Crawltons are a modified version of Caterkillers and also share the same family as the Catakiller Jr. and Sandworm. They are quite adept at tunnelling through the ground, are faster, have longer bodies and can be identified by their aggressive face when compared to Caterkiller's goofy mouth. When burrowing in large groups, Crawltons can easily cause surface tremors or underground cave-ins. They have a tendency to lash out of the ground and walls and take enemies by surprise. Crawltons made their first appearance in Issue 23 and have been a major part of Robotnik's army throughout his rule.
The first Crawltons seen in the comic were not actually under the control of Robotnik. Instead, they had been stolen by Captain Plunder and were used to guard his Mystic Cave Zone base. These Badniks did not contain an organic battery, something that surprised Johnny Lightfoot. The Freedom Fighters made light work of the three Crawltons they were faced with, in the process decimating Plunder's Badnik reinforcements. Later, Sonic would assume that because Plunder owned Badniks and wanted the Chaos Emeralds, he must have been working for Robotnik.
Robotnik first utilised a Crawlton fleet when he launched an assault on Kintobor's Laboratory. As the base was underground, Robotnik required the Crawltons, as well as Grounders, Tunnelbots and his own Squeeze Tag Machine, to dig through one of the blocked entrances. Afterwards, the Crawltons watched as Sonic and Robotnik traded blows but were not called into action until Knuckles the Echidna arrived. The action moved outside where the three heroes eventually defeated the Crawltons after an arduous battle.
Following this total defeat, Crawltons were rarely used by Robotnik again. Their role was diminished to patrolling underground areas, places that the Freedom Fighters weren't likely to visit. A particuarly large one was outsmarted by Tails underneath the Spring Flower Zone; the fox used his aerial ability to tie up the Crawlton before pushing it into the lava. It was not stated whether or not the Badnik had a live prisoner, although it isn't likely. One more was used in this era, helping a variety of other Badniks wear down the Freedom Fighters. With the help of Shortfuse the Cybernik, it was swiftly dispatched.
New eraCrawlton was one of the first models of Badnik Robotnik worked on following The Final Victory. This new version was more deadly, fitted with spikes on its head to minimise the surface area that could pose as a weak spot. Along with other Badniks at the time, this Crawlton was grey as Robotnik had not gotten round to painting them. However, only one Crawlton like this was ever seen, with Robotnik preferring its Caterkiller cousins.
Robotnik began to experiment with new Badnik designs and Crawlton was quickly forgotten. It was seemingly given one last chance to shine by attacking the Sunshine Valley Zone, although it was later revealed that this old model was a version Robotnik had ceased building years ago. Tekno the Canary discovered that they were programmed by Big Bill Screwloose, a duck eager to make the citizens lose faith in heroes.
Sonic the Comic OnlineCrawlton eventually retuned in Sonic the Comic Online. As part of a back-up program, Robotnik programmed the Death Egg to continue to produce Badniks long after his ship was destroyed. These Crawltons were designated as "research robots" and were employed to protect the Scientific Research Module from potential hostiles. They activated when the Freedom Fighters arrived to shut down the Death Egg permanently but, as always, were swiftly destroyed.
When Robotnik returned and put Mobius at war, Crawlton was one of his forces once again. He used one model to attack G.U.N. in the Rail Canyon Zone and another, along with the earlier Caterkiller, to attack Tails and a group of refugees from the Maple Flower Zone. Tails defeated it by blowing dust in its eyes with his tails before smashing it.
- Issue 23 - Pirates of the Mystic Cave
- Sonic the Summer Special - Doctor Sun and Sonic's World feature
- Issue 37 and Issue 38 - Robotnik's Revenge
- Issue 74 - Fox On The Run
- Issue 89 - A New Hope
- Issue 101 - Pin-up (Ferran Rodriguez)
- Issue 105 - Flickies' Island
- Issue 128 - Yesterday's Heroes
- Issue 231 - Return to the Death Egg
- 15th Anniversary Special - Elephant in the Room (Robotnik's Revenge flashback)
- Issue 256 - Master of All I Survey
- Issue 258 -
Crawltons originally appeared in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 as enemies in the Mystic Cave Zone.