|First appearance||Cameo appearance: Detective Comics #523 (February 1983)|
Full appearance: Detective Comics #524 (March 1983)
|Created by||Gerry Conway (writer)|
Don Newton (artist)
Gene Colan (artist)
|Alter ego||Waylon Jones|
|Team affiliations||Secret Society of Super Villains|
|Notable aliases||Croc, King Croc|
Killer Croc (Waylon Jones) is a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman. The character belongs to the collective of adversaries that make up Batman's rogues gallery. Originally a sideshow wrestler, Jones suffers from a rare genetic condition that eventually gave him a crocodile-like appearance. Driven insane by his irreversible transformation, he adopted the name "Killer Croc" and turned to a life of crime, over time developing animalistic tendencies which make him a dangerous individual. The character has also been a member of the Suicide Squad, debuting in the fifth volume of the comic series revolving around the team, and a romantic interest of Enchantress. Originally portrayed as a supervillain, later stories would show the character in a more anti-heroic light.
The character has been adapted into various media, most revolving around Batman, including animated series, films, video games, and novels. Killer Croc made his live-action debut in the 2016 DC Extended Universe film Suicide Squad, portrayed by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. A version of the character appeared in the third season of the Arrowverse series Batwoman, performed by Heidi Ben.
Killer Croc was created by writer Gerry Conway and artist Gene Colan. The character made cameo appearances in Detective Comics #523 (February 1983) and Batman #357 (March 1983), with his full first appearance in Detective Comics #524 (March 1983).
Waylon Jones was born with a rare form of atavism that imparted him with reptilian traits with his birth causing the death of his mother. He was raised by his aunt, an abusive alcoholic who called him names like "lizardboy" and "reptilian freak". Croc eventually killed his aunt and became a criminal in Gotham City. After committing several murders, he faced off against Batman and the new Robin, Jason Todd, 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 killing Jason Todd's parents (this was later retconned to make Two-Face their murderer).
Killer Croc escaped custody and sought revenge on Harvey Bullock and two other criminals who got him in jail. Batman tracked him down and Croc went into a homicidal rage. When new water tunnels were built, which would flood Killer Croc's new home, Croc seemingly sacrificed himself to hold the water back when they finally were open.
In reality, Croc was buried under rubble and was freed from his prison by storm drains. Killer Croc survived on rats and was isolated for months, driving him further into madness. Croc later went on a rampage after a confrontation with a vagrant, and winds up in 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. He fails, and Bane pits himself against Croc, breaking his arms. Croc 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 fights 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 to lure Bane out for a rematch, but is defeated by Dick Grayson (now acting as Batman after Bruce defeated Valley before taking time off for self-analysis) without the villain realizing that he is facing a new Batman. Killer Croc is left for the police in a fishing net all bruised up with a broken arm.
Killer 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 the Swamp Thing, who offers Croc a place in the swampland where he can finally give in to his animal side, live free from human persecution and have a peaceful and joyous life.
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; this provides Batman's first clue that someone else is orchestrating events, as he knows that Croc is too stupid to attempt a complex scheme like a kidnapping on his own due to the many variables. Though Killer Croc was briefly restored to his original form, the Mad Hatter, under Black Mask's orders, implanted Killer Croc with a device that made him loyal to Black Mask and caused the virus to return. Batman freed Croc from Black Mask's control. Croc attempted to take revenge on the Mad Hatter, but was stopped by Batman. Croc then escaped.
When an attempt at a cure fails, Killer Croc devours the involved doctor and retreats to the sewers, vowing vengeance on Batman and Black Mask.
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 an orca. 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.
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 will eat the Martian. Lex Luthor forbids it.
During the "Final Crisis" storyline, Killer Croc can be seen as the member of Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains. Killer Croc is later turned into a Justifier.
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 and Bludhaven.
During the events of Brightest Day, Killer Croc is intentionally 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.
In the continuity of DC's 2011 reboot The New 52, Killer Croc is established to have fought Roy Harper in Hell's Kitchen in a flashback seen in Red Hood and the Outlaws. 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 that Waylon would disapprove.
