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Game time.
Sportsmaster in "The Justice Society"

Lawrence "Larry" Crock, also known as Crusher, is a recurring character in The CW and DC Universe series Stargirl.

Larry sees his criminal pursuits as a game to win — and his competitors as targets to kill. The only thing more important to Crock than ‘the game’ is his family. He is a member of the Injustice Society of America under the identity of Sportsmaster.

He is a former star athlete who's turned to a life of crime and uses various sports equipment in his heists. While he may not sound threatening, Sportsmaster is one of the deadliest fighters.[2] He is the husband of Paula Brooks, the villain known as Tigress, and the father of BVHS star athlete, Artemis.

Biography

Larry was born to a strict father who taught him to embrace the pain that came with training and life. He became a star athlete who went by the alias, "Crusher", who eventually retired from his pro-athlete days. Larry then turned to a life of crime, making his first criminal appearance in a fight against Wildcat and Green Lantern. His incredible fighting skills made him a formidable opponent for the JSA and a valuable asset to the Injustice Society of America. At some point, he married Paula Brooks, who was also his partner in crime Tigress, and they had a daughter, Artemis Crock.

Ten years ago, "Sportsmaster" was present at the battle between the ISA and the Justice Society of America went into hiding. They seemingly disbanded but in reality, they all hunkered down in Blue Valley, Nebraska. It was here that Larry opened his gym, Ripped City, where he pushes his trainees to be the best version of themselves. The Crocks lived a relatively normal life there with the occasional murderous outburst by Larry or Paula.

Series

Season 1

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In a flashback to ten years ago, a masked villain wielding a baseball bat and athletic padding fights alongside the Injustice Society of America. He attacks Starman only to be knocked aside by the Cosmic Staff. When Starman and Stripesy escape the mansion, the ISA, including Sportsmaster, watch the car fly away. Icicle commands Solomon Grundy with one word to follow the car. Grundy manages to damage the car but the heroes escape while Sportsmaster and the rest of the ISA look on.

In the present day, Larry owns a gym called Ripped City that is the best gym in Blue Valley. He welcomes Pat to Blue Valley by appearing at Pat's garage, The Pit Stop, greeting the man by stating that his name is Larry Crock but his friends call him Crusher. He is the owner of the gym down the street, bragging that they offer boot camp classes to get in-shape, subtly noting that Pat could use the workout. He continues to promote his business as Pat nervously states he needs to set up the garage before he can join any gyms. Larry understands and they say goodbye, with Pat calling him "Larry", but he insists on the nickname "Crusher".[3]

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The next day, Pat lurks outside of Ripped City and looks in the windows at the trainees. He lumbers into the gym still eating his burger when he is startled by Larry who suddenly appears and snatches the food Pat is eating out of his hand. He scolds Pat for bringing the unhealthy food into his gym and throws it away. Pat nervously apologizes to Larry, only for them both to correct that his name is Crusher. Larry asks how he's doing only to counter that doesn't look well and asks what's going on. Pat explains that he's been thinking of getting on a cardiovascular wellness program. Larry shakes his head saying he doesn't know that is. Pat explains that he calls it "getting ripped", promoting Larry to shout "ripped" loudly and it echoes throughout the trainers and trainees. He tells Pat not to be ashamed to say "ripped" telling him that they can do this. He talks over Pat telling him to get some clothes off the rack, go back there, get changed, and come out and they'll get started. He doesn't pay attention to Pat, who wanted to sign up now and come back next week. Larry dismisses the idea saying they're starting right now and to go. Pat goes along with the gesture and Larry shouts to "come on, baby" and smacks Pat's butt yelling at him to get pumped. He smacks his hands together saying this is his house.

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Larry takes Pat under his wing and gets him started on weight lifting as he motivationally speaks that his father used to say to want the pain and make pain his friend. Pat then beings to do leg exercises as Larry stands close to pat's face telling him he's making choices for his future self right now - his better self who is going to thank him for it. He then has his new trainee do crunches with a weight, and Pat asks how long they've been doing this. Larry checks his watch and responds three minutes, with only fifty-seven more to go. He smiles as he watches Pat breathily work out.

