Membership: Cowled Commander, Eel, Plantman (simuloid), Porcupine, Scarecrow, Viper, and at least six unnamed men

Purpose: To spread chaos in New York City so that the public would demand a tougher police force

Affiliations: None

Enemies: Captain America, Falcon, NYPD

Base of Operations: New York City

First Appearance: (Viper solo) Captain America I#157 (January 1973); (rest of team) Captain America I#159 (March 1973)

History: (Captain America I#157 (fb) - BTS) - The Cowled Commander hired Viper, Porcupine, Scarecrow, Eel and Plantman for the Crime Wave team, as well as a few other henchmen in the criminal underworld in order to spread chaos throughout New York City, so that a tougher police force would be initiated.

(Captain America I#157) - Captain America was on his way to a police station, when he was attacked by three men; one of them revealed that the Cowled Commander had ordered them to prevent Captain America from getting to the police station. Captain America easily defeated the three men, leaving them to the cop called Carpenter while he went to the police station.

(Captain America I#157 -BTS) - Viper made a bomb explode at the 15th Police Precinct in an attempt to kill Captain America.

(Captain America I#157) - Standing on top of a nearby building, Viper watched as Falcon, Captain America's partner at the time, came out of the ruins of the police station. Falcon glimpsed Viper and rushed to see who he was. He met Viper, and learned that he was behind the explosion. The two of them began to fight. Viper managed to throw a venom-tipped dart at Falcon, felling him, but suddenly Captain America appeared, revealing that he had survived the explosion. He attacked Viper, who was surprised that Captain America survived. Captain America managed to defeat the villain, but Viper told him that if he wanted the antidote to the poison to save Falcon, he would have to let him go. Captain America agreed, knowing that he had to make a deal with the villain but didn't like it one bit. Viper threw the antidote to Captain America, but when Captain America tried to get the antidote, he turned his back to the Viper. Viper told him, "We have a saying in the advertising game, Captain America! You might do well to remember it: Never turn your back on the competition!" With those words said, he threw a Viper dart in the back of Captain America, as well, and escaped.

(Captain America I#158) - While Captain America and Falcon lay on the top of the building where they fought Viper, Viper escaped.

(Captain America I#158 - BTS) - After being saved by Captain America, Falcon went to see Boss Morgan in order to find out where Viper was hiding. Boss Morgan told him that he knew where Viper was and that he even knew who the Cowled Commander was, but he wasn't telling him. Falcon left Boss Morgan and went to a place in town where he thought there was a good chance an ad man would live. He went to a drug store and asked the owner who bought chemicals from him. He sent him off to see "Jordon" Dixon, the Viper's real name (See Comments).

(Captain America I#158) - After leaving Muldoon's home, Captain America saw three men in the streets using guns to rob a store. Captain America easily defeated the robbers, and the police came to get them. One of the men told Captain America, "You got us, but we're only small potatoes, the Crime Wave has started and you'll never stop it!"

In his apartment, Viper was mixing more chemicals for his poisonous darts when the Falcon came crashing through the window, and the two of them began to fight. Viper was about to hit Falcon with a dart, but he was attacked by Falcon's avian partner Redwing, giving Falcon enough time to knock his opponent down. Standing on top of him, Falcon asked Viper who the Cowled Commander was, but Viper told him that he was a fool, because the Cowled Commader's identity was a secret, and Viper himself didn't even know. He also told him that he couldn't stop the Crime Wave because he was just a middle-echelon type, and if he didn't report in, Falcon would have to face Plantman, Porcupine, Eel, and Scarecrow.

(Captain America I#159) - The rest of the team was spreading chaos in the city, and were confronted by Captain America as they robbed a jeweler. He began to fight the super-villains.

(Captain America I#159) - Leaving Viper's apartment to go fight the rest of the Crime Wave, Falcon brought Viper with him. Viper begged Falcon not to drop him from the heights they were flying. Arriving at the battle between Captain America and the Crime Wave, Falcon threw Viper in Plantman's face. Eel realized that Viper was his brother, and, as Viper was about to get up again, Eel used his electro-blast against Falcon. When the police commissioner came, he accidentally gave Viper and the rest of the Crime Wave a chance to escape in a car, and they drove to a secret hideout.

