Doctor Crocodile (a.k.a. Doc Croc)
Real Name: Joshua N'Dingi
Identity/Class: Human cyborg, ruler and citizen of Mbangawi
Occupation: Ruler of the African Kingdom of Mbangawi, Gawan tribal chieftain
Affiliations: ruler of Mbangawi; former RCX agent; advised by the tribal Witch-Woman.
Enemies: Jamie Braddock; Sat-Yr-9; (former) Captain Britain (Brian Braddock); Meggan; the Technet
Known Relatives: Jonas N'Dingi (father, tribal ruler of Mbangawi, deceased), Samuel N'Dingi (ancestor, deceased)
Aliases: Doc Croc; halfling (Gatecrasher's nickname for him)
Base of Operations: Mbangawi, East Africa
First Appearance: Captain Britain II # 9 (September 1985)
Powers/Abilities: The left side of Doctor Crocodile's body is cybernetic, and his left hand is clawlike in appearance. However nothing he does in any of his appearances suggests that his prosthetics grant any level of superhuman ability, rather than simply being functional replacements for the limbs and eye he lost. The sole gadget that is shown to be inbuilt is a gas dispenser in his left arm, which can release a cloud of green gas which inflict extremely realistic, full sensory illusions on those exposed. Somehow Doctor Crocodile can direct the hallucinations experienced, using them to impart information and gauge someone's true personality. Since multiple subjects can be made to see the same illusions, it may be that Doctor Crocodile has some kind of telepathic or magical ability, and the gas merely renders victims susceptible to this.
As a former agent of RCX, Doctor Crocodile is likely highly skilled in combat, and he certainly had no hesitation in attempting to enter into hand-to-hand battle with Jamie Braddock.
History: (Captain Britain II #10, bts) Joshua N'Dingi is sent by his father to England to be educated. There he is eventually recruited into RCX, and begins work as one of their agents, gathering the Warpie children in the wake of the recent Jasper's Warp. Presumably feeling his work is important, when his father dies he does not immediately return home to assume rulership of Mbangawi.
(Captain Britain II #10, (fb)) Along with Agent Michael, Joshua goes to collect Robert Arnold, a young Warpie child, and take him into RCX care. Michael tries to handle the distraught mother, while Joshua goes to take the child from his cot in the next room. Joshua talks soothingly to the toddler, but cannot stop the frightened child from getting upset. It begins to cry loudly...and then explodes in his face.
He is vaguely aware of pain and extensive surgery, before finally awakening to see his colleagues Michael and Gabriel standing over him. Michael tells him not to be too shocked at his new appearance, as the child's spontaneous combustion caused extensive injuries, requiring drastic surgery and unperfected techniques to be employed to save his life. Then Joshua looks in a mirror, to see much of the left half of his body replaced by mechanical grafts and prosthetics, and his remaining skin now so scarred that it appears almost scaly.
In spite of the protests of his fellows, who point out the vast amounts of money spent on repairing him, Joshua decides it is time to return home to govern his country.
(Captain Britain II #10, bts) With his new appearance the people of Mbangawi dub their new ruler Doctor Crocodile.
(Captain Britain II #9, bts) Alerted by his former colleagues in RCX to the depraved criminal activities of racing driver Jamie Braddock, Doctor Crocodile takes him into custody when the playboy slaver enters Mbangawi while taking part in the Trans-African Rally. Having been misled to believe that Jamie's brother Brian, the superhero Captain Britain, is likewise involved in these horrific crimes, Doctor Crocodile orders his government to keep Jamie's real fate a secret, simply reporting the driver as being missing, so that he can lure his "accomplice" into a trap.
(Captain Britain II #9) Doctor Crocodile threatens Jamie with torture and has his captive call Braddock Manor, getting him to inform his brother of his captivity and to deliver an ultimatum: "If you're not here by Wednesday they're going to do something savage and unpleasant to me." As Jamie carries out this instruction, Doctor Crocodile stands and watches his Witch-Woman heat up some barbed needles in preparation.
(Captain Britain II #10) Captain Britain and Meggan arrive in Mbangawi and literally gatecrash the Emperor's compound looking for Jamie. Doctor Crocodile, monitoring their arrival from an unspecified location nearby, allows them to smash their way in to the empty building, before making a call to a phone in the room they are in. He and the British hero exchange heated words, before the African ruler releases his mind-bending gas through the phone. He puts Captain Britain through a series of illusions, sharing the experience of the incident which crippled him and made him half-mechanical, then shows Braddock images of his brother's crimes: robbing aid convoys, murder, slave-trading and worse. Appearing in the visions as a giant crocodile, Joshua accuses Captain Britain of being an accomplice to these evils, but the hero hotly denies this. Releasing him from the dream world, Doctor Crocodile asks his tribal sorceress for her opinion. She states that Captain Britain is innocent of his brother's crimes.
