The MCU seems to be hinting toward many classic Marvel superhero and supervillain teams appearing in the future, like the Midnight Sons, Thunderbolts, Young Avengers, and now – the classic, infamous Wrecking Crew. It seems that their MCU debut was hinted at in the new trailer for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. So, who are the Wrecking Crew, and who are their members?
The Wrecking Crew is a four-member team of supervillains whose leader, Wrecker, gained Asgardian mystical superpowers and dispersed them among the Crew members – Bulldozer, Piledriver, and Thunderball – through an enchanted crowbar.
There were other members joining the team every now and then, but these four petty criminals were the main Wrecking Crew. They aim to rob banks, kill superheroes, and become infamous, but most of the time, they just end up back in jail. Without further ado, here’s all you need to know about the Wrecking Crew, their powers, origins, members, and potential MCU role.
Who Are The Wrecking Crew?
The Wrecking Crew is a supervillain team consisting of four regular members and three occasional members. They first appeared in Defenders #17 in 1974, sharing mystical Asgardian powers that gave them superhuman strength and enchanted items that amplified their powers, such as crowbars, wrecking balls, etc.
The first time we saw the Wrecking Crew, they were causing mayhem around New York City by demolishing the buildings of Richmond Enterprises. One of their members, Dr. Eliot Franklin, aka Thunderball, was a scientist before that created a miniature Gamma Bomb for Richmond.
When he was arrested, the bomb had been stolen by the company’s CEO and stored in one of the Richmond buildings. So, when the crew tried to find the Gamma Bomb, they went from building to building, demolishing it in the process.
Over the years, the Wrecking Crew fought numerous heroes. Seeing that their powers were of Asgardian origins, the Wrecking Crew’s most common adversary was Thor. However, they’ve faced Iron Man, Spider-Man, Captain America, Iron Fist, Hercules, the Fantastic Four, Ghost Rider, etc.
Although the first time we’ve seen the Wrecking Crew, they fought the Defenders, it’s not where their origin story begins.
Wrecking Crew Origins
Initially, the Wrecking Crew was only a team of one. Dirk Garthwaite was a petty criminal who grew up with an abusive father. Burt, Dirk’s dad, was a construction worker, so Dirk always carried a crowbar for his burglaries to homage to his father.
Meanwhile, Loki tried to find ways to beat Thor, so he asked the Norn Queen, Karnilla, to bestow mystical powers upon him so that he could match his brother. As Karnilla was casting a spell upon Loki in a hotel room, Dirk Garthwaite broke in to attempt a burglary. Karnilla accidentally cast the spell upon him instead of Loki.
Garthwaite gained superhuman strength and called himself the Wrecker, and fought Thor afterward. However, as they fought, Wrecker hit a subway railing with his crowbar, and it mysteriously pulled the power from within his body and into the crowbar. Now, without the magically enhanced crowbar, Wrecker was powerless and sent to prison.
That’s where he met the three new friends – all of which were inmates there – that would later become the Wrecking Crew with him. When they broke out of prison, Wrecker tracked down and got his crowbar back. As an electrical storm raged, Dirk had his three new friends hold onto the crowbar with him.
The storm hit and dispersed the mystical powers Wrecker once had himself between the four, and each of them got an enchanted object themselves. They decided to stay together and form the Wrecking Crew and continued to do crime, fight heroes, and try to become the most infamous supervillain group in the US.
After they were defeated, imprisoned, and escaped numerous times, they decided to move to the West Coast but didn’t have more luck there. The Wrecking Crew still exists in Marvel Comics, and the members haven’t really changed over the years, but they did have new members over the years. Let’s name them all.
Wrecking Crew Members And Their Powers
As I’ve mentioned before, the Wrecking Crew usually has four main members. With them, three other members occasionally joined the team. The main four were Wrecker, Bulldozer, Piledriver, and Thunderball, while the three that occasionally joined were named Bulldozer II, Excavator, and Demolisher. Let’s hear more about each member.
Wrecker is the leader of the Wrecking Crew and the first guy to obtain superpowers in the first place. His name is Dick Garthwaite, and he was a burglar who used a crowbar in his every crime.
