May 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #341: King Shark

A Suicide Squad member tended to bounce around a lot.

I light of the fact that The Suicide Squad was awesome, I think it might be worth it to take a look at some of the characters in it since James Gunn apparently decided to stock up on a lot of really obscure DC bad guys…plus Harley Quinn.

Now, I did cover Mongal a few weeks ago, and I am typing this up only days after seeing the movie, so why not look at one of the perhaps real break-out characters with King Shark?

Here’s the thing:  King Shark has been around for a while, and his look has evolved quite a bit over time.  Now, you’d think a human/shark hybrid would have started off fighting Aquaman.  I mean, that would make sense.  And while it is true that Nanuae was a supporting character for an Aquaman for a period, that wasn’t his first adversary.

No, that honor went to Superboy, the teenage clone version.  The Boy of Steel at the time was living in Hawaii, and King Shark was a dangerous…something that had at some point been arrested by Superboy supporting character Sam Makoa, seeing as how the shark dude was responsible for a lot of missing persons even before Superboy moved to Hawaii.  Rumors abounded that he was either a genetic experiment or the son of a Shark God.  Superboy did defeat the guy using a heat vision power he had temporarily acquired, and eventually, in the aforementioned Aquaman title, it did come out that King Shark was the Shark God’s son.

By the by, when he first appeared, King Shark looked like this:

By the by, it was in that self-same Superboy title when King Shark first joined the Suicide Squad.  Superboy and Makoa needed help taking on some bad guys and got a Suicide Squad as back-up.  There were the regular Squad members of Deadshot and Captain Boomerang, but there was also an annoying Superboy foe called Sidearm, a pathetic guy with a lot of cybernetic arms that never quite worked right.

King Shark killed Sidearm during that mission.  Sidearm did not come back.

King Shark did!  He actually bounced around a lot from there, ending up at one point in the Secret Six where he got to smack Superboy around one last time before Supergirl clobbered the hell out of him.

But then the New 52 happened.  King Shark was now on the Suicide Squad in their main book.  And by then, he looked like this:

Yes, he was a hammerhead shark now.  He also wasn’t above occasionally eating one of his teammates.  He was an incredibly unreliable teammate at even the best of times, though this version could talk at least.  I don’t think he could do that before.

Now, King Shark did eventually turn into a more “Great White” type of shark, as seen in The Suicide Squad in part because, according to James Gunn, it made looking the character in the eye for the actors very difficult if he was a hammerhead.

Works for me.

Besides, by this point, King Shark had appeared in a few other places as a Great White type.  Or at least not a hammerhead.  For example, someone decided that King Shark would be a great opponent for…the Flash on his Arrowverse show? OK, I can play along.  That version was more of a scientist-turned-into-the-Hulk-with-gills sort of thing, except the special effects budget for the Arrowverse has never been all that high, so even in episodes he appears in, you don’t see much of him.

Oh, and he looks like this:

But one of the more fun version of King Shark appears on the Harley Quinn animated series, voiced by comedian Ron Funches, where he started off as Harley’s tech support guy, a jolly fellow who occasionally loses it when he smells some blood somewhere.  That version looks like this:

Check out that smile!

And, of course, there’s the Dad Bod version that appears in the Suicide Squad with a voice provided by Sylvester Stallone.

So, yeah, King Shark, a supervillain who arguably does not have a main hero to fight anymore.  He just appears places and eats anything he can fit in his mouth.  His intelligence, his look, his enemies fluctuate, but in the end, well, he does enjoy a good meal.