Dr. Crombel (Kor. 닥터 크롬벨) is a recurring antagonist of the series. He is a high ranking scientist of the Union who has been promoted to the rank of the 13th Elder after being recognized by Elders for his talents. He is also in command of the Assassination Squad, members of which have infiltrated into almost every sectors of the Union and are acting as Crombel's eyes and ears.
Dr. Crombel has a calm and collected appearance. He has grey hair, wears glasses and has a scar on his forehead (which is first shown on the right side beneath his right eye during season 1) that somewhat resembles the scars of M-21's.
As a mysterious scientist with hidden agenda, Dr. Crombel does numerous unpredictable things and he takes actions based on whatever catches his interests. Though he's in the Union, he sometimes conducts research which he keeps secret from the Union. He also likes to observe things that other people do in order to gain more knowledge and pass time. He is a pure scientist in that all he cares about is whatever data he can discover through experiments. Pain, suffering, high mortality rate, decreased lifespan, opinion, basic human rights, and anguish of those he experiments on only concerns him in what data he can get out of it. He likely considers ethics and morals as impediments to research and a waste of time and energy.
Other than research, his focus and pleasure centers on acquiring power, exclusive knowledge, and removing those he considers enemies or obstacles. However, he seems to enjoy taking his enemies out by manipulating, outsmarting, and using indirect means rather than direct confrontation so his enemies either don't know he's behind their downfall or can't prove his involvement even if they do figure it out. His desire for power has been shown through his mental link with Mary of the Assassination Squad, and when he had all the personnel within a lab killed (researchers, janitors, EVERYBODY) so he'd have exclusive knowledge of some data he discovered from Jake and M-24's infected.
Dr. Crombel is a mysterious scientist and a modified human, connected to most of the incidents of the story in one way or another. His personal background is not yet revealed, except that he was highly suspected by the 12th Elder and his subordinates who wanted to track all his movements.
It was revealed that he got hold of a research journal 130 years ago. He chanced upon it while making a brief visit to an antique shop. He has high respect for the author of that journal which was the main source for his 'genius' that helped him on his rise within the Union.
The Human World Arc
The Assassination Squad
Dr. Crombel first appears as an elite executive of the Union arriving with Mary and Jake to visit the South Korean base of the Union. Hearing of the presence of two M-series specimens in the locality, he tells Mary to bring them to him so that he could personally check them. However, M-21 declines from the health checkup after meeting and Dr. Crombel surprisingly agrees with his excuse, letting them go.
Later Mary reports him of a mysterious, blond guy. Dr. Crombel shows interest hearing about him and orders Mary to capture him, in which she fails.
A New Plan
Eventually, his mind connection with one of his assassins breaks and he realizes that Mary is defeated. As he takes Union troops to procure the remains from the battle vicinity, he finds the Infected as well as the disintegrating body of M-24. He learns from the latter's remains that the experiment was closest to copying the abilities of noble species.
A New Experiment
Dr. Crombel quickly uses the Infected in an rather unexpected experiment after realizing that the latter could still retain sapience despite all other cases would turn into savage mindless monsters. After the experiment is carried out, he arranges for the specimen to eliminate both the security and all present so that he could keep this unexpected discovery for himself.
As he is fleeing on a helicopter away from the base, he sees M-21 and Rai on a security camera footage. Despite seeing Rai, Crombel utterly ignores the former and rather takes an interest in M-21 who he thought to be dead and decides to use him to gather even more data on the recently empowered Infected. He orders to redirect the helicopter towards the base and lands on the rooftop to briefly engage with Frankenstein in a battle. Observing that both of them have similar power and noting that the Infected is defeated, he decides to retreat.
Dr. Crombel briefly appears in this season. It is mentioned by the DA-5 that Crombel recorded M-21's presence in that city as a part of a mission assigned by him. Eventually, the DA-5 gets annihilated and Dr. Aris (Crombel's competitor) suffers permanent damage. Yuri is shown to be actually one of Crombel's assassins working undercover with different elders according to Crombel's orders. Yuri brings Aris' body to Crombel and he wants to keep her brain intact regardless what happens to other limbs. He orders Yuri to spread the rumor within Union that she is fine while keeping her actual condition as well as the existence of Rai's group a secret.
Dr. Crombel catches Lukedonia's view as the clash of the noble hierarchy temporarily ruptures the barrier withholding it from public sight. He also gets informed about the 8th fleet's rash attack on Lukedonia and plots to use the event against the 12th Elder.
Later he takes a far less active roll in the series often simply giving Yuri orders or gloating about his success each time he could avoid being discovered by the Union, especially the 12th Elder. He is also assigned the title of the 13th Elder (originally intended for Ignes). He sometimes appears in the meetings with the other Elders. Elsewhere, Yuri collects Cerberus samples for him.