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That evening, Larry attends Blue Valley High's open house alongside his wife Paula and their daughter, Artemis. The family cheers loudly at the mention of the school's football team, the Prairie Dogs. When the speech portion of the vent is over, Larry finds Pat at the snack table about to eat a cookie and snatches it from his grasp along with his juice. He greets that it's him again and scolds Pat for eating off the program, which confuses Pat who didn't know there was a program. Larry explains that it's the program he started today, which he calls "Pat 2.0". He holds the cookie and juice over the trash saying that this stuff will kill him, as he drops it in and walks off. Pat mutters that Larry is crazy.[4]

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Paula and Larry attend Artemis' football practice and witness her being tackled late. They are both upset by the slight but their anger quickly turns to pride when Artemis punches the teammate. Their pride turns to anger once more when Coach Hank benches Artemis for her violent outburst. Paula looks to Larry with an annoyed yet acknowledging look and they exchange a nod as if they knew what the other was thinking.

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That night, when school is let out, Larry and Paula follow the coach into the parking lot as the man is getting ready to leave work. Larry drags a metal baseball bat across the pavement creating a scratching sound that catches the coach's attention. The coach explains that he didn't want to bench Artemis, but the girl has to learn to control her temper, something Larry remarks Artemis gets from her mother. Paula smiles menacingly as she agrees. The parents warn the coach that Artemis shouldn't be benched any further, with Larry putting the bat around his shoulders as he glares that the couch. The coach states that while he's new to BVHS, he's seen controlling parents like Larry and Paula before. He then threatens to bench Artemis, which doesn't sit well with them, and Larry looks to his wife before hitting the coach across the head with the bat.

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The couple drags the body to the middle of the woods where they dig a grave for the coach. They bicker back and forth about having to carry the body. Larry holds his lower back claiming he's going to feel that one in the morning. She retorts that he should remember to lift with his legs, but Larry thinks they should hire a skinnier coach next time. Jordan arrives, having received a text from Anaya Bowin warning him that the "gym rats" are at it again. He catches the villains by surprise warning them that this is the third coach in two seasons they've killed. Larry responds that the jerk had it coming, and the way he heard it, the last coach left town and the one before that had an accident with a riding mower. Paula smirks calling it tragic but Jordan warns them not to push him down - not today. He adds that Anaya is getting tired of replacing her coaches, but Larry counters that they are only looking out for their daughter. Jordan counters that a newer, safer, America is the best gift they can give her so he needs them to focus. Larry snaps back what they should be focusing on since they've been on pause waiting for Jordan and they're ready to get back in the game. Paula seconds this notion as she can't take more of this town's rotary clubs and bake sales. Jordan scoffs telling them to finish cleaning this up, and just as Larry turns to finish digging, adds that they should get theirs suits out of storage. This catches his attention and he grows excited when Jordan states they're getting back into action tonight. He loudly proclaims "alright then, bud! alright!" then eerily adds "game on".

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The next day, Larry and Paula are watching football practice again when they are met by Steve Sharpe who gives them a keycard for Empire Enterprises. They rebuke his claim that their friends. As Steve leaves, Paul calls out to him to pick up his trash - they pride themselves on keeping the school clean. After practice, Artemis is sitting on the couch at home while her parents lie about having a date night and won't be home for the night. Artemis remarks that they have never had a date night before, but doesn't press the issue. She seems uncomfortable along with Larry who fidgets nervously. Paula and Larry remind Artemis about doing a long list of exercises and her homework, noting that they would probably be back before midnight.

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The couple dresses in their crime-fighting attire and interrupts the young JSA whilst they are looking at a dead body. Chuck quickly identifies them as Tigress and Sportsmaster, Icicle's attack dogs. He apologizes for the mix-up and Dr. Mid-Nite relays their names to the rest of the team. Hourman holds his fists up ready to fight but comments they don't look like hackers. Stargirl has a plan for the young team to stay together but Hourman isn't interested as he thinks he can do this himself. He charges at the couple but they tag-team him and Hourman is knocked aside. Sportsmaster then hits Hourman with a baseball bat in the back and then kicks him through a door and into the electrical room. He warns Hourman to stay down, calling him a kid. Hourman struggles to his feet then runs after Sportsmaster, speaking through his comms that he's got "Jason Vorhees".

