Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Who's Dat : The Crab

Alter Ego: Bunk Norton
Occupation: Crooked Entrepreneur
Marital Status: Unknown
Known Relatives: None
Group Affiliation: None
Base of Operations: Norton Amusement Pier
First Appearance: Police Comics #63 (February, 1947)

Bunk Norton ran scams before being sent to prison by Plastic Man (disguised as a red setter with yellow and black stripes.) Norton stewed in the pen through the best years of his life, learning never to smile and to imagine himself with a protective shell around him. Norton came to appreciate crabs for their toughness, defense mechanisms, and slow but calculated movements. Norton was himself apple-bodied with long lean appendages, a bald head, and jagged teeth. Combined with his fascination with crustaceans, Norton picked up the nickname “The Crab.”

After his release from prison, the Norton Amusement Pier went into full swing, without much attempt to conceal the criminal activities within. Folks might win a hundred grand at the Casino Faro, but there was sure to be a blackguard waiting to rob anyone who got too lucky, and turn the loot over to the Crab. Anyone who complained wouldn’t get further than one of Norton’s other goons in the company offices, too wound up in tossing through girlie magazines to take notice.

One night, Plastic Man decided to investigate the pier, and ran into his sidekick Woozy Winks. Woozy had parlayed his pool skills into winnings enough to have an attractive girl in each arm and cash sticking out of every pocket. Plastic Man looked on discretely as the girls helped distract Woozy from pickpockets, and silently observed another fellow robbed at gunpoint. Plas took note of the victims’ names and losses so that their money could be returned once his investigation was completed.

While concealed as a bust on an office mantle, Plastic Man observed the Crab hold a hireling named Lefty’s hands together behind his back as he lifted Lefty’s arms well over his head, and ground his feet into the man’s back. This torture technique was used when Lefty tried to hold back money, and after it was retrieved, he was tossed out a door opening directly on the water. Plastic Man rushed to save Lefty, who couldn’t swim, but the fellow died of a heart attack induced by fear at the site of crabs in the water.

Almost immediately, all the lights and rides on the pier were shut down, and all of the patrons were shuffled off. Woozy Winks stayed behind to complain that he had been robbed, and wound up diving in the river, trying to retrieve a quarter. Plastic Man dove in after him, and both discovered that the Crab had a secret underwater headquarters. Woozy wanted to continue after his money, but Plastic Man sent him to dry out so that he could address Norton’s more serious crimes.

Norton was with the two women that had helped to bilk Woozy, and slapped one for failing to notify him that she had seen Plastic Man earlier that evening. The other lady hoped to changed the subject to avoid being hit herself by pointing out the large red fish watching them from a porthole. The Crab noticed the fish’s yellow and black stripes, and used the suction from the opening of an antechamber to draw Plastic Man into a trap. As it turned out, Norton enjoyed starving crabs until he could make them eat anything, even an India rubber man.

Woozy Winks had been searching Norton’s offices for his money, and stumbled upon a secret elevator. Woozy accidentally locked himself inside, but also Norton without. The Crab stopped laughing in the face of Plastic Man’s pain to try forcing his way through his elevator’s gates. Meanwhile, the Pliable Paladin stretched to open a hatch to the water outside, flooding the secret headquarters. Plas then worked his way out of his cage and on into the elevator, then managed to open the gate’s lock. While the heroes escorted the ladies to safety before water fouled the elevator’s cables, Norton was left to be eaten alive by his pet crabs. The Crab’s smut loving henchman Rick soon agreed to help Plastic Man retrieve Norton’s ill-gotten gains and see them back to their proper owners.

The Crab was quite tall and exceptionally strong, but did not appear to possess any superhuman powers. His teeth were all sharpened, making him resemble a piranha.

I don’t consider it an insult to be called a crab… I admire crabs! They’re smart! They move slowly, but they get what they’re after! And did you ever see a crab eat a victim once he got him?”

Created by: Jack Cole

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