Kraken (character)

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A Kraken attacks Wolverine and Hercules: Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants #4 (Aug. 2011).
Art by Joe Jusko.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics; Marvel Comics; Independents
First appearance Adventure Comics #56 (Nov. 1940)
Created by Various

The Kraken is a name given to several aquatic monsters inspired by the legend of Kraken[1] and several characters that have appeared primarily in DC Comics and Marvel Comics publications.

DC Comics[edit]

Sea creatures[edit]

Three versions appeared during the Golden Age of Comic Books: the first in Adventure Comics #56 (Nov. 1940), a second, land-based version existing on the planet Venus in Flash Comics #81 (March 1947) and a third variation capable of speech that claimed to be the actual Kraken from ancient folklore who battled the hero Captain Marvel in Whiz Comics #155 (June 1953).

Two versions appeared during the Silver Age of Comic Books: a giant octopus encountered by the Challengers of the Unknown in Showcase #12 (Jan.-Feb 1958), and the second being a giant squid summoned by the hero Aquaman in Aquaman #34 (July-Aug. 1967). Wonder Woman #247 (Sept. 1978) and #289 (March 1982) featured additional versions, and in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #75 (June 1993) the character encountered a version complete with tiara in a dream dimension. In Aquaman #1,000,000 (Nov. 1998), the eponymous hero of the title encounters one of the "Krakens of Vexjor", a race of huge tentacled reptilian sea monsters that inhabit Earth's oceans in the 853rd Century. Wonder Woman and Aquaman also encounter a young Kraken in Issue #1 (Aug. 2011, DC Comics) of the limited series Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies.

In the 2016 series DC Bombshells, King Nereus took the form of a Kraken to battle the heroines of the story. He's eventually dispatched by Aqua-Woman.[2][3]

DC characters[edit]

Secrets of the Sinister House #13 (Sep. 1973) featured a vampire called the Kraken who survives the nuclear annihilation of humanity only to be trapped in a post-apocalyptic future with no human blood for nourishment. Kraken was also the name of a crime syndicate that appeared in The Brave and the Bold #138 (Nov. 1977). Two extraterrestrial villains called Kraken have appeared, the first being an orange-skinned minor villain in Supergirl vol. 2 #18 (April 1984) and the second an ongoing character who debuted in Green Lantern vol. 4 #25 (Jan. 2008).

Minor characters include Prince Kraken, an Atlantean warrior,[4]The Kraken Brothers (Hal Kraken and Kris Kraken),[5] Mr. Kraken, the aide-de-camp of villainess Roulette[6] and King Kraken, a physically powerful if deformed villain that has encountered Batman on several occasions.[7]

Marvel Comics[edit]

Sea creatures[edit]

The first Kraken made multiple appearances in Marvel continuity, including The Avengers #27 (April 1966, Marvel Comics),[8] Tales to Astonish #93 and Sub-Mariner #27 (July 1970),[9] before returning years later in the second issue of the limited series Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America (#1 - 5, June-Aug. 2007).,[10] and in The New Invaders #4 from April 2014.

A Kraken appeared in the short story "When Strikes The Kraken!" in Kull The Destroyer #17 (Oct. 1976),[11] and was reprinted in Chronicles of Kull 2: The Hell Beneath Atlantis and Other Stories.[12] Another Kraken (a gigantic squid) debuted in the black and white Bizarre Adventures #26 (May 1981).[13][14]

A creature called The Black Kraken debuted in the short story "Red Shadows and Black Kraken!" (based on the 1968 fantasy novel Conan of the Isles written by L. Sprague de Camp and Lin Carter featuring Robert E. Howard's hero Conan the Barbarian. The story is republished in the graphic novel Conan of the Isles.[15]) in Conan The Barbarian Annual #7 (1982).[16]

Another version of the Kraken (four-armed and reptilian in appearance) debuted in Marvel Comics Presents #121 (Jan. 1993). It returned in Marvel Action Hour featuring the Fantastic Four #2-4 (Dec. 1994-Feb. 1995) and in the one shot title Namora #1 (Aug. 2010); it would later be featured in the video game Marvel Ultimate Alliance.[17] A Kraken (a horned squid creature) appeared in the 2009 one-shot comic Sub-Mariner Comics: 70th Anniversary Special.,[18] while another (a house sized crab/octopus hybrid) appeared in Fantomex Max issues #2 and #3.[19] This Kraken was modified into a remote controlled cyborg to protect an underwater base of a brilliant scientist.