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Hourman tracks Sportsmaster outside and barely dodges a high-speed baseball in time that is aimed at his face. Sportsmaster remarks that he knew the last guy who wore the suit, remarking that the last guy was a big dumb idiot too. Hourman is overcome with anger and charges at Sportsmaster who throws a baseball in the air and bats three baseballs at Hourman in quick succession. Hourman is hit in the face and chest with the baseballs. Sportsmaster barrels forward and checks Hourman causing him to fly backward and roll on the ground. Hourman struggles to his knees, blood dripping from his mouth as Sportsmaster asks if he's ready for more. Hourman rises to his feet and holds his hands up ready for another round.

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Sportsmaster continues to fight Hourman in hand-to-hand combat but Hourman's punches don't land and he is struck again with a baseball. Enraged, Hourman shoves a car at Sportsmaster and finally gets the upper-hand. He charges at his enemy, picks him up by the waist, and leaps several feet into the air before slamming Sportsmaster down on a car. They both fall to the ground before resuming their vicious battle. This time, Hourman is slammed into a car but Sportsmaster is stopped from hurting him further when Stargirl launches the Cosmic Staff at the bat-wielding villain.

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Stargirl is able to fight him off with her staff and steal his bat much to his acknowledgment. He praises her ability to steal his weapon. They continue to fight until he knocks her to the ground stealing his bat back as she lies on the pavement. Hourman calls to "Gretzky" while lifting a car over his head which Sportsmaster praises him saying that the car is getting heavy. Hourman struggles to hold it while Sportsmaster takes advantage of this and hits a baseball at Hourman's legs causing him to drop the car. The cosmic staff slides under the car propping it up while Stargirl slides under it and pulls Hourman to safety just before the car can crush him.

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Sportsmaster continues to fight Stargirl and kicks her causing her to stumble backward. Tigress joins Sportsmaster in an epic entrance outside while he battles Stargirl, who has managed to disarm him once again. With her assistance, the couple overwhelms the young heroine and gains the upper hand now that Stargirl is without her team. The heroine refuses to give up easily and shakily rises to her feet much to Tigress' who is surprised by the girl's resilience. The rest of the JSA falls into order around Stargirl. The couple is unfazed and exchanges a mutual nod before approaching the team confidently and calmly. Seconds later, STRIPE lands taking the villains by surprise. Larry looks to Paula and remarks that data night is over. He throws an explosive badminton shuttlecock that is masked as a smoke grenade which allows Tigress and Sportsmaster to escape.[5]

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The next day, Larry is present at the next ISA meeting as he recounts the events of his brawl with the new Hourman and how he threw the baseballs at the hero with quick succession. Steve Sharpe makes a sarcastic comment about Larry giving them the run down, but it's redundant since they got the codes they needed. Larry remarks that the new JSA are all kids, except maybe for the one piloting the giant robot. Paula believes that if this new JSA is children that the ISA should recruit their children into the group. Anaya Bowin disagrees since her Isaac is too sensitive for this way of life and the group had previously agreed to keep their children out of it. Paula snaps that it isn't their fault that Anaya coddles her son. Jordan sides with Anaya that they should keep their children out of this life, much to Paula and Larry's chagrin.[6]

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Larry and Paula attend another ISA meeting in the days that follow. They anxiously wait for Jordan to begin the meeting, as it concerns their progress on Project New America. Larry notices that Paula is left uneasy when Dragon King enters and she mistakenly refers to him as Dragon King, though he calmly corrects that he prefers Dr. Ito when in the presence of his allies. Larry makes an off-handed joke regarding Dragon King finally being let out of his lair by Jordan, but Paula is unamused by her husband's joke and resumes listening to Dr. Ito's presentation. Jordan, on the other hand, shoots Larry a pointed look that stops the man's laughter at his joke.[7]

