Dirk Garthwaite came from an abusive home, with an alcoholic father that repeatedly beat his mother and himself. When he was four years old, his father reportedly died, which later turned out to be false. After that, his mother took several odd jobs to try and keep a roof over their head and food on the table, leaving young Dirk by himself for long periods of time.
Dirk Garthwaite was a manual laborer employed by a demolitions company who was fired for his anti-social behavior and fits of violence. Deciding to turn his talent for mayhem and destruction to criminal activity, Garthwaite fashioned himself a simple costume to conceal his identity. He then committed a series of crimes under the name of the Wrecker, his trademark being the crowbar with which he devastated the scene of the crime. The Wrecker became more daring with each theft, and continually evaded the attempts of the police to capture him. Seeking another victim to rob, the Wrecker happened upon a hotel room occupied by Loki, the Asgardian god of mischief, whose magical powers had at that time been temporarily removed by the Asgardian monarch Odin. The Wrecker smashed his way in while Loki was in the midst of summoning his sometime ally Karnilla the Norn Queen. Loki hoped that Karnilla would grant him magical power with which he could battle his archenemy Thor, the Asgardian thunder god. The Wrecker overpowered Loki. Then, while trying on Loki's horned helmet, the Wrecker was mistaken for the god when Karnilla hastily materialized to grant Loki's request. Thus it was the Wrecker whom Karnilla endowed with magical power. This power gave the Wrecker superhuman strength, which he used to embark upon a brazen wrecking spree, no longer fearing the authorities.
The Wrecker's rampage came to the attention of Thor, whose power had also been diminished at the time by Odin's spell. The Wrecker battled Thor for hours and finally bested the partially depowered god of thunder. But the Wrecker was finally defeated by the Destroyer, a virtually invincible Asgardian automaton that was at this time animated by the spirit of the Asgardian goddess Sif.
The Wrecker was imprisoned under heavy sedation (to prevent him from using his superhuman strength) in an upstate New York hospital for several months, but developed an immunity to the tranquilizers and broke free. The Wrecker once again battled Thor, who now again possessed his full godly power, and overcame him. Thrown upon the electrified third rail of a New York City subway track, the Wrecker had his superhuman strength drained from him by a discharge of energy from Thor's enchanted hammer.
The Wrecker was imprisoned, but he paid people to keep track of the whereabouts of his crowbar, into which he believed his enchanted power had fled after being driven from his body. Together with three other inmates at Ryker's Island, Dr. Eliot Franklin, Henry Camp, and Brian Calusky, the Wrecker made a successful jailbreak and managed to locate his crowbar. Willing to share his power with his allies, the Wrecker had the three other convicts join him in holding onto the crowbar outside during an electrical storm. Lightning struck the crowbar, magically distributing the enchanted strength bestowed upon the Wrecker among the four of them. The Wrecker's three allies then adopted costumes and aliases as well: Franklin became Thunderball, Camp became Bulldozer, and Calusky became Piledriver. Together the four superhuman strong criminals became known as the Wrecking Crew, who were led by the Wrecker himself. The Wrecking Crew then terrorized New York City by threatening to destroy buildings unless they were paid enormous sums of money, and then carrying out their threat when they were not paid. The Wrecking Crew set out to recover the gamma bomb that Eliot Franklin (Thunderball) had built some years before and that had been stolen from him by Edgar Pennysworth of Richmond Enterprises. The Crew intended to use this bomb to blackmail New York City, but their scheme was thwarted by the superhuman champions called the Defenders, who defeated the Crew. The members of the Wrecking Crew were each taken to a different prison. One of the Defenders, the sorcerer Doctor Strange, had mystically banished the Wrecker's crowbar to another dimension, but it was recovered sometime later by the Puppet Master, who used his mystically-powered clay to coerce the Wrecker into battle with the Fantastic Four.
The Wrecker easily escaped custody after his defeat by the Fantastic Four and spent the next few weeks traveling from one penitentiary to another, freeing the rest of the Wrecking Crew. In order to reestablish their credibility as dangerous criminals, the Crew decided to take on the Wrecker's original nemesis Thor and to defeat him publicly. But instead the Crew were defeated at Avengers Mansion by Captain America and Iron Fist, aided by "Danger Room" equipment that was being utilized in the Avengers' gymnasium before being turned over to the X-Men. He then battled the FF again.
The Wrecking Crew were incarcerated once again at Ryker's island. The Wrecker's crowbar was placed in the same room at Ryker's as other impounded weapons taken from so-called "super-criminals." By concentrating on the crowbar from his specially designed cell, the Wrecker was finally able to take mental control of a prison guard who touched the crowbar. Under his control, the guard broke into the Wrecker's cell using the crowbar. The Wrecker then freed the rest of the Crew from their cells end they escaped prison. The Crew began wreaking havoc at New York City's Lincoln Center in order to bring Thor to the scene. But Thor defeated the Crew, and all but Thunderball were taken into police custody. 