Dr. Crombel plays a major role although in planning rather than being active. He schemes the faking persona of M-24 and sends one of his assassin spies in Frankenstein's residence. The spy, Mark, collects data from Frankenstein's lab and brings it to Crombel. He further sends his assassins to collect the remaining data as well but the mission ends in failure.
After that, Crombel arranges a meeting with Frankenstein and comes to terms on refraining from attacking each other for mutual benefit. However, he keeps his assassins stationed at the city.
Dr. Crombel makes his move again to take advantage of the chaos within the Union. This time he visits Roctis' Island under the pretense of questioning the 4th Elder personally about the recent incident causing the annihilation of so many elders. The surprised elders reminds him of his position and bids him farewell. However, Ignes meets him and offers to accompany. He slips the news of Union elders being killed by noble clan leaders. His plan to manipulate Ignes' inferiority complex and incur her wrath to cause a chaos works. Ignes kidnaps Seira which leads Rai and others right to Roctis' Island resulting in the annihilation of 4th and 9th elders.
Crombel had his assassin stationed there who procures the data from Ignes' lab before its complete destruction. Furthermore, the awakening of Muzaka revealed the entities of Noblesse and Werewolf lord to Crombel.
Later Crombel is contacted by the 3rd Elder, who offers him to take the place of the 9th to carry on physical modifications for them, much to Crombel's delight. But he maintains a humble demeanor to ask for all secret research data accumulated in the Union for him to conduct research. His request is sanctioned and Crombel attains all Union resource and data at his disposal.
While the 3rd and 5th Elders visit the Noblesse's city to look for Muzaka, Crombel has his own assassin team on Muzaka's pursuit. They inform him of a 'trace' to which he responds by ordering them to find Muzaka before everyone else at any cost. His wish is fulfilled as Muzaka is soon tracked down. Crombel commands to deploy high level agents of Union in teams to lure Muzaka towards Union branches and make him deplete his powers by obstructive tactics. When Muzaka is gradually exhausted bestowing his wrath on his obstructors, near the 4th branch of the Union, Crombel arrives. After getting a detailed report from Yuri and confirmation of his plan's success, Dr. Crombel decides to meet the 'exalted being' himself.
Crombel greets Muzaka, deliberately showing profound respect towards the being. Crombel convinces Muzaka that he's not an enemy and attempts to engage in a conversation. However, Muzaka shows irritation when Crombel mentions his revenge issue and the latter realizes that the werewolf has lost more of his memories than expected. So, he reminds Muzaka of the cause for the rage that engulfs him, mentioning his daughter. At this, Muzaka remembers his daughter and goes in a fit of agony, to Crombel's advantage. Crombel then offers aiding Muzaka in achieving revenge if he agrees to come with him.
Dr. Crombel is thinking about the upcoming confrontation between Muzaka and the 2nd Elder. Crombel remembers the telephone conversation he had with Muzaka a few hours prior. Muzaka informs him that he won't be coming back for a while, if he comes back at all. Crombel requests an explanation if possible, and Muzaka replies that he has to confront the werewolf clan. Crombel wishes Muzaka the best of luck for his mission and their conversation ends. Back in the present, Crombel is unsure of what is happening, but is certain that the current crisis, will provide plenty of opportunities for him, no matter who wins.
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Powers & Abilities
He has a great interest in experimenting on humans in order to create more and more powerful beings, and he would go to any length to make progress on his research. It is later found out that Dr. Crombel possesses one of Frankenstein's diaries, which explains how he rose up as one of the top executives due to his "Genius", since most of his knowledge came from the diary. It also seems that Dr. Crombel possesses a diary similar to the one which The Union has.
Dr. Crombel has been shown to possess superhuman powers that can compete with Frankenstein, although Frankenstein was still fighting with his full powers sealed at the time. His abilities are far superior to what others know, and they are certainly stronger than his experiments like Mary and Jake.
Dr. Crombel has been shown to possess immense energy powers while clashing with Frankenstein. His aura is completely white, the opposite color of Frankenstein's. However, they are very similar in potency, appearance, and usage. Yuri even once remarked that Frankenstein and Dr. Crombel's powers seemed to be similar.
Mind Link: Dr. Crombel has the ability to create a mental link with a few people, namely his assassins. This is noted when he remarks that his link with Mary was severed with her death as she is the only one close enough for him to have felt it that much. What the link does or is capable of hasn't been shown. Since Mary reported to him in person it's unlikely that mind to mind communication is possible, although it could be probable that he never told her about the link. If he was using it to make those he's linked with exclusively loyal to him, unquestionably obedient, and only concerned with accomplishing his goals then he'd never tell them about the link. So far, only the fact he has linked with a few individuals, that distance is a factor, and could only tell someone he was linked to had died as he had to deduce that it had been Mary.