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With the timer for Project New America running down, Jordan is displeased when the JSA continuously gets in his way and orders a hit on the Whitmore-Dugan's. Brainwave dispatches Tigress and Sportsmaster to complete the job, with the duo gearing up in their garage. Larry surprises Pat at The Pit Stop, having been tasked with killing Pat and Mike Dugan. Larry, dressed in his civilian attire, enters The Pit Stop ominously dragging a baseball bat across the cement flooring. Pat turns and sees Larry and asks what he's doing there so late at night. Draping himself against a car, Crusher responds Pat really shocked him and that he had no idea Pat had it in him. Pat is confused about why Crusher is talking about, but Crusher elaborates that friends don't keep secrets and he was hurt that Pat never said anything about his big robot. He then questions Pat on the robot's whereabouts as he really wants to see it. Pat, slyly picking up a crowbar, tells him he thinks Crusher needs to calm down. Crusher, amused, tells him that as far as famous last words are, he's underwhelmed by Pat's. He smacks the crowbar away and attacks Pat.

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As they fight, Crusher gleefully remarks that Pat's cardio training is paying off. Pat raises his fists, making Crusher decide to take it old school as well. He tosses the bat away. They match up against each other, with Crusher egging Pat on. Pat punches him in the face. Unfazed, Crusher scolds Pat that punching power comes from the hips, demonstrating twisting, and tells him to try again. Pat punches him again, making his opponent turn around from the force. Crusher smirks remarking that he likes him, before punching Pat's stomach and sending him flying into the wall where the man falls to the ground hard. Pat struggles to his knees with Crusher lumbering over, asking if he's okay. He grabs Pat by the hair as he kneels over then releases his hair as Pat begins to mutter. Pat then delivers a punch to Crusher's jaw, with the latter remarking that it was a cheap shot and he thought Pat was better than that. He grabs Pat by the neck and delivers a repetitive beatdown of punches and kicks. Pat crawls toward a door but Crusher proceeds to smack said door into his body, closing it on his body repeatedly.

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Pat desperately crawls to S.T.R.I.P.E. as Crusher saunters into the room and compliments the robot, calling it a beauty. He kicks Pat then grabs him by the shirt. He states that by 8:00 AM it'll be over for everyone, and apologizes that he won't be able to see Pat before then. He begins brutally punching Pat's face. Crusher suddenly screams in pain as Mike drives the power drill into his back. Crusher focuses his attention on Mike, giving a sinister smile until Pat calls to him telling him to stay away from his kid. Crusher turns just in time for Pat to strike him across the face with a giant tailpipe. Mike asks who the man was, with Pat nervously calling Larry an old friend.

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Larry awakens and goes to the Whitmore-Dugan house and greets his wife, who was also overpowered in her efforts to take down Courtney and Barbara Whitmore. They are patching one another up with a first aid kit, with Larry remarking that he's going to rip Mike's arms out of his sockets. He had Pat fine until that kid showed up and ruined everything. Paula returns complains about Courtney until they hear a commotion at the front door. They leave to investigate and are annoyed to see Anaya Bowin carrying her fiddle case. Anaya informs her ISA counterparts that Jordan had sent her to make sure they succeeded. She has a plan to immobilize the JSA, which should make them impossible to miss even for the two of them. Larry comments that killing targets that can't move is no fun, and Anaya snaps that this isn't about fun, calling them sadists. She pushes that she feels sick thinking about how their daughter will turn out. Anaya snaps that Artemis is a wild animal like her mother. Larry asks Anaya if she is saying they don't love their daughter, but Anaya turns to face Larry and says she is saying they are unfit to be parents. Anaya turns back to face Tigress, who kills her by shooting an arrow into her heart. Anaya falls to the ground. Paula stalks over to Larry who compliments his wife's great shot.[8]

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The couple returns to the underground tunnels where they meet with Jordan and Dragon King, who have a plan to eliminate the JSA. The assembled ISA members stalk to Dragon King's lair where Paula calls out to the group, smirking happily. Sportsmaster remarks that this feels familiar, alluding to their battle against the JSA in 2010. Paula grins sadistically saying that it was a fun night, with Sportsmaster chiming in that this will be too. Stargirl glances at her team and the prepare to attack. Jordan leads the ISA in a calm walk forward that leads to a run as the teams attack one another, with Sportsmaster heading right for Hourman.

