Famed comic artist Kevin Nowlan worked on the designs for several main characters on “Batman: The Animated Series.” Nowlan told 13th Dimension that while some of his renderings, such as Penguin, went through rather drastic changes, others, remained quite faithful. When asked which design was his favorite, the artist named Killer Croc. Nowlan explained:
“Probably Killer Croc. That was a unique challenge because we had to start from scratch. The comic version was covered with tiny lizard scales and I didn’t think that would work. So I had to create a long monster face that suggested a human crocodile with the huge jaw and odd proportions. Instead of scales, he had just a few little bumps on his brow and shoulders. I was very happy to see how faithful the animators were on the follow-through.”
Killer Croc has since gone through quite an evolution in the comics as well, with his condition only worsening after he was infected with a virus. Waylon was initially known for his large stature and scaly appearance, but thanks to said virus, he basically evolved into something more akin to an actual crocodile. This made him far more monstrous and even more difficult to defeat … though, luckily, Croc’s not exactly a cunning opponent, so he’s not too much trouble for Batman.
It’s really cool to peek at these designs in their early stages and see what works differently for another medium. Nowlan did an incredible job, saying he tried to make them “as simple and bold” as possible. My favorite of his designs is definitely Man-Bat. I’m still waiting to see my guy Kirk Langstrom in live-action, but now, with James Gunn claiming that no characters are off the table in the new DC Universe, perhaps there’s hope!