|First appearance||(As group) The Defenders vol. 1, #17 (November 1974)|
|Created by||Len Wein|
The Wrecking Crew is a team of four fictional supervillains—Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball, and the Wrecker—appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. While not featured on the cover, the Wrecking Crew's first appearance is in The Defenders vol. 1, #17 in November 1974.
Fictional team history
The Wrecking Crew are formed when Dirk Garthwaite—the Wrecker—is approached by Dr. Eliot Franklin in prison and asked to retrieve a gamma bomb Franklin had designed, with the intent of ransoming New York for millions of dollars. The Wrecker had formerly been a violent criminal who demolished crime scenes with his crowbar, but gained his power when he was mistaken for Loki and given godly powers by the Norn Queen. Garthwaite manages to retrieve his enchanted crowbar, and during a lightning storm tells Franklin and fellow prisoners Henry Camp and Brian Calusky to grip the weapon simultaneously. A lightning bolt then strikes the crowbar and transforms the four men into the Wrecking Crew. They promptly escape from prison and in the course of searching for the gamma bomb are defeated by the Defenders and Luke Cage.
Over the years the Wrecking Crew have followed a very familiar cycle—escape prison, fight and subsequently lose to superheroes, and return to prison. The Wrecking Crew have battled the Avengers, Captain America, Iron Fist, the Runaways, Spider-Man, the Sub-Mariner, the Thing, Doctor Strange, Daredevil, Alpha Flight, She-Hulk, X-Men and their main foe, Thor. When the Wrecking Crew first battle Thor, they are confident that it will be a quick victory. Thor, however, infuriated by the fact that one of the Wrecker's offensives has killed an innocent bystander, defeats them all in moments and critically injures the Wrecker. Thunderball escapes and several weeks later recovers the Wrecker's crowbar, and goes on to form his own gang before being defeated by Spider-Man.
The Wrecking Crew's most notorious act was to participate in the near-fatal beating of the hero Hercules during a siege of Avengers Mansion by the supervillain team the Masters of Evil. With Thor's assistance, Hercules eventually confronts the Wrecking Crew and defeats them, restoring his confidence in himself.
They later escape to Canada to avoid the Superhuman Registration Act. The Wrecking Crew's most despicable act is murdering nearly everyone inside a Canadian bar, due to an "annoying" cell phone ringtone. They then join forces with the mythical Great Beasts and battle the superhero team Omega Flight.
After being defeated by Omega Flight, they are imprisoned in a jail in Manitoba but manage to escape and return to the United States where they are recruited to join the Hood's crime syndicate.
The Wrecking Crew were later hired by Jigsaw to kill the Punisher during Jigsaw's revenge plot against Frank Castle. However, before Wrecker can deliver the final blow, he is defeated by the Rhino, who owed Frank a favor after Castle spared his life.
During the "Search for Tony Stark" arc, The Wrecking Crew rejoin Hood's gang as they attack Castle Doom.
- Bulldozer (Marci Camp) — Marci Camp is the daughter of Henry Camp, the original Bulldozer, who inherited the villain's powers as well as his training. She now works alongside her father the original Bulldozer.
- Bulldozer (Henry Camp) — Bulldozer has an armored metal helmet and fights by ramming his victims head-first.
- Piledriver (Brian Philip Calusky) — Piledriver fights with his oversized pile-driving fists.
- Thunderball (Dr. Eliot Franklin) — Thunderball is the thinker on the team and wields a huge demolition ball on a chain.
- Wrecker (Dirk Garthwaite) — The team's leader wields an indestructible crowbar with magical properties. He both fears and hates the Thunder God, Thor.
- Excavator (Ricky Calusky) — The teenage son of Piledriver and a temporary member. Excavator wielded an enchanted shovel that broke in his very first battle when he smashed it over Molly Hayes' head (which only irritated the young mutant girl).
In Marvel Zombies vs the Army of Darkness, Thunderball is seen fighting Daredevil, whom he defeats with the help of Ash Williams (who mistakenly believed Daredevil the villain). Later, Thunderball is attempting to fight off several zombies, including infected versions of Wrecker, Piledriver, and Bulldozer. The Punisher comes upon the scene and shoots Thunderball dead, then directs his attention to the zombies. The remaining members of the Wrecking Crew are subsequently among the zombies who attack and infect the Punisher.
The Wrecking Crew initially appear in Ultimate Spider-Man as a clean-up crew for super-human battles, as employees of Damage Control. They then briefly appear in Ultimate Hulk Annual fighting Zarda after gaining the weapons, powers, and costumes of their mainstream counterparts and seizing the Flatiron Building. It is as yet unknown how or why they acquired their weapons, costumes, and powers nor the change in their behavior.
In other media
- The Wrecking Crew first appears in The Super Hero Squad Show episode "To Err is Superhuman" with Wrecker voiced by Charlie Adler, Bulldozer voiced by Roger Rose, Piledriver voiced by Travis Willingham, and Thunderball voiced by Alimi Ballard.
