When he was first introduced in Alabasta, Crocodile was a serious menace.
A Shichibukai with evil ambitions, Crocodile controlled Alabasta and caused havoc in the entire arc he was in.
If we compare it to the recent storyline, Alabasta was as close to Dressrosa as Doflamingo is to Crocodile.
But here’s the thing: unlike Doflamingo, Croco-boy has had a character arc in which he redeemed himself as an anti-hero kind of good guy.
In both the canon and non-canon storylines, this has been quite prevalent.
In the movie One Piece: Stampede, we saw Crocodile helping the Straw-Hat Pirates. Also, in the Marineford and Impel Down Arc, he was supporting Luffy during the fight.
You might argue that it was his own interest to get out of Marineford, but overall, he changed.
I mean he could have just fought a bit of his own but he saved not only Ace before execution, but also managed to save Jinbe – a shichibukai he wanted to kill in Impel Down.
What possibly could be the reason behind this?
Simply put, there’s more to Crocodile than his outward evil persona.
Crocodile and Doflamingo: Drawing Parallels
As I’ve already discussed, Doffy and Crocodile are common in their approaches towards the world.
When they were first introduced, they were similar: eerie, in charge of a huge organization, and pure evil in their outlook towards the world.
The keyword here is “similar”. While they are the same, we haven’t seen much of Crocodile’s story unfold as we did Doflamingo.
The reason why I’m writing this article is due to this very reason.
There are certain things in Crocodile’s timeline that have made him evolve from being a villain to a very likeable character.
In Alabasta, he almost killed Luffy. But at Marineford, he saved him.
There is a redemption arc going on behind the scenes that only some have managed to observe.
It seems to me that after his defeat against Luffy, and seeing his ambition at Marineford, Crocodile became an “actual pirate” rather than a mob boss.
One weird example of Crocodile’s nature changing comes from Chapter 860 of the One-Piece manga.
Here, Crocodile is seen standing out in the rain to help a dog.
Considering that water gave Crocodile near PTSD, doesn’t it make sense why Crocodile is doing this.
Now, you could argue that it’s non-canon but even in canon, Crocodile is a better man now.
Crocodile: A Short History
After his defeat and appearance at Marineford, Crocodile is now on the move. He’s motivated again, and with Diaz Bones (aka Mr.1), he’s now travelling as a pirate.
Why Crocodile Found Baroque Works:
Crocodile was there when Gol D. Roger blew the whistle on One Piece.
Like Red Haired Shanks, Gekko Moriah, Doflamingo, and others, he set sail to the Grand Line to find One Piece.
In a fate similar to Moriah, Crocodile got defeated by Whitebeard which caused him to lose sight of his goal.
As we now know how devastating it can be to get defeated by a Yonko, you can lose motivation really quickly.
So, Crocodile founded Baroque Works and began expanding his influence in the milder area of the Grand Line.
His hatred for Whitebeard was so deep that he went ahead and decided to attack him in Marineford. But seeing as how he couldn’t win against him even after so many years, he joined up with Luffy at Marineford.
Crocodile Theory: The True Nature of The Former Warlord
When it comes to theories on Crocodile, there is one that stands beyond everything. It goes something like this:
Crocodile was a woman in a past life (because his face wasn’t shown in the flashback), and he was transformed into a guy by Ivankov (which is why he’s afraid of Ivankov).
In my personal opinion, this theory is kind of nice since it gives more depth to Crocodile.
It also explains Ivankov’s role in his life. Also, to a certain degree, it explains Crocodile’s relationship with Whitebeard.
But here’s my theory on Crocodile. It’s a tad different since it goes into the psychological realm of things.
The present nature of Crocodile is the current one and not the one where he was in Alabasta.
All of this is written to say that Crocodile, at his core, was a dreamer like any other. His dreams were shattered and he had to resort to dark measures to fulfil his goals.
As we’ve seen, Crocodile is on the move as well. In the near future, we might see him have a major role in the One Piece storyline.
Who knows, he might just go up and join the Straw Hat grand fleet. But that’s a big thing to see.