Dr. Crab is a fictional character, Radioactive Man's nemesis and the central antagonist of the Radioactive Man comics. An inveterate Communist, he spoofs Communist supervillains such as Red Ghost, Red Skull, and Aleksander Lukin.
Dr. Vladimir Krabokov was a Russian scientist and dedicated communist with a taste for shrimp cocktails. Various sources state that he came from Minsk (Radioactive Man #18) or Moscow (Radioactive Man #23), but he nevertheless appears to speak with a German accent. In World War II, the Nazis forced Krabokov to work for them, during which time he became an adversary of Radioactive Man's wartime predecessor, Radio Man. During the war, he also captured wartime aviatrix Camellia Kane. He took her brain and placed it in a robot, brainwashing her to make her the robotic supervilainess Pneumatica.
Krabokov later came to America intending to undermine its capitalist structure and make the country a satellite for the USSR. He initially terrorized America in human form, but a combination of radioactive experimentation and his addiction to shrimp cocktail gradually transformed him into a humanoid crab. The transformation became complete around the time of Radioactive Man #27 (although he has occasionally temporarily transformed back into his human form since then ). He blames this transformation on Radioactive Man, although because of it he developed an attraction to similarly-freakish villainess Larva Girl. As Crab blames his adversary for his transformation, at the same time he acknowledges his role in creating Radioactive Man, as revealed in the landmark Radioactive Man #400.
As time went on, Dr. Crab's obsession with Radioactive Man deepened, and his nuclear research escalated accordingly. He gradually mutated even further, becoming Prawn, a creature with the same crab-like pincers but even more hideously grotesque in appearance.
Prawn conspired with Radioactive Worm to regain his former human appearance and destroy Radioactive Man. Crab also developed an "Airwave Silencer" that would dampen transmission of airwaves, disabling the "capitalist media." Together, Crab and the worm developed the "Regresso Ray," a ray designed to change people into past selves. The ray did briefly change Crab back to his human form, but it backfired. It turned Radioactive Man back into Radio Man, leaving him still with more than enough power to defeat Dr. Crab and ultimately destroy the Airwave Silencer and Regresso Ray. Its destruction brought Prawn back to his usual crab-like appearance.
Dr. Crab also served as the main antagonist for Radioactive Man: The Animated Series, a 1990s cartoon based on Batman: The Animated Series. He had as his assistant/girlfriend Hallie Claw, a nagging villainess who would complicate his schemes. Story editor Paul Dini (fictionally) redesigned Crab to closely resemble the Joker to Hallie's Harley Quinn.
Crab's schemes range from sedition to espionage to simple larceny, and he employs minions ranging from ordinary communist citizens to the Red Fez spy ring. Most often, he relies on his trusty crab-bots. His bases range from an abandoned factory to an asteroid in orbit around the earth (a parody of Asteroid M).
In crab form, Dr. Crab has the "proportionate strength and cunning of a large crab."
Aware that Radioactive Man far outmatches him physically, Dr. Crab rarely engages in hand-to-hand combat with his adversary. Instead, he uses weapons and scientific gadgets. For instance, in their first battle, Crab used an "Atom Smasher Ray" that sapped Radioactive Man's strength. At one point, he invented a particle blaster that apparently killed Radioactive Man (albeit accidentally). He also has devices designed to paralyze, such as neural neutralizer headbands and stasis tubes. When his devices malfunction, Crab will usually escape rather than fight.
- Dr. Crab appears as the boss of the second level of Bartman Meets Radioactive Man.
- Episode – "Old Money" (Mentioned)
- Episode – "Three Men and a Comic Book"
- Episode – "Married to the Blob"
- Episode – "Blazed and Confused"
- Video game – The Simpsons: Bartman Meets Radioactive Man
- Video game – The Simpsons: Tapped Out