Cartoon sharks like Suicide Squad’s King Shark make an impact
As apex predators, sharks have taken a bite out of the public imagination, appearing all over the world in fiction, from novels to television. The comics, and by extension the manga, aren’t immune to their charm and sport a slew of Shark-based characters, whether in the pages of the books themselves or in the media they inspire. .
As shark week 2022 is coming to an end, fans of the cartilaginous creatures are no doubt eager to embark on more media focused on the beasts of the deep. Luckily, the comics are more than happy to serve up extra sharks. From Marvel to DC and everything in between, here are some of the most important sharks in comics by which aspects of the toothy terrors they best embody.
Cute Little Guys: Jeffrey the Landshark (Marvel)
No comic book shark list can begin or end without Jeffrey, Marvel’s Eisner-named baby land shark. First appeared in West Coast Avengers Volume 3 #6 by Kelly Thompson and Daniele Di Nicuolo, the beautiful beast has been the ward of many heroes in Gwenpool’s immediate vicinity. Jeff is a nice change of pace for comic book sharks, being a major character without consistently being cast as a predatory creature. Jeff’s recent digital comic, It’s Jeff by Kelly Thompson and G Gurihiru, is a Marvel Infinity exclusive comic and a perfect option for shark fans looking to read an article that focuses on something other than the predatory side of sharks.
Humanity and Hunger: King Shark (DC)
If there was a character with more distinctly different interpretations in the comics beyond King Shark, it would be the Joker. Sometimes depicted as a hammerhead rather than a great white, sometimes as a man with razors for his teeth, and more recently an adorable comic book character, King Shark is DC’s god of sharks and suicide squad main member in one strange package. Currently present in The Suicide Squad and harley quinn on video media, the story of King Shark began in 1994 super boy comics by Karl Kesel and Tom Grummett. Initially villainous to the titular hero, Nanaue quickly became a favorite of DC’s comic book, TV, and film divisions due to the loyal love he received from fans, eventually morphing into something of an anti. -hero.
Accompanied Predator: Great White (DC)
Alternately a clever crime boss and a maniacal murderer, Warren White/Great White was first introduced in 2003 Arkham Asylum: Living Hell by Dan Slott and Ryan Sook. The dastardly creature is not a shark and physically shares only sharp teeth and an absence of ears with ancient sea creatures. His predatory nature, however, has often placed him in positions alongside The Penguin and Black Mask, making him one of Batman’s most fearsome villains who has yet to get much of a media stir about him. , beyond the fact that King Shark in the animation Batman: Assault on Arkham the film was more like her than Nanaue.
Pack Fighters: Street Sharks (ABC, Archie)
Originally a TV show before its much-loved comic book adaptation, Street Sharks followed a set of brothers who technically weren’t sharks, but humans who mutated to resemble the predators of the deep. Probably inspired by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and x-men in the flurry of media intended to mimic their mutagenic powers, Street Sharks had the titular beings go up against a piranha-inspired villain most weeks, eventually turning into a dinosaur-inspired cartoon. The show has undertaken the rare chore of portraying sharks not just as solitary predators, but as complex pack hunters. While it didn’t have a big impact on the comics, the show does serve to lend a bit of Saturday morning nostalgia to those looking for it.
Another classic Batman villain, the shark slain on the caped crusader by a league of his greatest enemies is only slightly less well known than the infamous shark jump scene from Happy Days. Although unnamed in the feature, it proved to be a challenge even when the Dark Knight mounted an escape in the bat-copter. The only safety net that kept the creature from ending The Bat was Bruce Wayne’s scout-level prep and the shark-killing batspray he provided. Seriously, even if the shark exploding from Batman (1966) had minimal screen time, it helped provide one of The Dark Knight’s most hilarious moments, cementing Adam West among Bat-fantasy’s greatest purveyors and making the classic sequence a required part. Batman viewing for decades to come.
Semi-Shark Honorable Mention: Black Manta (DC)
Black Manta is a very influential villain with visual cues drawn from manta rays. Although closely related to sharks, stingrays aren’t in the same genus, which means that while Aquaman’s classic adversary definitely looks like a shark, he’s not shark enough to deserve a spot. on the list of great shark characters. Since its introduction in 1967 Aquaman #35 by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy, he’s been a constant thorn in the side of the titular king, often slaying countless sea creatures in his quest for gold and revenge. His place on several villain teams and his eventual fatherhood of Kaldur, the new Aquaman, greatly influenced DC comics in general.
Although most of the sharks in the comics portray sharks as simple villains and mindless predators, some manage to be exceptional and culturally relevant. From Batman to Jeffrey, shark pop culture spans well beyond a week. Still, there’s always time at such an event to look at the beasts in the comics and how those big fish make the comics into a little pond.