Crocodile is one of the most interesting and controversial characters in One Piece, the famous manga series written and drawn by Eiichiro Oda.
Nicknamed, the desert king, because of his powers that allow him to control the sand, Crocodile held the position as former president of the ‘criminal association Baroque Works, under the code name of “Mr. 0“. During this time he worked together with his assistant Nico Robin, formerly known as “Miss Sunday“.
He is the main antagonist of the Alabasta saga and one of the longest-lived and most noteworthy primary opponents in the series, as he was the first enemy to defeat Rufy, even nearly succeeding in killing him.
He was originally presented as a member of the fleet of seven, but was later stripped of his title after attempting to take, by force, control of the Kingdom of Alabasta.
As his attire suggests, his character is inspired by the image of an Italian Mafia boss. He, in fact, wears a black and orange striped button-down vest over a peach-colored long-sleeved shirt, along with a blue scarf, dark brown pants and shiny black shoes with gold buckles.
Crocodile is a tall man with a broad chest, broad shoulders, muscular arms and legs, and a thick neck. He has pale skin and nape-length black hair, which is kept neatly combed back.
He has many battle wounds along his body, most notably a long scar stretching across his face and a large hook made of gold replacing his left hand.
His eyes are sunken in and his thin eyebrows are typically drawn upward in the middle. This gives his facial expression a feeling of disgust and anger toward others.
He is most often portrayed with a cigar in his mouth and his eyes, in moments of anger, take on a white color.
Crocodile is a cunning and business-savvy pirate, confident in himself and his abilities, as evidenced by his previous title as a member of the Fleet of 7.
Demonstrating his cleverness is the fact that he was able to lead Baroque Works while keeping the world government completely in the dark about what he was doing and, even, presenting himself as a hero in the eyes of the people.
He likes to play with weaker opponents, often smiling or laughing smugly during the battle.
A ruthless character, Crocodile, in an attempt to seize Alabasta inhumanely orchestrated the destruction of several communities, with the intent of inciting the conflict that would eventually lead to a bloody civil war.
This ruthless nature of his goes hand in hand with his immense anger that he expresses whenever he is annoyed by someone.
Crocodile has a habit of taunting others, often using the word “useless” to refer to the desperate struggles of his enemies, although he seems to have changed this attitude slightly following his confrontation with Rufy.
In battle, Crocodile shows a complete lack of fear and doubt, remaining composed, even in the face of fearsome opponents such as Bluebeard, Dracule Mihawk or Akainu .
If Crocodile is extremely angry or annoyed with his victim, he will rarely kill him on the spot, instead leaving him to suffer as he slowly dies. This proved to be a bad habit, which eventually led to his defeat. In his first and second fights with Rufy, in fact, instead of killing him immediately, Crocodile leaves him alive, aiming to make him suffer and die slowly. Because of this carelessness, however, Rufy was able to return on two different occasions and finally defeat him.
Although he is a pirate without a moral code, on a few occasions we can observe his distorted sense of honor, such as when he refuses to fight a wounded Whitebeard in Marineford.
King of the desert, he is shown to be ruthless and willing to sacrifice even his subordinates to achieve his ambitions. One example is Operation Utopia, in which every member of the Baroque Works in Alubarna, including most of the official officers, would be killed by the ensuing gunfire.
Crocodile seems to have mellowed after his defeat at Alabasta, at least to some extent. He seems more willing to help others, having offered to help Rufy escape from Impel Down. Some revelations imply that he may not be as ruthless as he suggests. During the war, he saved Ace’s life and protected Mr. 1 and Rufy from Mihawk. He even prevented Akainu from cornering Rufy and Jinbe as they desperately tried to escape the battle. However, he claimed that he saved them only because if he had not done so, the Marines would have felt victorious.
As a former member of the fleet of seven, Crocodile’s strength is even recognized by the Navy.
In fact, when Crocodile was stripped of his status and transferred to Impel Down prison, he was placed on Level 6, where the absolute worst criminals in the world are kept.
In addition to his Rogia-like powers, which allow him to turn into sand to avoid injury, Crocodile has a tremendous amount of physical endurance and pain tolerance, along with high speed and remarkable reflexes. He was able to take a heavy direct hit from Jozu (one of the captains of Whitebeard’s fleet), who was wearing his diamond armor, getting up quickly.
