Suicide Squad comes out in less than a month, so we're diving into the comic book history of its main characters to prepare for their live-action adventure and discover some of their essential storylines. Here's the lowdown on one of Batman's scariest villains, Killer Croc.
Killer Croc's Origin
Waylon Jones was deformed at birth due to a defect known as epidermolytic hyperkeratosis, which caused his skin to develop into what looks like that of a crocodile. Jones was raised by an alcoholic aunt who hated her nephew's animalistic behavior and hideous appearance. While still an adolescent, he was abused and bullied by her — until he killed and subsequently ate her.
He served 20 years in prison for this offense, and upon his release became the main attraction of a traveling carnival as the alligator/wrestler "Killer Croc." When the carnival went bankrupt, Jones turned to organized crime and his travels would eventually lead him to Gotham, where he would seek to create a criminal empire for himself before being stopped by Batman.
Killer Croc's Powers
Despite his low level of intelligence, Killer Croc has an extraordinary strength along with enhanced abilities similar to a crocodile — an acute sense of smell, the capacity to hold his breath underwater for extended periods of time, deadly-sharp claws and teeth, and regenerative healing. Anyone that's able to go toe-to-toe with Bane has got to be frighteningly forceful and, if all of that wasn't terrifying enough, he is also a cannibal. So, he really takes the crocodile thing to heart.
The Many Faces Of Killer Croc
Over this character's many years in the comics, his look has changed from simply having deformed skin to being an actual crocodile/human hybrid. In his first appearance in 1983's Batman Issue 357, Killer Croc was depicted only as a dark, hidden figure that still had human characteristics aside from his skin.
As the character has slowly changed into a more bestial form, the comics explain this away as part of his disease slowly robbing him of any of his previously human traits. By the time we get to DC’s New 52 reboot, Killer Croc is more crocodile than man with the snapping jaws and tail to match.
Major Storylines For Killer Croc
Killer Croc has become a regular villain for the Caped Crusader since the early 1980s. One fun fact about his introduction to the comics is that he was originally depicted as the man/thing responsible for the murder of Jason Todd's parents — the two characters share Batman Issue 357 as their first appearance — a character that would later become Robin. So in a way, Croc played an integral role in Jason Todd's entire tragic story.
Some other major storylines where Killer Croc is featured are Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, where successful financier Warren White thinks he can get out of his jail sentence by taking an insanity plea only to find the depraved inmates at Arkham are much worse a fate. In Joker's Asylum: Killer Croc Issue 1, we find Killer Croc becoming muscle for a low-level criminal after breaking out of Arkham.
Suicide Squad is planned for release in the US August 5th.