Edward Elmgren (Earth-616) from Captain America Comics Vol 1 12 002

Edward Elmgren

In 1941, Edward Elmgren led an expedition into the Amazon looking to find riches. They found nothing of value except one thing: a concentrated shrinking formula used by an Amazonian tribe to shrink heads. They found that the formula could actually shrink an entire human body into tiny size. Returning to the the United States with this discovery, Elmgren announced his discovery to the press.

However, despite his noble exterior, Elmgren was consumed with greed and decided to use the formula for his own criminal gain. He developed the costumed identity of Doctor Crime, and in order to distance himself from his crimes made it appear as though he was being robbed. Announcing the discovery of the formula worked to his advantage as it helps polarize the other members of his expedition as potential suspects as they all had their desire to have it: Professor Gibbs an archaeologist, Jim Barney a soldier of fortune, and Paul Fung, Elmgren's own colleague. The night of the announcement, Elmgren attempted to steal his own formula as Dr. Crime only to find that mobster Knuckles Samson attempting to do the same as well. Dr. Crime killed the mobster with a poison dart. Witnessing this was Captain America and Bucky, who were watching Elmgren's home to prevent any theft of the formula. Dr. Crime got away with only a sample of the formula and not the notes. This was likely done to further distance his civilian identity with his Doctor Crime persona.

Quickly changing back into his civilian identity, Elmgren then pretended to have been awoken by the fight. Believing his story, Captain America and Bucky left Elmgren to deal with the authorities and to dispose of Samson's body. Later, Elmgren once more resumed his Dr. Crime guise and examined the formula. His home was broken into by more mobsters seeking to steal the formula. These mobsters instead got doused with it, causing them to shrink in size. Dubbing them his "Pygmies of Terror", he convinced the reduced mobsters to join him in a crime spree, sending them to steal from the wealthy banker.

The death screams of the banker attracted Captain America and Bucky to the scene of the crime; however, the pygmy mobsters managed to escape with the stolen loot. With no other avenues to go by, Captain America and Bucky went pay a visit to Elmgren to see if he knew the identity of Doctor Crime. This played into Elmgren's plans to eliminate his other colleagues whom he believed could possibly reveal his identity. He sent the two heroes after his colleague Paul Fung. As the two heroes were interrogating Fung, Doctor Crime killed the Chinese scientist with a poison dart. When Cap and Bucky attempted to capture Doctor Crime, he doused them with his shrinking formula and captured them. Taking the two heroes back to his lab, he placed them in a cage with a house cat hoping the feline would eliminate. Doctor Crime then went after Professor Gibbs and Jim Barney, using his formula to shrink them in size and bring them back to his lab. By the time he returned, Captain America and Bucky had broken out of their cage and subdued his miniature mobsters. Putting sewing needles to Doctor Crime's head, they forced him to create the antidote and restored them to size. Cap knocked out Dr. Crime and unmasked him, revealing him to be Edward Elmgren all along, and turned him over to the authorities.[1]

In 1942, Elmgren was visited in prison by a Nazi spy who sought to hire him in the capturing of American Generals Whelan and White. Elmgren agreed, and the Nazis recovered a hidden vial of his shrinking formula, clashing with Captain America and Bucky in the process. Delivering the formula to Elmgren, he used it to break out of prison and as Dr. Crime succeeded in shrinking and capturing General Wheland. Chased by Captain America and Bucky, he clashed once more with the heroes and captured them. Tying them up, Dr. Crime went after General White, leaving the heroes behind under guard of one of the Nazi spies that employed him. Cap and Bucky managed to escape and saved General White. Outclassed in battle, Dr. Crime then attempted to escape by using his own shrinking formula to escape. Chased by Bucky (who was also shrunk by Crime's formula), Dr. Crime was swooped up by a passing eagle and likely carried to his death as he has not been seen since.[2]

A year later, Mac Gargan met with Peter Parker to discuss how he came to know Parker's double identity as Spider-Man. During the conversation, he stated that since the early days of super-heroes, the right elite paid criminals and ex-soldiers to become costumed criminals and regularly antagonize the costumed community in order to keep them occupied. One such criminal was apparently Dr. Crime. However, if this revelation is true or not has not been verified.[3]


Edward Elmgren could create a shrinking formula that could reduce the size of a human being and the clothes they are wearing. As Dr. Crime, he began administering this liquid using a water pistol.


As Doctor Crime, Elmgren's primary weapon was a blow gun that fired darts coated with a lethal poison.

Discover and Discuss


Like this? Let us know!

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+