Commander Kraken was created by Roy Thomas and Sal Buscema. Little is known about Commander Kraken's life before he took up piracy and privateering. In his original appearance, Commander Kraken had an electrified prosthetic hook in place of his left hand. He wore long, dark hair and a mustache. Commander Kraken used a submersible vehicle styled to look, convincingly, like The Kraken of mythology. He would use the tentacles of these powerful, radium-powered vehicles to drags seafaring vessels underwater and then steal from them. Commander Kraken underwent a major redesign in 1976, courtesy of writer/editor Gerry Conway and artist Herb Trimpe. The character's appearance was altered via plastic surgery, and he was given a rocket-powered prosthetic leg, as well as obtaining an electrified sword and a bionic hand. His face was scarred, possibly as a result of the extensive surgery, and he no longer wore a mustache. This revamped version also favored a brigantine over the squid-like submarines he had previously used. His ship, The Albatross, could convert into a submarine.
Commander Kraken orchestrated a series of attacks on various ships, the blame for which fell on the Atlanteans. His piracy eventually drew the attention of Namor, who was able to defeat the Commander by inducing the actual mythological Kraken to attack his ship. Commander Kraken's entire crew was killed and he escaped in a small, one-man submarine. He reappeared in Chicago, with a new Kraken ship, arsenal, and crew, attacking an underwater military base. While this plot was thwarted by the intervention of The Cat, the cunning pirate managed to stun her into unconsciousness and escape before he could be apprehended.
Commander Kraken was among the supervillains poached by HYDRA, with Silvermane acting in the position of Supreme Hydra, and was given some measure of authority, being named as the commander of their Naval Action Division. While many of the other "division chiefs" were defeated and taken into custody through the actions of Daredevil and agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Kraken escaped apparently with none aware of his involvement with HYDRA.
Still in the organization's good graces, however, Commander Kraken used HYDRA scientists and technology to reinvent himself and for the creation of his new ship. He soon came into conflict with Iron Man, and managed to discover the armored Avenger's true identity of Tony Stark. Before he could capitalize on this knowledge, Iron Man turned the tables and Commander Kraken's fleet is destroyed, the villain able to fake his death in an explosion, though soon after, he is shown posing as an innkeeper at an inn where Iron Man is staying.
Commander Kraken, in an effort to avoid his previous flirtations with capture and death, began committing low profile crimes in the Great Lakes area of the Midwest. He is contacted by Gary Gilbert., and invited to a meeting at the Medina County, Ohio Bar With No Name to discuss the Scourge of the Underworld and the recent murders of various costumed villains. Commander Kraken and the other villains begin to discuss possible measures that could be taken against the Scourge, but are cut short when the Scourge, who had been disguised as the bartender, opened fire, killing Commander Kraken and all his companions.
Commander Kraken's soul ended up in Hades and was chosen to be part of the jury of supervillains chosen by Pluto to serve in the trial of Zeus. The villains were promised that their souls would be freed in exchange for their jury duty, and when Pluto reneged on his vow, in spite of the jury rendering a guilty verdict against the Olympian patriarch, they turned against the Lord of the Underworld. The jury dragged Pluto off to be tortured for indignities that he had previously inflicted upon him.
Commander Kraken was not among the victims of the Scourge of the Underworld who were resurrected sometime later by The Hood. His status is unknown following the cataclysmic events of the Secret Wars.
Powers and Abilities
Commander Kraken has no known superhuman powers or abilities. He is missing his left hand and left leg. Initially his left hand was replaced with a hook that could emit an electric shock. This hook was later replaced with a bionic hand. He is capable of flight via the use of his bionic leg. He wields an electro-sword which is capable of producing energy beams, as well as deflecting similar attacks. He is a capable sailor and captain, and owns a large boat that can transform into a submarine.
On Earth-20051, Commander Kraken is a scientist who uses a crew of cyborgs and a hi-tech vessel to commit crimes. In this reality, his appearance more closely resembles the original Earth-616 Commander Kraken, though his hook (on his right hand rather than on his left) is more formidable, cable of being a threat to Iron Man's armor. This version, created by writer Fred Van Lente and artist Rafa Sandoval, is revealed to have the real first name "Steve." Henchmen Jack Tar and Mr. 'Scope are named.