Crocodile – till he became a Shichibukai
Crocodile was 22 years old when Roger the Pirate King died.
From the age of 25 to 44 where he’d met Luffy, that’s 19 years (quick maths) as a Shichibukai. It also bares nothing that Crocodile only gained a bounty of 80m in those 3 years before he became a Shichibukai. As we know a bounty is not just based on strength, but the amount of crimes for the most part and severity:
- Luffy didn’t just gain a bounty of 300m in his first year, it only went up after each crime from 30m to 100m to 300m; around 4-5 major crimes. To put things into perspective, Urouge only had a bounty of 108m by the time he reached Sabaody while Luffy had gained a bounty of 300m by that point; Luffy was not much stronger than Urouge despite a 200m gap in bounty, both were barely strong enough to do much against a Pacifista. Bounty is not so much about strength, but mostly reflects x-character has committed a number of crimes known to the WG, but it would require a detailed analysis of the severity of each crime to further understand the bounty.
- Robin at the age of 8 received a bounty of 80 while Hancock by the age of 18 had also gained a bounty of 80m. An 8 year old Robin is nowhere as powerful as a 18 year old Kuja Empress with the ability to use Haki and fight so proficiently.
Bounty doesn’t really reflect strength, it tells us a character has committed a number of crimes to the WG’s knowledge, and like Robin, as she hadn’t committed many crimes to the WG’s knowledge since the age of 8, her Bounty remained as roughly 80m for 20 years! What is the point of mentioning this? It’s to highlight: Crocodile only had a bounty of 80m in just 3 years before becoming a Shichibukai.
Crocodile’s Secret + Stephen’s Translation
So what is Crocodile’s secret? We know it has something to do with Ivankov. The secular translation talks about knowing his weakness, and that can lead one to assuming he’s talking about his weakness to water, but that doesn’t really seem like a big deal especially since carrying water around just to hit Crocodile is inconvenient, and New World Pirates who are seasoned would likely be able to make use of Haki.
From what I can piece together, I believe Crocodile aimed to become a Shichibukai before going after Whitebeard’s head. He possibly needed to increase his infamy and lure pirates into working under him; in other words, he needed to promote himself a bit more which he couldn’t with just 80 million.
In order to become a Shichibukai, I believe (again, I’m just speculating) that Crocodile handed Ivankov over to the WG and he became a Shichibukai in return. Sounds dubious, but Ivankov wanted to go into Impel Down as he implies to us here for the Revolutionary Army.
We also know that Vegapunk also has ties with the Revolutionary Army seeing as Bartolomeo Kuma of the Revolutionary was worked on by Vegapunk to aid the SHs as Dragon, the RA’s leader intended. Crocodile may have played a part in even recommending Kuma as a Shichibukai, so this may give some credence to this idea.
Crocodile couldn’t get enough infamy to be recognised as a huge symbol of fear, got the opportunity to capture Ivankov and have him placed in Impel Down on behalf of the RA, and this earned him is status as a Shichibukai and infamy. This is what Ivankov holds over him, and as a result, his pride his hurt by his inability to reach such heights without his own power. A bounty of only 80m in 3 years is after-all nothing fantastic meaning he was never a Super-Rookie implying he never stormed the world of Pirates like Ace & many other notable Pirates did.
*Theory by u/Users102030