The enraged hero starts to take his anger at the horrors he witnessed out on Jamie, but Doctor Crocodile stops him, stating that it is local justice must be allowed to punish these transgressions. He notes that his informants had led him to believe that Brian had sheltered his brother from previous detection, and apologises to the hero for the ordeal he was put through. A short while afterwards Doctor Crocodile watches as Meggan and Captain Britain fly off, leaving Jamie and Mbangawi.
(Excalibur I #15, bts) The Witch-Woman foretells that Jamie will escape and cause terrible harm, and councils that he should be executed to prevent this. Doctor Crocodile decides to ignore this warning.
(Excalibur I #15) Hired by Nigel Frobisher on behalf of Sat-Yr9, the Technet travel to Mbangawi to rescue Jamie Braddock from Doctor Crocodile, whom they are informed is a tyrant holding an innocent hostage. Easily entering the heavily guarded compound and overcoming the guard, Gatecrasher, Yap and Joyboy penetrate the heart of the structure, where they find Doctor Crocodile and the Witch-Woman torturing Jamie. Joyboy deals with the sorceress, and Gatecrasher faces the cyborg, who blasts her in the face with a shot of his hallucinogenic gas. Much like Captain Britain before her, she experiences first hand the evil actions of Jamie Braddock. Released from her visions, she finds herself with her hands round Doctor Crocodile's throat, as he calmly explains that she had to be shown the truth about the man she had come to rescue; he states that Gatecrasher has honour in her, but those she serves do not, and that she has been deceived.
Before the discussion can progress, a terrified Yap teleports the Technet, Jamie and Doctor Crocodile back to the mercenaries' base on Brighton Pier. Jamie starts to wander off; Gatecrasher notes that they had best restrain him until things can be sorted out; and Doctor Crocodile, his head still soundly gripped by Gatecrasher's giant hand, warns her to be careful as his former captive is more than he seems. This is swiftly demonstrated as they all witness Jamie inflict terrible agony on Bodybag, the Technet member who is ordered to take him captive. The rest of the Technet start to move to engage Braddock, only to fall one by one to the reality warping abilities his torture seems to have released.
Doctor Crocodile notes that Jamie still believes he is imprisoned in Mbangawi, and thinks that what he is currently experiencing is just a dream. Realising the lack of moral constraints this gives Jamie, combined with his vast new powers, Doctor Crocodile declares that he wishes he had heeded the sorceress' warning and killed the madman when he had the chance. Slipping his robe off and drawing a knife, he rushes into combat, only for the pier to be lit up by a huge explosion of light.
Some time later, Nigel Frobisher collects a victorious Jamie from the pier. He has altered the Technet's memories to wipe out their recollections of the fight, leaving them to believe the mission was a success. However Thug is disgruntled to find his bath disrupted when he finds a tiny cybernetic crocodile in the tub...
(Marvel Atlas #2) The Witch-Woman located Doctor Crocodile and restored him to human form.
(Civil War: Battle Damage Report) Alongside other influential and superhuman African rulers, Doctor Crocodile attended the Pan-African Congress on the Treatment of Superhumans in Wakanda to discuss the USA's passage of the Superhuman Registration Act.
Comments: Created by Jamie Delano and Alan Davis.
The exact nature of Doctor Crocodile's official title as ruler of Mbangawi is uncertain. Captain Britain and Meggan find him in "the Emperor's compound" in Mbangawi, but Emperor is a rather grandiose title for the ruler of a small African nation, and it may simply be that this is a holdover from colonial days, when a foreign monarch ruled Mbangawi prior to independence - e.g. the compound used to be the residence of the Emperor when he visited the country, and has retained that name long after the Empire faded. Captain Britain refers to Doctor Crocodile as being considered by his people to be more like a god than an Emperor, but he might simply be making a mistaken titular assumption based on the compound's name. Of course what the writer wanted was for readers to assume Doctor Crocodile was an evil tyrant, in the mold of Idi Amin, and evil tyrants like giving themselves overblown designations, such as Emperor, even when they don't have an empire to be Emperor of. However once you realise that he is actually a caring and benevolent ruler, that designation seems a little unlikely. Perhaps his father was the dictator who granted himself the title, and Joshua has merely inherited it. The Marvel Atlas entry on Mbangawi later confirmed much of this speculation - the title is a holdover from colonial days, and Joshua prefers to be called President N'Dingi.
