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A criminal with mild telekinetic powers, Mort Coolidge had a career in both Gotham City and San Diego before the quake that sunk half of that city. Here he found his powers far more effective, figuring out that he had great control over water. He tried to take over the entire criminal underworld of the city, but was stopped by Aquaman, aided by the only undersea creatures that could penetrate the Eel's wall of solid water – microscopic plankton.
Eel was one of the underwater criminals that attacked Sub Diego at the same time the Spectre attacked.
In the DC universe sweeping event Flashpoint, the Eel is a member of the Deathstroke's Pirate Crew on the ship The Ravager. Captain Deathstroke breaks the Eel and other prisoners out of jail on the Island of Saint Helena and has them join his crew. The Captain orders the Eel to keep watch on the another reluctant crew member known as Sonar. After Deathstroke is gravely injured by Aquaman, the Eel and Sonar use their abilities to help him recover. Later when the crew mutinies on Deathstroke, Eel kills Hanscarl a Deathstroke loyalist. Later when Deathstroke finally catches up to him, he runs Eel through with his broadsword killing the pirate.