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Sportsmaster begins an intense hand-to-hand combat fight with Hourman. Sportsmaster gets ahold of Hourman's leg and throws him several feet away. Hourman lands on the concrete steps and rolls once he lands. Stargirl looks over to see Hourman and Sportsmaster fighting once more. Sportsmaster is hitting Hourman with his baseball bat, though Hourman is managing to block his attacks until one blow to the face knocks him to his knees. Next to Hourman is Wildcat, who is fighting Tigress and being overwhelmed by the woman's fighting skills. Hourman is on his feet seconds later as he fights back with Sportsmaster. Stargirl knocks Tigress aside and then does a flip to land on Sportsmaster's head with an ax kick using the full force of her body, rendering him unconscious near his equally knocked out wife.[9]

Season 2

In the months since his defeat at the hands of the Justice Society of America, Larry is arrested and put in prison for petty theft charges.[10] He remain adamant that the charges are stupid and instills this thought in his daughter.[11]

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Before tryouts, Artemis visits Larry, who tells her she'll crush it. Artemis isn't sure, but Larry knows she will. Artemis cries that mom says she loved him. Larry says to tell her mother that he loves her. Larry and Paula break out of prison, and kidnap Mike to force Pat to let them watch Artemis tryouts, agreeing to go back to prison to afterwards.

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Larry and Paula hide out at the Dugan household, and Pat attempts to start a conversation with Larry, wanting to know if the Crocks are aware of Shade's presence in Blue Valley or the fact that Eclipso's Black Diamond is being sought after, and asks how prison is. Pat asks if it is like Shawshank Redemption. Larry is confused as he never saw it, and says they have a great gym. Pat asks if he keeps up with anyone from the old gang, and Larry says the only one that is still alive is the Gambler and he has no interest in talking to him. He admits that he and Paula didn't really fit in, and the only one they liked was Jordan. Pat asks if he has heard from the Shade, and Larry is surprised cause he hasn't heard from him in ten years.

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Larry and Paula are taken to tryouts by Pat, who instructs them to sit and down stay quiet, but they utterly fail as they encourage their daughter. Artemis is doing bad at first, but then sees her parents and has renewed determination. It goes well until Artemis suddenly tackles someone on the bench. She is then removed from the game. After tryouts, Larry and Paula confess to Artemis that they are guilty. They say goodbye to Artemis and let Pat take them back to prison.[12]

Personality

My dad used to tell me, "You gotta want pain. You gotta make pain your friend." You’re making choices for your future self-right now, your better self. Your better self is going to thank you for it.
Crusher in "S.T.R.I.P.E."

Larry presents himself as a boisterous, prideful athlete who isn't afraid to brashly speak his mind with his signature thunderous voice. He thrives off working out and energizing others. He is driven to be healthy and fit to be the best physical version of himself, an ideology he spreads to his friends and clients through roaring encouragements and pep-talks, through topics such as weight-lifting and protein shakes which come off as slightly threatening. He gets upset when his clients don't eat healthily or practice healthy habits.

This interest in athletics however falls within the realm of extremism, with Larry having no issues injuring or outright murdering individuals who clash with his views. This is best shown by him repeatedly murdering past football coaches, most recently one for simply choosing to bench his daughter.

Yet, despite his past as a murderous criminal and generally violent nature he is shown to be somewhat merciful, choosing not to outright kill Rick Tyler during their initial fight, despite having killed multiple heroes in the past, as it was evident to the masked Larry that this new Hourman is a youth. Additionally, he is shown to be a loving yet suffocating parent, always praising his daughter, often to the point of embellishment, and was willing to kill anyone who didn't treat her favorably.

Larry also has a genuine, albeit twisted, friendship with Pat. He wanted him to succeed in physical fitness and even extended an offer for him to stay at his house after learning that Pat was sleeping on the couch.

Physical Appearance

Larry is a middle-aged man with thick blond hair, green eyes, and a very physically fit build. In his civilian identity, he prefers various forms of activewear, primarily tracksuits and exercise shirts. He usually wears Blue Valley High School merchandise.