The five of them then discussed their plans. Eel told Scarecrow that he didn't know that Viper had joined the Crime Wave, and he believed that Jordan was playing it straight at Madison Avenue. Viper broke in, telling them that he was indeed the one who helped them, but Porcupine wasn't convinced because he shouldn't take credit for being dropped by Falcon. Suddenly the five were attacked by Falcon and Captain America. Viper was quickly defeated by Falcon, but Plantman used his plants to capture the two heroes, and the five of them brought them to a secret chamber for the Cowled Commander.

When Captain America and Falcon woke up, they heard the voice of the Cowled Commander issuing from a TV screen. The Cowled Commander told them that they were about to die, and suddenly gas came into the room. Captain America managed to break out, and the Cowled Commander and his Crime Wave fought the two heroes. Captain America used his shield to defeat Scarecrow and Eel, while Redwing helped Falcon defeat Plantman. Porcupine tried to capture Captain America, but he managed to throw the villain into Viper, defeating both of them. The Cowled Commander realized that the battle had been lost and tried to escape, but Falcon stopped him, and unmasked him as police sergeant Brian Muldoon. Muldoon told the heroes that his plan was to make the public aware that the new kind of police force was too weak by spreading chaos in the city so the public would demand a tougher police force. Muldoon and the rest of the Crime Wave were sent to jail.

Comments: Created by Steve Englehart, Steve Gerber, Sal Buscema, and John Verpoorten.

I guess Viper couldn't keep track of his own aliases-- in Captain America I #158, Falcon learned from the store owner that the man he was looking for is Jordon Dixon, the name legally changed by Viper for him to use in the advertising world to keep his Stryke surname clean. In Captain America I #163, he called his old friend Quentin, telling him it was his old friend Jordan Dixon aka Viper. Hmmm, guess he used both Jordon Dixon and Jordan Dixon as aliases, and Jordan Stryke was his real name. The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition#20 listed his real name as Jordan Dixon, so I guess Jordon Dixon was a typographical mistake (or that was the way the drug store owner thought his name was spelled).

Jim Sharpe pointed out that the OHotMU Master Edition states that it was not actually the Plant Man, but a Plant Man simuloid (also known as a simulacrum, a plant in human form, of his creation, and under his control) who was actually involved in the Crime Wave. The real Plant Man was most likely involved behind the scenes, though we have seen instances of the simuloids taking on a life of their own, as with Terraformer.

Before this appearance, Eel, Plantman, Porcupine, and Scarecrow had last been seen teamed-up together in X-Men I#23.

by The Beetle

Profile updated/edited by Kyle Sims

Crime Wave shouldn't be confused with:

Brian Muldoon has no known relations to:

The Scarecrow shouldn't be confused with:

Cowled Commander

(Sergeant Brian Muldoon) - Police sergeant who took on the identity of the Cowled Commander and led Crime Wave in their campaign to cause so much trouble that the people of New York would beg for the cops to take a tougher stand on crime. In his identity as Sgt. Brian Muldoon, he was the superior officer to Steve Rogers (Captain America) during his brief term as a police officer, and Rogers was demoralized when he found that Muldoon was the Cowled Commander.

Years later, Muldoon sought the assistance of the Manipulator in killing Captain America. The Manipulator set up a bizarre scenario using robots to manipulate Captain America, but Muldoon became impatient, and attempted to kill Captain America himself with a pistol. The bullet ricocheted off Captain America's shield, and instead hit the Manipulator, destroying him.

--Captain America I#139 (Code of Honor#1, Captain America I#140, 143, 149, 152, 154, 156, 157-bts, 157, 158, 158-bts, 158, 159, 159-bts, 159, 242

Additional Comments:  Other New York cops that went bad include:



"The Men"

Some of the smaller fish in the Crime Wave operation, hired by the Cowled Commander to spread chaos in the city. All of them were good hand-to-hand combatants. Two teams of three were sent to try to kill Captain America, but each failed. -Captain America I#157 (158


Captain America I#157-159 (January-March, 1973) - Steve Englehart (writer), Sal Buscema (pencils), John Verpoorten (inks), Roy Thomas (editor)

First Posted: 06/04/2003
Last updated: 10/22/2005

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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