Masters of Evil
The Wrecker and the rest of the Wrecking Crew afterwards joined Baron Helmut Zemo's Masters of Evil and participated in his takeover of Avengers Mansion. In battling the Masters of Evil Thor used his enchanted hammer to transfer the superhuman powers of Bulldozer, Piledriver, and Thunderball into the Wrecker. The Wrecker was defeated along with the other Masters of Evil.
Sometime after returning to Earth, the Wrecking Crew clashed with Spider-Man and the second Spider-Woman. Both Spider-Woman and the Wrecking Crew were in pursuit of a stolen computer disc. She searched for the Wrecker to carry out his mother's last request.
Acts of Vengeance
Loki sent the Wrecker to defeat Iron Man at Stark Prosthetics. He was incarcerated at the Vault and, along with the rest of the Crew, attacked a group of Damage Control employees until Thunderball convinced the rest of the Crew that they were not worth taking hostage.
Ulik the Rock Troll taught the Wrecker about his powers, and he learned some new abilities. They attacked Hercules, and his fears from the beating he once received from them resurfaces. Thor showed up and realizes that for his friend to ever regain his confidence, Thor must take a dive. Seeing his friend take a beating brought the old Hercules back, and the two easily sent the Wrecking Crew running.
The Wrecking Crew took a hostage, and Code: Blue came to stop them. The British government sent Excalibur to learn the whereabouts of the Juggernaut, and ran into the Wrecking Crew. Loki, Ulik, and the Enchantress were also interested in Wrecker, but for reasons of their own. Thor and Code:Blue raced to the scene of the battle, and the Wrecker used his new abilities to make Excalibur see Thor as the Juggernaut. Shadowcat turned Thor intangible, phasing him into the concrete and leaving him there. Thor freed himself from Shadowcat's trap, and Lockheed discovered Ulik and the Enchantress on a nearby rooftop. They were forced to flee and the illusion around Thor disappeared. Code:Blue captured Bulldozer, but the other three members of the Wrecking Crew got away.
A Ghost and Gods
The rest of the Wrecking Crew attempted to free the Bulldozer, but were confronted by the Ghost Rider and Mephisto, leaving Wrecker determined to destroy them both. Loki manipulated things to bring Thor, Ghost Rider, and the Wrecking Crew together. Loki reclaimed the Asgardian energy from the Wrecking Crew.
Wrecker and the crew were returned to the Vault just in time for the next jailbreak.
The Wrecker traveled to Yancy Street seeking revenge on Thunderball, who was hiding in the building where the Thing grew up. The Wrecker destroyed the building, killing and injuring the residents. The Thing and the Wrecker battled. The Thing won. S.H.I.E.L.D. agents take the Wrecker into custody.
Battling the Runaways
The entire Wrecking crew were sent to the Raft, but then escaped because of the big breakout caused by Electro. The Wrecker and Piledriver began to look for Wrecker's spare crowbar soon after the breakout. The "spare" happened to be hidden at the Museum of Modern Art where the alien symbiote known as Toxin defeated them but only the Wrecker, and not Piledriver, got away.
Wrecker later went to a house on Long Island and found his uniform once more in a basement with other villain costumes. He was caught when leaving the house by the New Avengers. He was defeated and returned to the Raft prison.
He battled the Daughters of the Dragon and faced off against the New Excalibur. The Crew next went up against Omega Flight in Canada, spending some time in a Manitoba prison before breaking out.
Hood's Criminal Army
Along with the rest of the Wrecking Crew, Dirk joined Hood's criminal army. While in the gang he fought the Enforcers and Daredevil over a power struggle between the two gangs. He also fought the the New Avengers alongside his Wrecking Crew and others of Hood's Gang.
Wrecker and his crew were hired by Jigsaw to kill Punisher (Frank Castle) when he was transferred to the Raft by G.W. Bridge. They were promised $50,000,000 if successful. However they were all defeated by the Punisher as he received help from the Rhino who was sent by Stuart Clarke. The Punisher used Wrecker's crowbar in order to finish off Thunderball.
During the Secret Invasion he fought the Skrulls next to the heroes to save Earth. The Hood's gang made an alliance with the Dark Avengers, while the Wrecker and the Wrecking Crew were still members during Dark Reign. The Crew battled Spider-Man and Captain America. They faced Deadpool when he came looking for the Hood. The whole gang went up against the New Avengers. They also fought White Fang.
After they defeated the New Avengers, the Wrecking Crew comes into the fray. Spider-Man and Ronin barely tries to help out but due to their weakened state, they are easily dispatched. The Wrecker then started poking at Luke Cage but they are stopped by the Dark Avengers. The Crew next faced off against the Enforcer. The Hood soon revealed to the gang that they had been working with Norman Osborn all along.
