The Eel was an Nazi operative that was active during World War II. By the start of 1943, he and his minions had stationed themselves in an underground cavern off the waters near a American ship building plant. When builders completed a new American battleship for the war effort, the Eel planted men on the job who then smeared the interior of the ships hull with a mixture of blood and fish oil. This attracted a giant octopus that they had captured. Thinking the ship to be a supply of food, the creature then attacked the ship, sinking it. The method the Eel and his men used baffled American authorities who could not figure out how the ships were being sunk.
The series of mysterious ship sinking attracted Captain America and Bucky to investigate. In their civilian guises of Private Steve Rogers and James Barnes, they took jobs working at the ship builder while on furlough from the military. In this capacity, they caught the Eel's men in action, leading to a fight. The men outnumbered Cap and Bucky, and the two heroes were eventually captured and taken to the Eel's secret hideout.
The Eel then had the two heroes tossed into a pit filled with electric eels. The two heroes managed to escape when Bucky found a secret passage out of the pit that led to an underwater tunnel. They then rushed back to the completed battleship to guard it while it was launched, and when the octopus attacked it, they jumped overboard and fought back. During the fight, they feigned defeat, and the creature brought them back to its home, which happened to be the underwater tunnel they escaped through. Breaking free from the octopus' grip, they then opened the trap door and dumped the electric eel on it, electrocuting the creature to death.
Fighting the Eel and his men, Cap and Bucky easily defeated the Nazi spies, and in battling the Eel knocked him down into the water below where he was killed by the eels waiting for him in the water, an ironic end for the Nazi spy.
Der Aal is German for The Eel.
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