edit]

Killer Croc's backstory explains that he was born with a condition resembling epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, a disfiguring skin disorder. However, it is actually a form of regressive atavism, meaning that he has inherited traits of ancestral species of the human race such as reptiles. This condition has been augmented by the presence of a metagene. Consequently, he has several extraordinary physical abilities relating to his endurance, strength, and speed.

His skin is hardened to the degree that it is nearly impenetrable to ordinary forms of abrasion including high caliber weapons fired from a distance. He possesses a degree of super strength; for example, he was able to tear a bank vault door off of its hinges with minimal effort. He has demonstrated regenerative powers allowing him to heal and restore lost limbs and teeth. He possesses superhuman reflexes and speed, especially while he is moving underwater. Killer Croc also has an enhanced sense of smell. Once he has become familiar with a person's scent he can track them from miles away. As his appearance and personality has grown more and more bestial, his misanthropy has increased dramatically. He is jealous and hateful of "normal" people and often lashes out violently without provocation.

Croc's main weakness is consistently portrayed in most adaptations, aside from The Batman series, as being his low intellect. He typically resorts to brute force to solve most of his problems, allowing Batman to outmaneuver him in combat by thinking his way through the problems he faces in defeating the powerful Croc. Batman regularly describes his foe as an animal rather than a man. He acts almost solely on instinct and hardly ever takes the time to plan or rationalize his actions.

Character redesign[edit]

In recent years, Killer Croc has been portrayed as being much more reptilian than in past incarnations. An action figure made by Kenner in 1998 featured a tail and dinosaur-like feet. When Mattel got the license to make DC products in the early 2000s, they released their own version of Killer Croc, sculpted by Four Horsemen Studios. This version also featured a tail and dinosaur feet. In late 2005, a re-release of this figure was modified so that the tail, along with his shirt, was removed. This version also sports a more "human" head.

The 2002-2003 Batman storyline Hush featured a more bestial Croc who had been mutated against his will to appear more reptilian. This version of the character was drawn by artist Jim Lee.

In The New 52 he is shown to have a crocodile-like head, though how this came to be has not yet been revealed. Such a design had previously appeared in Red Hood and the Outlaws drawn by Kenneth Rocafort.

Other versions[edit]

Joker graphic novel[edit]

In the non-canon graphic novel, Joker, written by Brian Azzarello and artist Lee Bermejo, Croc is portrayed as a thug, a large, muscular black man with a scaly skin condition. Of all his previous designs, this is the most human. He is missing his abnormally long snout, tail, and claws. However, the book seems to hint that this Croc enjoys feeding on human flesh, with the story's narrator remarking that Croc "has a certain... eccentric way with evidence". Croc is shown leading a gang of thugs, and later becomes a high-level member of Joker's newly formed gang. This vision of the character is not unlike the one from Azzarello's previous work on Batman, Broken City. [12]

Batman Beyond[edit]

In the Batman Beyond comic, Killer Croc is mentioned as being a prisoner in a Cadmus Labs facility; his cell is briefly attacked by the new Hush, a clone of Dick Grayson, when Hush escapes the facility before he decides to simply leave. Another Cadmus official later contemplates releasing Croc to lure Hush out, but Amanda Waller dismisses the idea due to the potential for collateral damage. [13]

Batman: Crimson Mist[edit]

In Batman: Crimson Mist, Killer Croc begins as a rumoured serial killer stalking Gotham's sewers, later joining Two-Face's gang as the muscle. Faced with the threat of the vampire Batman stalking and killing his opponents, Killer Croc and Two-Face form an alliance with Commissioner Gordon and Alfred Pennyworth to trap Batman in the Batcave and expose him to the sunlight (although Croc briefly contemplated just physically tearing Batman apart himself before the others pointed out that he was too fast for Croc, the vampire Batman proving more than a match for him physically when they did engage in close-quarter combat despite his withered physical condition). Although Croc and Two-Face attempt to kill Gordon and Alfred when Batman is believed dead, Alfred is able to help his old master recover by sacrificing his life and blood to give Batman the strength to stop Gotham's last criminals. With Alfred's sacrifice, Batman impales Croc with a stalactite, commenting that Croc can keep his cold blood thanks to Alfred's sacrifice having sated his appetite for the moment. [14]

Flashpoint[edit]

In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Killer Croc kidnapped the people of Gotham and imprisoned them in the sewer. Batman then arrived and attacked Killer Croc. Killer Croc was about to strike back at Batman, but Batman stabbed him in the head with his own machete. Batman rescued the people that Killer Croc had imprisoned.[15]

In other media[edit]

Television[edit]

Film[edit]

Video games[edit]

Books[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "Killer Croc made his mysterious debut in the pages of Detective Comics #523, written by Gerry Conway, with art by Gene Colan." "Croc would soon become a major player in Gotham's underworld." 
  2. ^ Batman #357 (March 1983)
  3. ^ Wizard: The Comics Magazine (vol 1) #153 (July 2004) "Comic Book Price Guide - Batman" pg 133
  4. ^ "5 Batman Villains We Have Yet To See In The Movies". Pulpinterest.com. 2014-02-05. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  5. ^ Detective Comics #819
  6. ^ Countdown #50
  7. ^ DC Universe #0
  8. ^ Final Crisis #4
  9. ^ Titans (vol. 2) #28
  10. ^ Red Hood and the Outlaws #3
  11. ^ Red Hood and the Outlaws #4
  12. ^ Joker
  13. ^ Batman Beyond #1-5
  14. ^ Batman: Crimson Mist
  15. ^ Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance #1 (June 2011)
  16. ^ Game Informer features a two-page gallery of the many heroes and villains who appear in the game with a picture for each character and a descriptive paragraph. See "LEGO Batman: Character Gallery," Game Informer 186 (October 2008): 93.
  17. ^ "Twitter / blumspew: @pmagill536 I was all over". Twitter.com. 2012-09-29. Retrieved 2014-05-13.