Wrecking Crew


Dirk Garthwaite was the son of Burt Garthwaite, a loutish construction worker and abusive father. Dirk grew up to become a burglar, wielding a crowbar as his chief weapon to remind himself of the crowbar his father used. Dirk once broke into a hotel room and overpowered its occupant, the Asgardian god Loki, who had just requested mystical enhancements from Karnilla the Norn Queen to oppose Thor. Karnilla accidentally cast the spell upon Dirk instead. Becoming the Wrecker, Dirk went on a rampage, battling Thor, but was finally beaten by the magical Destroyer construct, animated by the spirit of Sif.

During a subsequent battle with Thor, the Wrecker struck the third rail of a subway track and the magic powering him was driven from his body into the crowbar. Without the crowbar, he was sent to Ryker's Island. There, he befriended fellow convicts Dr. Eliot Franklin, Brian Philip Calusky and Henry Camp, and arranged to spring them when he made his escape to retrieve the crowbar. Obtaining the crowbar, the Wrecker had his three friends grasp it with him in an electrical storm, and the storm transferred the power amongst the four of them. Franklin became Thunderball; Calusky became Piledriver; and Camp became Bulldozer. Together, they became known as the Wrecking Crew.

Thunderball had previously built a Gamma Bomb for Richmond Enterprises, but executive J.C. Pennysworth had stolen it and Franklin had been sent to prison while trying to steal it back. He convinced his allies that they should capture the bomb and use it to ransom New York. They began to tear apart buildings owned by Richmond Enterprises to find the bomb, attracting the attention of the Defenders, including Nighthawk (Kyle Richmond himself). The Crew was defeated by the Defenders and dispersed to different prisons.

After regaining his crowbar, the Wrecker freed his allies and they decided to publicly defeat Thor in order to salvage their reputations. When they encountered Iron Fist and threatened his girlfriend Misty Knight, Iron Fist offered to gain them access to Avengers Mansion in order to save her. The Wrecking Crew invaded the mansion, finding only Captain America present; but he and Iron Fist managed to outfight the Wrecking Crew, and they were all sent back to prison. From his cell at Ryker's, the Wrecker concentrated upon his crowbar's power and used it to compel a guard to release him. He and the Wrecking Crew finally had their first shot at Thor as a team, but Thor bested them all, and only Thunderball escaped. Thunderball acted on his own for a while, battling Iron Man (James Rhodes), and later recovering the crowbar for himself and battling Spider-Man, but he was ultimately sent back to Ryker's.

The Wrecking Crew were freed by the Beyonder and transported to "Battleworld" to serve in Dr. Doom's army of super-villains against the heroes gathered there. They proved to be useful thugs for Doom's purposes, but they finally abandoned him after he gained the Beyonder's power, returning to Earth with the aid of the Molecule Man. The entire Wrecking Crew then joined Helmut Zemo's Masters of Evil and helped provide intelligence on Hercules, uncovering the Avenger's drinking problem. The Wrecking Crew joined with Goliath (Erik Josten) and Mr. Hyde in a savage assault on Hercules at Avengers Mansion that left him comatose. When Thor came to avenge his comrade, he used the power of his hammer to transfer all of the Wrecking Crew's energies into the crowbar, and the Wrecker himself was beaten in combat by Captain America.

The Wrecker soon escaped prison and freed the Crew, and they continued to use Zemo's remaining resources while they prepared to regain their powers. Thunderball began rebuilding the Gamma Bomb in the hopes of another blackmail attempt, but his one-time use of the crowbar had left him craving its power, and he ultimately turned on the Wrecker, wanting all the power for himself. Faced with the combined powers of Spider-Man and Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter), the divided Wrecking Crew fell. Some of the Wrecking Crew participated in the so-called "Acts of Vengeance" as Thunderball fought the Fantastic Four, the Wrecker fought Iron Man, and the entire Crew fought Damage Control, who were secretly aided by Thunderball (who was friends with Damage Control's John Porter). The Wrecker continued to resent Thunderball's attempts at claiming his power and mantle of leadership, and began to hunt the now-powerless Franklin. The Wrecker tracked Franklin to his Yancy Street safehouse, but encountered the Thing there and was beaten. The entire Crew were imprisoned at the Vault for a time, participating in an uprising when Venom staged a breakout. Thunderball opposed even Venom's leadership, and led a splinter team of escapees against the Avengers when they tried to lockdown the facility, but he finally sided with the Avengers to help stop a core breach in the Vault.

Characters and Activity

Complete Team Roster

Image Codename Real Name
250px-Thunderball_001-1.jpg Thunderball Elliot Franklin

wrecker1.jpg Wrecker Dirk Garthwaite

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