Nothing irks Crankcase more than having to wait. Falling in line for queues is not purgatory, it's hell for him. More than anything, he is driven by a need for speed. It's what calms him down and gives him clarity of thought. All he needs is to be behind the steering wheel of any vehicle and unimpeded by traffic. This obsession with speed was nurtured since he was thirteen, building and driving racing street cars. For several years, he made a career in the circuit before race relays became so much like a routine to him and he got hit by depression. Thanks to an Army recruiter, the thrill of the challenge is placed back in his life. Dodging shells and bullets while in high acceleration is just so much more fun.
A Real American Hero comics continuity - Marvel
Marvel Comics continuity
Crankcase was one of a group of prospective Joes who were tested in the Nevada desert by Lady Jaye. During the course of the test the group came under attack from Cobra. At the Pit he and other Joes discovered that the "Ripcord" they had saved was actually Zartan. Soon after he took part in the assault on Springfield. He was then part of the team that unsuccessfully pursued the escaping Zartan and the Dreadnoks.
Crankcase was then one of the Joes stationed at Fort Lewis in Seattle to guard Power Station Alpha, the world's first mobile solar/nuclear power station. The base was visited by the angry Autobot Superion and Crankcase took part in repelling him. Crankcase was subsequently part of the team who evacuated a cruise ship attacked by Cobra to create a distraction whilst stealing Alpha themselves. During the evacuation Crankcase met G.B. Blackrock who offered to help explain the giant robots Blackrock told Crankcase and Mainframe about the Transformers and the two Joes set about reactivating the Autobot Bumblebee, who had been destroyed by the Joes.
Crankcase was one of the tragic casualties in the infamous Trucial Abysmia conflict. He bravely sacrificed himself by jumping in front of Falcon and Duke and shielding them from a S.A.W.-Viper's hail of gunfire.
Devil's Due Comics continuity
G.I. Joe vs. Transformers
Action Force (British) Comics continuity
Crankcase was initially part of a group of prospective new Action Force members tested by Lady Jaye. Subsequently he assigned to the European branch of Action Force and undertook several missions, including the prevention of a Cobra bomb being detonated in central London. Later he was part of the team that prevented Cobra from kidnapping Ahmed Hassan, the ambassador for Ishmali to the United Kingdom. He subsequently fought in the battle against the Decepticon Megatron, where he and Wild Bill pulled Dusty clear of the flaming wreckage of a tank. He subsequently undertook further missions for Action Force in the Americas.
Animated continuity - Sunbow
- Working names for Crankcase included Fast-Lane and Roll-Bar.
- Crankcase's file name, Elwood G. Indiana, is a combination of cartoonist Elwood Smith and painter Robert Indiana. Hama also considered naming him "Gary," but thought that would just be going too far.
- Might have been the Joe seen with Cover Girl when Cobra La's fighter aircraft appeared in the animated movie.