Michael tells Joshua that RCX spent a lot of money fixing him after he was injured. "The prosthetics alone run into millions." Hmmm. I wonder how many millions? He's had one arm, an eye and a leg replaced. No basis to this theory, but I'd speculate it might well be the dollar equivalent of Six Million.
When Captain Britain is put through his paces in the illusionary world and comes out of his trance, Doctor Crocodile looks to the Witch-Woman for analysis of his guilt or otherwise, suggesting that it was she who conjured and controlled the images seen. However when Gatecrasher and Yap are later put through a similar process, the Witch-Woman is indisposed, and it is clearly Doctor Crocodile who directs the experience. Perhaps the gas induces the visions, but the actual displays are magically controlled? The first time round, the Witch-Woman supervises things, but by the time the Technet come calling Joshua has been taught enough to do the job himself.
Doctor Crocodile's final fate was unknown. He was last seen transformed by Jamie Braddock into a tiny reptile and in the hands of the Technet. For all we know they could have eaten him! However I'd like to think that once the Witch-Woman recovered from Joyboy's attentions, she would have tried to track him down, and that once she located him, she would see to restoring him to his original form. Again, the Marvel Atlas and latterly Civil War Battle Damage Report confirm that Doc Croc was rescued, restored, and is back in his human form.
Profile adapted from the one I did for the Appendix to the Marvel Universe site.
CLARIFICATIONS: Doctor Crocodile is not connected to and should not be confused with
any other Doctor's, not even scarred ones who rule small nations
anyone else who calls themselves something Crocodile or Crocodile something
Robert Arnold is probably not connected to and should not be confused with
Larry Arnold, member of Silver Sable's Wild Pack, @Silver Sable 21
"Benedict Arnold", a SHIELD traitor, @Captain America #214
The Witch-Woman is not connected to and should not be confused with
any other witches
Mbangawi should not be confused with
Wakanda, a West African nation, @Fantastic Four I #52
any other fictional African nations
Kura, the Witch-Woman
The Witch-Woman, was a tribal sorceress of the J'Dare tribe and a crone, and acted as a mystic advisor to Doctor Crocodile. She seems to be in charge of the torture of Jamie Braddock, heating up the pronged spikes which were presumably intended to be used on him. Doctor Crocodile asked her regarding Captain Britain's guilt or innocence with regard to culpability in his brother's crimes after the hero had been through the visions, suggesting she was reading the younger Braddock's reactions while he was in the illusionary world. She had precognitive powers, as she warned Doctor Crocodile that Jamie would escape to wreak havoc, and knew an attack was imminent the night the Technet came to rescue him. When Gatecrasher intruded, she appeared to be gathering some kind of energies around her hands in preparation to repel them, but before she could unleash whatever attack this was, Joyboy read her desire to be one with the cosmos and used his powers to grant that wish. Eventually recovering from this experience, she tracked down the missing Doctor and restored him to his human form.
- Captain Britain II #9 (CB II #9, CB II #10, Excalibur I #15, Marvel Atlas #2
Robert Arnold was a young child, barely old enough to stand up on his own, with horns on the top of his head. He was described as being a Warpie, but might conceivably have been a mutant instead. Regardless of his correct designation, he was located by RCX during their sweep for Warpies, and Agent's Michael and Joshua were sent to retrieve him. Mrs.Arnold, his mother, was understandably distraught by this, but not as distraught as her toddler, who started to cry loudly when Joshua lifted him, and then spontaneously combusted in a highly explosive manner.
I haven't listed Robert as an enemy of Doctor Crocodile because in spite of the horrendous injuries the child inflicted on the RCX agent, the infant hardly intended to do what he did.
- Captain Britain II #9 (CB II #9
Mbangawi is an East African nation, with luscious veldts and lions among the native animals, at least based on the tiny amount of it we see around Doctor Crocodile's compound. Its location in relation to real-world countries is uncertain. Since Joshua N'Dingi's home is referred to as the Emperor's Compound, and since at least some of the locals (his guards to be precise) speak fluent English, this suggests to me that Mbangawi might once have been part of the British Empire. With the exception of it's unique ruler, we see nothing which implies that Mbangawi might stand out as being in any way unusual compared to the rest of the nations in Africa (unlike the high-tech kingdom of Wakanda for instance).
-Captain Britain II #9 (CB II #9, 10, Excalibur I #15
Any Additions/Corrections? Please let me know.
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