The Wrecker (Dirk Garthwaite) is a fictional character, a supervillain of the Marvel Comics universe. The Wrecker was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and first appears was in The Mighty Thor #148 (January 1968).


  • 1 Fictional character biography
    • 1.1 The Wrecking Crew
  • 2 Powers and abilities
  • 3 In other media
    • 3.1 Video games
  • 4 Notes
  • 5 References
  • 6 External linksFictional character biography

Dirk Garthwaite is a former worker for a demolitions crew who was fired for his violent and anti-social tendencies. Turning to crime, Garthwaite fashions a costume for himself and begins making a series of robberies under the guise of the Wrecker. His calling card is his habit of demolishing looted locations and then leaving a crowbar at the scene of the crime.

The Wrecker’s fortunes change for the better when looting a hotel room that – unknown to him – was currently occupied by Loki, the arch foe of the Thunder God Thor. At the precise moment that the Wrecker enters Loki is trying to contact his accomplice, the Norn Queen Karnilla, for an enchantment that will grant him the strength to defeat Thor, both of them having been temporarily depowered by Odin as a punishment for failing to return to Asgard. Karnilla arrives and mistakes Garthwaite for Loki (Garthwaite having knocked the now-mortal Loki out and put on his helmet), granting him the enchantment instead. The Wrecker then possesses superhuman strength, stamina and durability courtesy of a now-indestructible and enchanted crowbar.

Revelling in his new-found power, the Wrecker goes on a crime spree and even defeats a greatly depleted Thor. However, the Wrecker is eventually defeated by the Destroyer, which the female Asgardian warrior Sif occupies in a bid to save Thor. [1]

Although sent to prison and heavily sedated, the Wrecker develops an immunity to the medication and escapes to confront Thor once again. Thor, however, has been restored to full power and easily defeats the Wrecker. [2] Despite this setback, the Wrecker has returned time and again to challenge Thor and other superheroes, often with the aid of the Wrecking Crew.

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 Eliot had designed, with the intent of ransoming New York for millions of dollars. 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 then escape from prison and, in the course of searching for the gamma bomb, are defeated by the Defenders and the hero Luke Cage. [3] They return again and again to battle many superheroes, most notably Thor. [4]

The Wrecker has since been hired by the Hood to take advantage of the split in the superhero community caused by the Superhuman Registration Act, [5] and battles the Enforcers, the bodyguards of Mister Fear. [6]

As part of the Hood’s gang, he later joins with heroes to fight against the Skrull invading force in New York City.[7] As seen in flashbacks, he leads an aborted mutiny against the Hood after Skrull infiltrators attempt to replace fellow group member Madame Masque. The Hood’s discovery and execution of the Skrull impersonating the Slug helps re-patch the Wrecker’s loyalty. [8] He joins with the Hood’s gang in an attack on the New Avengers, who were expecting the Dark Avengers instead.[9]

Powers and abilities

After being magically enchanted, Dirk Garthwaite now has superhuman strength, stamina and durability. The Wrecker can withstand high amounts of concussive force, and is virtually bulletproof. He can destroy a building with a single punch. When first enchanted the Wrecker possessed strength greater than that of an average Asgardian, although still far below the strength range of Thor. The Wrecker was only capable of matching Thor during their very first battle, when Thor’s power was reduced by Odin.

When the Wrecker first shared his power with the other members of the Wrecking Crew, his abilities were quartered, with his new strength level being significantly lower. This changed when Ulik, another foe of Thor, taught the Wrecker how to master his Asgardian-based powers. [10] The Wrecker is now capable of retaining his original powers while still empowering the other members of The Wrecking Crew.

The Wrecker carries a 4-foot long steel crowbar which is also enchanted. Although not the source of his power, the crowbar can serve as a focus for it, allowing him to utilize it in many of the same ways that Thor utilizes Mjolnir: Examples include deflecting bullets, returning to the Wrecker when thrown, creating force fields; teleporting himself and companions, creating minor illusions, projects energy blasts either directly or into the ground to create minor earthquakes, and controlling the minds of those who try to possess the crowbar. The crowbar is believed to be indestructible, as even Midgard’s highly-accomplished Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange was unable to destroy it, even armed with the Eye of Agamotto.

The crowbar is able to store and release the Asgardian magic that is the source the Wrecker’s power. At times when stripped of his power, the Wrecker has been able to use the crowbar to reconnect to the source and regain his abilities. This is also what enables him to share his power with and the rest of the Wrecking Crew.

In the hands of anyone else, the crowbar cannot channel the Wrecker’s power, but it nevertheless remains an effective magical weapon. After a battle with the New Avengers[11], the crowbar is confiscated by Luke Cage. Cage has since been shown wielding the crowbar himself in order to severely beat up Bullseye and Venom.[12]


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