As Sportsmaster, Larry wears an outfit mainly consisting of extremely thick padding similar to a hockey player, topped with a rather ghoulish looking goalie mask. Additionally, he wears a large pack, similar to a golf bag, on his back to carry his various weapons and equipment.

Abilities

If there's a better fighter in the world, I've never met him.
  • Peak Human Condition: Larry is a former star athlete and one of the deadliest fighters of the Injustice Society of America. He could contend with Starman while the latter wielded the Cosmic Staff. His athleticism and physical attributes are so advanced that they are borderline superhuman and are sufficient enough to challenge the new Hourman.
    • Peak Human Strength:

      Crusher punching Pat into a wall

      With his strength, Sportsmaster could throw his wife with one arm, push Hourman with enough force to knock a door off its hinges, shoulder-check him through the air, knock him off the ground with his bat, lift Stargirl over his head and send a fully grown man like Pat (who weighs 175 pounds) flying a few feet through the air with a single punch, as well as throw him around his garage. His leg strength also allows him to jump very high, as seen in his rematch with Hourman (during which he once again knocked him high into the air).
    • Peak Human Durability: Larry's durability is also impressive, as he quickly got up after Hourman kicked a car into him, and shrugged off being tackled into another car. He also endured having Mike use a power drill on his back.
  • Master Martial Artist: Larry is an immensely skilled hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist. In conjunction with his wife, they were able to easily ward off the new members of the JSA. His skill is such that he was able to completely overwhelm Rick Tyler, despite Rick having super-strength at the time. His fighting style is highly aggressive, heavily attack-oriented, and extremely powerful, befitting his personality but lacks an adequate defense, making him reliant on teamwork with his wife for counterattacks in prolonged combat. According to Pat Dugan, he is one of the best fighters in the world, sufficient enough to simultaneously contend with Wildcat and Green Lantern. Hence, he had the upper hand for the majority of his duel with Pat, and only lost when he was weakened and distracted by Mike drilling him in the back, which gave his opponent enough time to arm himself with a weapon to knock him unconscious. Not long afterward, he fought again with Hourman, who required assistance from Stargirl.
    • Weapon Proficiency: In addition to his martial arts skills, Larry is shown to be highly skilled in using various forms of sports-themed weaponry. His weapons of choice are baseball bats and hockey sticks, along with weaponized baseballs and pucks that he uses to combat his foes from afar.
  • Expert Marksman: Larry is highly accurate with his projectile weapons. He was able to hit the new Hourman with three baseballs in quick succession.

Equipment

Sportsmaster confronting Hourman

  • Sportsmaster Suit: Larry wore this suit as his alter-ego, Sportsmaster.
  • Sports-Themed Weapons: As Sportsmaster he uses weapons designed as sports equipment.
    • Baseball Bat: He uses a metal bat as his main weapon during combat, he also uses it to hit baseballs at his enemies. These baseballs are somewhat guided as they fly in their trajectory, allowing them to hit a single target in rapid succession, and are harmful enough to cripple an enemy with one hit.
    • Hockey Stick/Puck: A modified puck that works like an explosive, this weapon works alongside a hockey stick that is used to shoot the puck at the desired target. This puck also has magnetic properties as it attached itself to the Cosmic Staff, forcing it to fly itself high into the air, away from Courtney, and then disabled the staff for several seconds.
    • Badminton shuttlecock: A modified shuttlecock that covertly disguises a smoke and flash bomb.

Appearances

Additional Season 1 appearances include photographs in "Wildcat", "Brainwave Jr.", and "Shining Knight".
Additional Season 2 appearances include being in a hologram in "Summer School: Chapter Six".
Stargirl 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
Season 1
Season 2

Notes and Trivia

  • Larry is the only supervillain and superhero known to have two aliases. His fighting alias, Crusher, and his ISA alias, Sportsmaster.
  • He and his partner, Tigress, were known derisively by the JSA as "Icicle's attack dogs".
  • (Neil Hopkins) revealed that Larry Crock had a scene in "Brainwave Jr." that was cut for both time and it took away from the suspense of the episode. In the scene, Larry invites Pat to stay at the Crock household since Pat is sleeping at The Pit Stop.[13]
  • Larry apparently never saw The Shawshank Redemption.

Gallery

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References

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