Deadpool took break from his Space Oddity to respond to an offer: Make the Wrecker leave an apartment. Wade realized that accomplishing his mission would cause trouble to innocent people, as his employers wanted to cause the inhabitants to leave, having initially hired the Wrecker to intimidate them, but the criminal shown to have a good heart, ended up protecting them.
While the Fantastic Four were still reeling from their loses, the Quiet Man hired The Wizard to form new versions of the Frightful Four to attack the group. The first group of attackers consisted of Wrecker and the Wrecking Crew. The Frightful Four was defeated thanks to the combined efforts of the Fantastic Four and their FF back-ups.
Masters of Evil
The Death of Wolverine
At some point in time, he was imprisoned by S.H.I.E.L.D. in Pleasant Hill, a prison in the form of a small town where its inmates had their memories and appearances tampered with using a sentient Cosmic Cube named Kobik, so they could be turned into model citizens. When a group of villains led by Baron Zemo snapped out of this fantasy world and returned to their true selves, they attacked the village from within, wrecking havoc and freeing the other prisoners from Pleasant Hill's control. He was one of these numerous villains. When the bad guys took notice of the presence of the Avengers on the scene, they used their numbers to their advantage and mercilessly struck down the heroes. However, Kobik took compassion on the Avengers and healed them.
Infamous Iron Man
Wrecker was then among a group of supervillains who heard from Wizard that Doctor Doom had gone straight, only for Doom to arrive and defeat them single handedly. Wrecker was later in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, where he was interrogated by the Thing.
- The Wrecker possesses various superhuman attributes as a result of the magical power bestowed upon him by Karnilla the Norn Queen.
- Superhuman Strength: The Wrecker is superhumanly strong and, while fully empowered, is capable of lifting about 40 tons. However, while sharing his strength with the other members of the Wrecking Crew, he is only able to lift about 10 tons. This changed when Ulik, another foe of Thor, taught the Wrecker how to master his Asgardian-based powers. The Wrecker is now capable of retaining his original strength and greater use of his powers while still empowering the other members of The Wrecking Crew.
- Superhuman Stamina: The Wrecker's musculature generates less fatigue toxins during physical activity than the musculature of an ordinary human. While fully empowered, he can exert himself at peak capacity for about 24 hours before fatigue begins to impair him. However, while sharing his powers with the other three members of the Wrecking Crew, his stamina is considerably diminished. In this state, he is capable of exert himself at peak capacity for about 6 hours.
- Superhuman Durability: While fully empowered, the Wrecker's body is highly resistant to all forms of physical injury. He is able to withstand armor piercing machine gun shells, temperature and pressure extremes, falls from great heights, multiple blows from Thor's enchanted hammer, etc. without sustaining injury. While sharing his powers with the other members of the Wrecking Crew, his resistance to damage is substantially decreased. However, his body is still much tougher than that of an ordinary human. He can still withstand great impact forces, high temperatures, and .45 caliber bullets.
- Mystical Link: The Wrecker has established a mental link with his enchanted crowbar. In the past when the Wrecker has lost his superhuman powers, the power has transferred itself into the crowbar. By making physical contact with the crowbar, the Wrecker can transfer the power back into himself. Also, by touching the crowbar, the Wrecker can magically transform whatever he is wearing into his costume. By concentrating on the crowbar, the Wrecker can use it to take mental possession of whoever touches it, and cause an enchanted aura that can repel bullets to surround that person. The Wrecker can also locate members of The Wrecking Crew by concentrating on his crowbar.
- The Wrecker is a formidable hand to hand combatant and is particularly adept at using street fighting techniques that enable him to make full use of his strength and durability.
- Wrecker's Crowbar : The Wrecker wields a four-foot long cast iron crowbar which has become virtually indestructible through extensive contact with the Wrecker's enchanted skin. Wielded by the superhumanly strong Wrecker, the crowbar becomes a weapon of vast destructive potential. The Wrecker has used the crowbar to demolish entire buildings in minutes and to hold off the thunder god, Thor, in battle. The Wrecker has used the crowbar offensively as both a throwing weapon and a bat. Because of the teachings of Ulik, The Rock Troll, he can throw his crowbar and have it return to him, much like Thor's own hammer.
- 216 appearance(s) of Dirk Garthwaite (Earth-616)
- 11 appearance(s) in handbook(s) of Dirk Garthwaite (Earth-616)
- 29 minor appearance(s) of Dirk Garthwaite (Earth-616)
- 8 mention(s) of Dirk Garthwaite (Earth-616)
- 3 mention(s) in handbook(s) of Dirk Garthwaite (Earth-616)
- 75 image(s) of Dirk Garthwaite (Earth-616)
- 4 quotation(s) by or about Dirk Garthwaite (Earth-616)
- 1 item(s) used/owned by Dirk Garthwaite (Earth-616)
Links and References
- Wrecking Crew
- Bulldozer (Henry Camp)
- Piledriver (Brian Calusky)
- Masters of Evil
- Marvel Directory