DC Comics is well-known for its family dynamics. However, none come as dysfunctional as the villainous Crock family…
Yes, we know. The featured image for this deep dive is from the animated series, Young Justice. We just couldn’t find an image from within DC Comics of the Crock family to use. Anyway, this is a family that has along history of begin villains. A lot of this information we discovered through various forms of media.
We’re going to be covering DC Comics, Young Justice and Stargirl and examining what makes this villainous family tick.
From The Pages Of DC Comics
Lawrence “Crusher” Crock
The Crock family made its debut during the Golden Age of comics with Lawrence “Crusher” Crock in issue #85 of All-American comics in May 1945 and created by John Broome and Irwin Hasen.
On first appearance, Crusher looks like an incredible lame villain with Casey Jones-like vibes since he uses sporting equipment as weapons. However, he is actually a useful villain that has seen his fair share of battles alongside his wife, Paula Brooks (more on her later) as a member of the Injustice Society of America.
The most well-known version of Crusher is the Earth-Two iteration who is an enemy of the original Green Lantern, Alan Scott and Wildcat, Ted Grant. He served on the Injustice Society of American alongside fellow GL enemy, Joar Mahkent, the first Icicle.
With Paula Brooks, Crusher would become the father of a daughter, Artemis and later, the maternal grandfather of her daughter with Cameron Mahkent, Isabelle Rose Mahkent.
Paula Brooks has gone through two codename changes along with a change of ethnicity from Caucasian to Asian since her debut in Sensation Comics issue 68 in August 1947 where she started out as Huntress where she was created by Mort Meskin.
As the years progressed, she was written as the wife of fellow Injustice Society member, Lawrence “Crusher” Crock. She was later rewritten to have been a hero known as Tigress (created by Roy Thomas and debuted in Young All-Stars #6 in November 1987) before she became the villain known as Huntress.
She and Crusher become parents of next generation Injustice Society member, Artemis Lian Crock who makes Paula a grandmother when she gives birth to a daughter, Isabelle Rose Mahkent.
Born Artemis Lian Crock, Artemis is the daughter of Injustice Society of America members, Lawrence “Crusher” Crock and Paula Brooks, making her debut in Infinity Inc #34 in January 1987 almost forty years after the introduction of her father. She was created by Roy Thomas and Todd MacFarlane.
Mostly known for her role a villain, Artemis takes her mother’s mantle as Tigress and joins a new lineup of the Injustice Society of America. Like her parents, she would meet her future husband, Cameron Mahkent, the son of the original Icicle. With him, she would have a daughter, Isabelle Rose Mahkent.
- Cameron Mahkent/Icicle Jr/Icicle II – Artemis’ husband, son-in-law of Crusher and Paula, and father of Isabelle.
- Isabelle Rose Mahkent – Artemis and Cameron’s daughter and granddaughter of Paula, Crusher, and Joar.
- Joar Mahkent/Icicle – father of Cameron, father-in-law of Artemis and paternal grandfather of Isabelle.
- Jade Nguyen/Cheshire (Young Justice ONLY) – older sister of Artemis, eldest daughter of Paula and Crusher, mother of Lian, (estranged) wife of Will Harper.
- Roy/Will Harper (Young Justice ONLY) – son-in-law of Paula and Crusher, brother-in-law of Artemis, (estranged) husband of Jade and father of Lian.
- Lian Nguyen-Harper (Young Justice ONLY) – granddaughter of Paul and Crusher, daughter of Will and Jade, niece of Artemis.
- Wally West/Kid Flash (Young Justice ONLY) – partner of Artemis.
The animated series, Young Justice depicts the Crock family as being somewhat of a mystery, at least during Season 1. Artemis joins the young sidekicks under the allusion she’s Green Arrow’s niece, a fact that Red Arrow becomes suspicious of.
Unbeknownst to her teammates, Artemis hides the fact that she is the daughter of Sportsmaster and the retired Huntress. She goes up against her sister, Cheshire and their father multiple times before she is forced to reveal her lineage to her friends. She becomes romantically involved with Wally West whom she later grieves.
Paula’s ethnicity is changed in the series to make her Vietnamese and she was known as Huntress rather than Tigress. Her surname is not Brooks by Nguyen to reflect her new background as well as being wheelchair bound. She and Crusher are married but are estranged. At the beginning of the series, she is the sole guardian of teenage Artemis and is convinced by Green Arrow to allow him to train her youngest daughter in order to prevent her from falling down the same path as her father and sister.
Paula and Crusher have an older daughter, Jade whom is also a criminal known as Cheshire. She proves to be an adversary to her younger sister. As time passes, the family gains two new members. Jade marries the clone of Roy Harper who changes his name to Will and they have a daughter, Lian.
The Crock family returns to its comic book roots to a degree in the live-action series, Stargirl. Paula’s ethnicity is Asian which is a nod to the character in Young Justice. However, her civilian name is Paula Brooks while her alter ego is Tigress rather than Huntress. She is married to Lawrence “Crusher” Crock who is also known as Larry. Artemis is their daughter who is a star athlete at Blue Valley High.
Crusher and Paula are both athletic, a trait they passed to their daughter. They also applaud her violent outbursts when he knocks out one of her teammates during a misunderstanding. According to Doctor Mid-Nite, Charles McNider’s AI Chuck, Sportsmaster and Tigress are well-known for being Icicle’s attack dogs on the Injustice Society. Meanwhile, Jordan is forced to replace football coaches which annoys him because the Crock couple keep killing them. The pair also have a rivalry with Anaya Bowin, the second Fiddler, especially when she questions their parenting of their daughter.
Courtney mentions to Yolanda Montez that she considered asking Artemis to join the JSA. However, she decided against it because of the teenager’s competitiveness and violent streak.
Unlike her Young Justice counterpart, Artemis has no idea that her parents are villains and it’s a fact they struggle to keep from her. It should be noted also that Crusher owns the gym down the street from Pat Dugan’s garage. Paula, meanwhile, is the gym coach at BVHS who also has a run in with Courtney Whitmore on her first day.
It’s unclear what’s next for the Crock family. In the season finale, both Larry and Paula were knocked out during a fight with the new Justice Society. It has been confirmed, fortunately, that they’re alive and will return in Season 2. However, Artemis’ place in the story is still up in the air.
Stella Smith who plays Artemis is back filming, but to what extent the character plays going forward is unclear. Will she go after those responsible to knocking out her parents? Could she join the JSA as a nod to her YJ portrayal? Will the story have her romantically involved with Cameron like in the comics? We’re not sure.
Crusher And Paula: Loving Parents?
While we haven’t read the comics, we don’t know what kind of relationship they have with their daughter. However, in Young Justice, it’s clear Paula and Crusher have very different parenting styles.
Paula clearly loves Artemis but it’s unclear what kind of relationship she has with Jade. Crusher, on the other hand, uses his daughters to get what he wants. At least, this is what the dynamic is in Young Justice.
In Stargirl, everything Paula and Crusher do is for Artemis. Their involvement in Project: New America is the same motivation as Jordan’s. To give their children a safer country to live in. It should be noted also they hate it when anyone criticises the way they parent their daughter.
This is evident when Tigress kills teammate Anaya Bowin for saying Artemis is going to grown into a wild animal like her mother.