Two additional versions possessed ties to Greek mythology. The first served the Olympian Gods and debuted in the one shot Chaos War: God Squad #1 (Feb. 2011)[20] before returning in Incredible Hulk #622 (April 2011).[21] The second Kraken appeared in the four-part limited series Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants. Spirited away by the god Poseidon after a defeat by Greek hero Perseus, the creature is revived in modern times by King Eurystheus to battle the heroes Hercules and Wolverine.[22]

Marvel characters[edit]

Commander Kraken[edit]

A villain who adopted the name of Commander Kraken debuted in Sub-Mariner #27 (July 1970) and battled several of Marvel's heroes before finally being killed by Scourge of the Underworld in Captain America #319 (July 1986).

Daniel Whitehall[edit]

An elite assassin and member of the terrorist organization Hydra also used the name and debuted in Secret Warriors #2, March 2009. Writer/artist Jonathan Hickman stated in an interview with Comic Book Resources that "Kraken" is a new character. The other Hydra character with that name [Commander Kraken] was "a real b-list character and pretty lame. Our Kraken... has a long and elaborate history and we're going to be delving into that in a major way".[23] Kraken, who was working at British intelligence a decade after World War II, is a legendary Hydra agent, whose existence had been unverifiable, until recently. Any S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that tried to find documented proof all disappeared. The Kraken preferred to work behind the scenes, seeing it as his mission to help people become what they are meant to be, usually with dangerous results. For decades he was responsible for developing Hydra's best assets, training their best talent. This involved a lot of human trafficking, theft, and murder. He was the head of the school that trained orphaned girls (including a young Viper) into human weapons. The current Kraken is actually the second Kraken, not Daniel Whitehall, having killed the original and stolen his identity by taking his equipment and reading his journals.[24]

It is revealed that this second Kraken is actually Jake Fury, who had infiltrated the highest rungs of HYDRA to help his brother bring about its destruction.[25]

Steve Roger's HYDRA Kraken[edit]

A new Kraken is seen when the new Madame Hydra is collecting members for her HYDRA High Council to assist Captain America, who's memory had been altered by Red Skull's clone using the powers of Kobik to include him always being a member of HYDRA. It is implied this person is someone Steve Rogers knows and believes to be dead.[26]

Agent Kraken[edit]

The Ultimate Marvel imprint title Ultimate X-Men featured an "Agent Kraken", acting as a bodyguard to the President of the United States.[27]

Kraken artifact[edit]

In Captain America & Namor #635.1, "Kraken" is a name given to a powerful mystical artifact created by an ancient Lemurian death cult. It was a tentacled skull mask that embued its wearer with mystical powers.


A Kraken was featured in the story "The Kraken" in issue #49 of Adventures into the Unknown by ACG in 1953.[28]

Champion Comics #5 (March 1940, Harvey Comics), Monster Hunters #10 (Oct. 1977, Charlton Comics), Indiana Jones and the Sargasso Pirates #2 (Jan. 1996, Dark Horse Comics), and the Japanese comic, One Piece (ワンピース Wan Pīsu) #62 (November 15, 2010, Shueisha) all featured versions of the Kraken.

Two one-shot publications featured characters bearing the name: a villain called "Dr. Kraken" in Web-Man #1 (1993, Argosy Communications Inc.) and a hero called Diego Hargreeves with the alias "Kraken" in Umbrella Academy #1 (2007, Dark Horse Comics). 2000 AD #583, (July 1988, Fleetway Publications) also featured the debut of a character called Judge Kraken. In Japanese comics, a servant of Poseidon and one of the main antagonists of the second saga of the Saint Seiya manga series. He was called Kraken Isaac (クラーケンのアイザック, Kurāken no Aizakku) - a former childhood friend and fellow saint trainee of main character Cygnus Hyoga -, and debuted in volume 16, published in 1989 by Shueisha.

The web comic "Angry Faerie" (from July 13, 2012), featured a bodybuilder type character called the Kraken.[29]

A Kraken (dispatched by the God Poseidon) appears in the Avatar Press comic God is Dead #48.

A Kraken (depicted as a huge tentacled reptilian monstrosity) is sent to attack the heroes in Grimm Fairy Tales #123 and #124.