During the 2013–2014 "Forever Evil" storyline, Croc began ruling over Gotham's lower class. He murders a corrupt S.W.A.T. team that murdered one of the few people who were nice to him. When the Crime Syndicate invades Earth, Croc takes over Wayne Tower. He is confronted by the villain Bane, who injects Croc with Venom, turning Croc into a hulking giant, whom Bane then defeats.[volume & issue needed]
While institutionalized in Arkham, Killer Croc meets Sybil Silverlock, a woman with dissociative identity disorder. He bonds with her softer personality, and she shows him a picture of her daughter, Olive. Sybil has him promise to look after Olive if he ever gets out. After the destruction of Arkham Asylum, Killer Croc escapes and travels to Gotham Academy, where he watches over Olive, and tells her about her mother, who was rendered comatose by the asylum's destruction. After Batman confronts them, Olive and Killer Croc escape to a swamp. Before parting, he tells her that, if she is like her mother, to come and find him one day.
He recently helped Harley Quinn and her friends fight a gang of other Batman villains in Coney Island.
In the pages of Suicide Squad, Killer Croc and the Squad go on a mission to retrieve a "cosmic item" from a Russian undersea prison, revealed to be a portal to the Phantom Zone, and come face-to-face with General Zod. He attacks the Squad and, when spotting Zod about to kill June Moone/Enchantress, Croc saves her just in time. After the mission, back in their cells, June Moone and Croc have a heartfelt conversation and embrace each other. Killer Croc and June Moone enjoy New York City and decide to explore their romance in the future. Croc encourages her to try, but later expresses fear and sheds tears that he will lose her if she is able to achieve her dream. Enchantress's rampage in New York City lasts until it is revealed that it is an editor from a magazine company who rejected June. After being convinced by Croc to reevaluate her, he decided to give her some freelance work. Moved by Waylon's actions, June reigns in the Enchantress and thanks her love for helping her. Wall escapes the battle after downloading the file. Two days later in the cell, Croc mourns, and breaks down in tears over June Moone's "death", as Rick told him that June Moone is the only one who did not see him as monstrous. He eventually leaves the Squad.
In Harley Quinn's series, Killer Croc joined the Penguin's plans to take over New York, but went off on his own to take Coney Island, revealing that he was on display there in a freak show as a kid driving out the other villains. After it was all torn down, Harley convinced him to join her side and help take it all back from the Penguin.
Killer Croc, now just going by Waylon has taken over Tusk's hotel in Monster Town, granting second chances to any monster in need.
In Joker War event tie-in Croc has enough after Joker and his goons made their way to Monstertown and tore it to pieces. He decided to create a new one in the sewers of Gotham, hoping that he and the others would be left alone. He also explained how his mutated friends came to be. Croc wants to bring others down to the sewers for protection from the war above. Batman attempts to warn Croc of the dangers of the chemicals in the water, but, unfortunately, Croc doesn’t believe him. He orders his team to kill Batman. After making a deal with Batman, they fight and lose. Croc and his gang settled in their cells. He promises them the best of care, including a reversal of their conditions, if a cure can be found.
Croc along with Firefly, Knockout and Cheshire bring by Clayface potential allies seeking a second chance bring them together to defend the Allytown. Eventually they have successful and being to repair the damage.
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, speed, and strength, making him able to lift up to two tons.
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 also possesses an extraordinary amount 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. He can also see through his crocodile eyelids. 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. As a result of these feelings of jealousy, Croc will often entertain himself by grabbing hold of small, pointy objects as a source of comfort.
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 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. This is a departure from his initial portrayal, where he was shown to be a ruthless and intelligent criminal who was able to plot his ascent from henchman to The Squid to perhaps the most powerful force in Gotham organized crime before being defeated by the Batman.
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.
A number of alternate universes in DC Comics publications allow writers to introduce variations on Killer Croc, in which the character's origins, behavior, and morality differ from the mainstream setting.
Killer Croc appears in the Batman: Arkham series where he is reimagined as much physically larger than most of his comic book counterparts and retains his cannibalistic nature. He has been voiced by Steven Blum in Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, Arkham Knight as DLC, and VR, and by Khary Payton in the prequel Arkham Origins.
In the novel Batman: Knightfall and Beyond, based largely on the comics storyline, Killer Croc is said to have suffered from a "raging skin cancer" that turned the outer layers of his flesh into a hardened covering when he was younger. He escapes from Arkham Asylum when Bane and his men destroy it, freeing most of Batman's major foes in the process as part of a plan by Bane to wear him down before Bane himself "breaks" him. Batman later defeats Croc in a one-on-one fight in the sewers, crushing a cylinder of knock-out gas against the underside of his nose to disable him. Croc is then arrested and held in Blackgate Prison with the other Arkham escapees until the asylum can be rebuilt.