Crocodile also possesses great physical strength, first demonstrated when he carried away the corpses of an entire pirate crew (i.e. Puppu’s ) after dehydrating them with his devil fruit powers. He even managed to intercept and parry Mihawk’s two-handed blow with just his hook.
The Sand King ate the Suna Suna no Mi, a Rogia-type devil fruit that enables him to create, control, and transform his body into sand. He has mastered his skill to perfection and can turn into sand in an instant if attacked.
If he is in a sandy desert area, his powers make him almost invincible, having the ability to create huge sandstorms, blades also made of sand and quicksand.
It is also able to absorb all moisture from any object, living or nonliving, by touching it with its right hand. This ability enables it to completely destroy its surroundings, killing and mummifying any biological substance through dehydration.
In addition to being one of the few characters who have demonstrated mastery of their devil fruit, Crocodile is also formidable in hand-to-hand combat using his hook. It is made mainly of an extremely durable gold alloy, which prevents corrosion.
The golden part of the hook is hollow and can be removed to extract a poisonous hook hidden inside. This secondary hook releases a powerful scorpion venom, strong enough to melt into rock and kill anyone who comes in contact with it.
For the climax of Operation Utopia, Crocodile prepared a time bomb designed to explode within a maximum radius of five kilometers, large enough to completely obliterate the capital city of Alubarna.
When he was still a rookie, Crocodile’s dream was to become the Pirate King. Pursuing this dream of his, he went to the New World. However, shortly after becoming a member of the fleet of seven, at the age of twenty-five, he suffered a ‘humiliating defeat after challengingEmperor Whitebeard, which abruptly ended his ambition to become the Pirate King. At the age of 30, Crocodile settled in the kingdom of Alabasta, where he founded the crime syndicate called Baroque Works. He then gathered some of the world’s best bounty hunters and gave each of them a code name based on their powers.
His plan was to conquer the Kingdom of Alabasta and use the Poneglyph (stone carvings) to find the ancient Pluton weapon, which would give him great power capable of destroying an entire nation.
Crocodile met Nico Robin when he was 24 years old, and he made a deal with her: in exchange for his protection from the authorities, she would be his business partner and decipher the Poneglyph so he could find Pluton’s location.
During the journey of Straw Hat’s crew, the group runs into Bibi, who turns out to be the very princess of the Kingdom of Alabasta. The pirates then decide to help her take back the kingdom by going against the fearsome tyrant Crocodile.
After arriving in Alubarna, capital of Alabasta, Rufy and some members of his crew manage to reach Crocodile’s casino, Rain Dinners . However, they fall into a trap orchestrated by Nico Robin and are trapped in a cage. Here, they meet Crocodile for the first time who explains to them Operation Utopia, the plan to destroy Alabasta. With Bibi’s help, the Straw Hats manage to escape from the cage and immediately set off in pursuit of Crocodile to foil the evil plan.
Once reached, Rufy clashes with the Sand King, but is quickly defeated and pierced by his hook. Crocodile was surprised that Rufy had survived and threw him into the quicksand where he was promptly buried. Unexpectedly, Straw Hat was rescued by Nico Robin after Crocodile had wandered off.
Once he has recovered, Rufy, decides to fight the tyrant again, this time, however, taking advantage of the water. He, in fact, noted in the previous confrontation that water made the enemy unable to turn into sand.
Annoyed by Rufy’s stubbornness, Crocodile, asked him why he was so persistent even at the cost of his own life. To that question, Rufy replied that he needed to restore peace to the country. Crocodile laughed but soon after took a punch in the face from a now enraged Rufy. Mr 0 was surprised by this, but then realized that what allowed Rufy to hit him was the blood from his wounds. Realizing that he was facing someone he should no longer underestimate, he removed the top of his hook, revealing a poisonous weapon.
From this moment on, the two clash with all their might: Rufy is poisoned by Crocodile’s hook, but he still manages to throw it into the air and unleash a barrage of punches with unprecedented power. Rufy’s attack, moved now only by desperation and his iron willpower, has an effect on Crocodile, who is finally defeated. Peace was then restored to the Kingdom of Alabasta, and Crocodile was captured by the navy and stripped of his title as a member of the Fleet of Seven.