After he obtained the powers and the indestructible magical crowbar, Wrecker created the Crew to help him fight Thor, who he fears but hates at the same time for defeating him in the first place. Apart from the magical crowbar, Wrecker has superhuman strength, just like the rest of his team.
Bulldozer’s real name is Henry Camp. He was a Master Sergeant in the United States Army before he was dishonorably discharged, after which he turned to crime. At one point in his life, Camp was also a boxer. Henry met Wrecker in prison, where they were cellmates. Wrecker recruited Henry Camp, who then became Bulldozer.
While Wrecker has an enchanted crowbar, Bulldozer’s superhuman strength is amplified by his boxing skills and an enchanted helmet that gives him invulnerability. He uses it to ram into his opponents like, well, a bulldozer.
Another inmate that ended up as a part of the Wrecking Crew was Brian Phillip Calusky, later known as Piledriver. Calusky lived as a farm boy, but it got too slow and boring for him, so he moved to the city and became a criminal.
He doesn’t wield a particular enchanted weapon, but Calusky has incredibly oversized hands, making him even stronger physically than the rest of the Wrecking Crew. Well, apart from Wrecker, the leader, who’s around his level. Also, Piledriver has incredible durability, being almost bulletproof. He discovered that he had a son, who later joined the Crew.
Despite Wrecker being the team leader, Dr. Eliot Franklin, aka Thunderball, is known as the brain of the Wrecking Crew. Before turning to crime and being incarcerated, Franklin was a brilliant scientist working for Richmond Enterprises.
He funded his research with robbery and was able to invent a miniature Gamma Bomb – something that even Bruce Banner couldn’t do at the time. When he became a part of the Wrecking Crew, Thunderball wielded a huge chain and wrecking ball and had incredible strength, durability, and genius intellect, despite being a part of the not-so-genius Crew.
Bulldozer II is actually Marci Camp, the original Bulldozer’s daughter. She joined and even replaced Henry in the Wrecking Crew while he was imprisoned. Marci inherited her dad’s powers and training and became a regular part of the team. She was the first member outside of the original four.
It seems that the Wrecking Crew became a family business because Excavator is, in fact, Ricky Calusky, the son of Brian Calusky, aka Piledriver. Ricky was a teenage boy living on a farm with his grandparents. However, when Brian learned that he had a son and Ricky found out that Piledriver was his father, he decided to join the Wrecking Crew as a criminal.
Of course, Piledriver was very proud of his son. Excavator joined the team while they operated on the West Coast and even had a big enchanted shovel as a weapon. However, when the Runaways confronted the Wrecking Crew, Excavator slammed and broke his shovel on Molly Hayes’ head, irritating her immensely.
Later, it was revealed that Rickly planned on killing his father to harness his powers but was arrested before it could happen.
Lastly, Demolisher only joined the Wrecking Crew for a single mission. The unnamed female mercenary was hired to fill in for Thunderball on a job to destroy Public School 20 “Anna Silver” for Wilson Fisk while he was the Mayor. However, Moon Girl attended that school, so the girl and Devil Dinosaur defeated the whole Wrecking Crew, including Demolisher.
Will The Wrecking Crew Be In The MCU?
The Wrecking Crew is a classic supervillain team, but not a very formidable one. They are amusing, though, so I can see them joining the MCU, especially after they were teased in the trailer for the new She-Hulk TV series. After all, the show was announced as a more lightweight comedy series, so the inclusion of the Wrecking Crew would certainly fit the bill.
Now, the only problem that Marvel Comics fans might have with that is the fact that they aren’t really She-Hulk’s adversaries in the comics. I mean, they did fight a few times throughout the years – most notably, when the Wrecking Crew almost beat Jen Walters and Hercules to death.
However, the Crew fought other heroes, such as Captain America, Spider-Man, Iron Man, or Thor, much more often. It doesn’t matter, though, because I’m sure that if the writers decide to include the Wrecking Crew into the She-Hulk storyline, they can easily incorporate them as a “side villain” to Jennifer before she deals with the main villain, her arch-nemesis Titania.