- The Wrecking Crew appears in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes with Wrecker voiced by JB Blanc, Bulldozer voiced by James C. Mathis III, Piledriver voiced by Nolan North, and Thunderball voiced by Gary Anthony Williams. In "Thor the Mighty," the Wrecking Crew attacks a dock containing a shipment of weapons and take out the cops only to end up fighting Thor. It was revealed that Loki in the form of Leader hired the Wrecking Crew as a diversion so that he can have the Frost Giants invade Asgard. They later appear during the "Gamma World" event, working for the real Leader. He increases their powers with gamma radiation, allowing them to defeat Thor and Doc Samson, though none of them are able to wield Mjolnir, despite their hopes. They are defeated by a combination of Thor and Black Panther, alongside the destruction of the Gamma Dome generator. They are then taken away by S.H.I.E.L.D forces (using special prison cubicles), before the second Gamma Wave hits. During the second Gamma Wave, it was revealed that the Wrecker and Piledriver were infected with Gamma radiation. They attempted to pick up Thor's hammer, but failed when Thor summoned it while he (alongside Doc Samson) was captured. In "Powerless," the Wrecking Crew fight Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, and Hawkeye in the subway. When Enchantress casts the spell that renders Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man powerless, Hawkeye had to defend them until the Wrecking Crew were defeated upon the Destroyer's arrival.
- The Wrecking Crew appeared in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Out of Damage Control" with Wrecker voiced by John DiMaggio, Bulldozer voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson, Piledriver voiced by Cam Clarke, and Thunderball voiced by Chi McBride. They cause havoc in the city until they end up fighting Spider-Man and his team. It turns out that the Wrecking Crew had infiltrated Damage Control in order to exploit their clean-up work for covert robberies of a nearby bank. While investigating Damage Control (on the mistaken hunch that the organization itself is the perpetrator), Spider-Man ends up fighting and defeating the Wrecking Crew with the help of Nova, Power Man, Iron Fist, White Tiger, and Damage Control CEO Mac Porter.
- The Wrecking Crew appeared in the Avengers Assemble episode "Avengers: Impossible" with John DiMaggio, Cam Clarke and Fred Tatasciore reprising their roles as Wrecker, Piledriver & Thunderball, while Bulldozer is voiced by Travis Willingham. They were seen in the middle of a bank robbery when they end up fighting the Avengers and are defeated. When Impossible Man arrives, he frees the Wrecking Crew as part of his take two on his show about Falcon. Falcon is able to defeat Wrecker and Thuderball while the Avengers try to stop Impossible Man. Falcon then defeats Bulldozer and Piledriver. In "Downgraded," the Wrecking Crew raid an abandoned A.I.M. warehouse for its weaponry only to be defeated by the Avengers.
- The Wrecking Crew appears in Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. with Wrecker voiced by Steven Blum in "The Skaar Whisperer" and by Fred Tatasciore in "The Big Green Mile," Bulldozer voiced by Benjamin Diskin, Thunderball voiced by Fred Tatasciore in "The Skaar Whisperer" and by Jonathan Adams in "The Big Green Mile," and Piledriver voiced by Jonathan Adams in "The Big Green Mile." They assist Absorbing Man into starting a riot at the Vault. The Wrecking Crew is defeated by the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. In "The Big Green Mile," the Wrecking Crew are shown to be inmates of the Vault section that Abomination presides over. After Abomination's "purge" of their section of the Vault is stopped by the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. with some help from Absorbing Man and Titania, the Wrecking Crew are seen with Absorbing Man and Titania when they are being transferred to another prison facility.
- The Wrecking Crew make an appearance in Marvel Disk Wars: The Avengers. They appear under the control of the villain: Joel Murphy and are easily defeated by the Avengers team. After their defeat, the kids capture the villains via D-Secure.
- The Wrecking Crew are briefly mentioned (but not seen) in the 2014 animated film Heroes United: Iron Man and Captain America. They were mentioned to have been defeated by Captain America.
- The Wrecker and Bulldozer appeared as mid-bosses in the Spider-Man Animated Series game for the Sega Genesis. Piledriver and Thunderball don't appear in the game but are mentioned in the games ending. Wrecker was originally going to appear in the SNES version but was cut for unknown reasons.
- The Wrecking Crew appears as mini-bosses in the video game Marvel: Ultimate Alliance with Wrecker voiced by Dave Wittenberg, Bulldozer voiced by James Arnold Taylor, Piledriver voiced by Michael Gough, and Thunderball voiced by Fred Tatasciore. They are members of Doctor Doom's Masters of Evil. During the Bifrost Bridge mission, the Wrecking Crew are seen blocking the bridge to prevent reinforcements from arriving. But all are defeated after battling the heroes. The Wrecking Crew have special dialogue with both Luke Cage and Elektra.
- The Wrecking Crew appears as a boss in the Facebook video game Marvel: Avengers Alliance with Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball, and the Wrecker.
- Defenders vol. 1, #17–19
- Thor vol. 1, #304
- Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1, #248
- Secret Wars #1–12 (1984–1985)
- Thor vol. 1, #418
- New Avengers vol. 1 #01
- Civil War #1–7 (2006–2007)
- Omega Flight #1–5 (2007)
- Marvel Comics Presents #5 (2008)
- New Avengers #32–37 (2007)
- New Avengers #46
- Invincible Iron Man #597. Marvel Comics.
- Runaways vol. 2, #1
- Ultimate Spider-Man #86
- Ultimate Hulk Annual #1
- "The Skaar Whisperer". Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. Season 1. Episode 11. November 10, 2013. Disney XD.
- Wrecking Crew at the Marvel Universe wiki