A Kraken appears in Broken Moon: Legends of the Deep #1 by American Gothic Press.[30]

In other media[edit]


  • The Daniel Whitehall version of Kraken appears in Season 2 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., portrayed by Reed Diamond. This version, originally having the name Werner Reinhardt, was a member of Hydra in 1945, prior to being arrested by Peggy Carter and the Strategic Scientific Reserve. An elderly Reinhardt was freed from life imprisonment in 1989, by Hydra infiltrators within S.H.I.E.L.D. and encounters Jiaying (an Inhuman woman who remained looking young after their first encounter during World War II). He dissects her to discover the secret of her abilities, resulting in her supposed death, but also in Reinhardt's de-aging back to his World War II appearance. What he didn't know is that Jiaying was married to Calvin Zabo. In the present, he started calling himself Daniel Whitehall and acted as Hydra's North American leader, following their emergence from hiding, and leads the effort to acquire a Kree artifact called "the Diviner", which turned out to be an artifact containing Terrigen crystals. He frequently clashed with the reconstituted S.H.I.E.L.D. led by Phil Coulson. In addition, Whitehall has used Johann Fenhoff's hypnosis trick to brainwash Agent 33 and Donald Gill into serving Hydra. Whitehall was later killed by Coulson, depriving Calvin of his revenge. In the Season 3 episode "Paradise Lost", Whitehall appears in a flashback where he confers with a young Gideon Malick and his brother Nathaniel, following the funeral of their father. In the Season 4 episode "Let Me Stand Next to you Fire", is revealed that Whitewall was after the Darkhold at some point in his life.
  • The sea creature version of Kraken appeared in the Ultimate Spider-Man episode "Return to the Spider-Verse" Pt. 2. This version is a giant squid that resides in an alternate cartoon pirate reality. When Spider-Man, Kid Arachnid, and Web Beard get caught by pirate versions of Howard the Duck, Rocket Raccoon, and Cosmo the Spacedog who had mutinied against Web Beard, they planned to have them walk the plank off the Groot Pirate Ship in order to feed them to the Kraken. When the Kraken got angered upon getting hit in the eye with the debris, it attacked the Groot Pirate Ship. Spider-Man and Kid Arachnid persuaded Web Beard and the mutineers to settle their differences and help to fight the Kraken. Once that was done, they all tie up the Kraken enough for it to swim out to sea.

Video games[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Beyond Bizarre: Frightening Facts and Blood-Curdling True Tales
  2. ^ DC Bombshells #11
  3. ^ DC Bombshells #12
  4. ^ The Atlantean Chronicles #5 (July 1990)
  5. ^ Flash #321-#323 (April - July 1983)
  6. ^ Formerly Known as the Justice League #3 (Nov. 2003)
  7. ^ First appearance Batman #676 (June 2008)
  8. ^ Stan Lee (w), Don Heck (p), Frank Giacoia (i), The Avengers #27 (April 1966), Marvel Comics
  9. ^ Roy Thomas (w), Sal Buscema (p), Sub-Mariner #27 (July 1970), Marvel Comics
  10. ^ Jeph Loeb (w), Ed McGuinness (p), Dexter Vines (i), Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America #2, "Anger" (June 2007), Marvel Comics
  11. ^ Doug Moench (w), Alfredo Alcala (p), Kull The Destroyer #17, "When Strikes The Kraken!" (October 17, 1976), Marvel Comics
  12. ^ Chronicles of Kull 2: The Hell Beneath Atlantis and Other Stories (2010), Dark Horse Comics ISBN 9781595824394
  13. ^ Doug Moench (w), John Bolton (p), Bizarre Adventures #26 (May 1981), Marvel Comics
  14. ^ Sekhmett Tharn - Kraken at the Appendix to the Handbook of the Marvel Universe
  15. ^ Roy Thomas (w), John Buscema (p), Conan of the Isles (1988), Marvel Comics, ISBN 9780871354839
  16. ^ Roy Thomas (w), John Buscema (p), Conan The Barbarian Annual #7, "Red Shadows and Black Kraken!" (1982), Marvel Comics
  17. ^ Jeff Parker (w), Sara Pichelli (p), Namora #1 (Aug. 2010), Marvel Comics
  18. ^ Sub-Mariner Comics: 70th Anniversary Special
  19. ^
  20. ^ Marc Sumerak (w), Dan Panosian (p), Chaos War: God Squad #1 (February 2011), Marvel Comics
  21. ^ Greg Pak (w), Paul Pelletier (p), Danny Miki (i), Incredible Hulk #622 (April 2011)
  22. ^ Frank Tieri (w), Juan Roman Cano Santacruz (p), Wolverine/Hercules: Myths, Monsters & Mutants #3-4 (July–August 2011), Marvel Comics
  23. ^ Dave Richards (August 14, 2009). "Hickman Talks "Secret Warriors"". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  24. ^ Secret Warriors #2
  25. ^ Secret Warriors #26
  26. ^ Captain America: Steve Rogers #14
  27. ^ Ultimate X-Men #43 (May 2004)
  28. ^ "GCD :: Covers :: Adventures into the Unknown". Retrieved 2016-02-03. 
  29. ^
  30. ^ "GCD :: Covers :: Broken Moon: Legends of the Deep". Retrieved 2016-09-02. 

External links[edit]