It's almost that special time of the year again—Shark Week! Starting tomorrow, get ready to witness the coolest sharks doing the deadliest things, all week long on Discovery Channel! Shark Week has become sort of a tradition for US cable viewers. Every year, millions of people tune in to watch the many shark related programs that air during the week.
But you don't have to celebrate Shark Week by just watching it! No, there are tons of ways to celebrate it. For example, I'll be celebrating Shark Week by taking a look at some of the coolest sharks in one of my favorite forms of entertainment—comic books. Stick around, maybe you'll see one you like!
King Shark (DC)
Not much is known about the origins of this strange humanoid shark. Nanaue is said to be the son of the Shark God, 'King of all Sharks,' but some have said that he's simply a mutation, while others believe him to be a member of the Wild Men, a race of highly evolved animals.
Regardless of origins, King Shark is most certainly something you DON'T want to encounter on a lovely day at the beach. Bringing life to the nightmare-fueled question of "What if sharks could walk on land?" King Shark hunts his prey both in and out of the water! Standing at 'too tall to measure' (because who would get close enough?!), King Shark is an enemy to Aquaman, and anything that's edible.
King Shark's appearance has changed over time, most recently he's taken the form of a hammerhead shark. But one thing is always the same, King Shark is not to be messed with. Nanaue has all the powers and attributes of a normal shark, sharp teeth, fast swimming and keen senses; mixed with the power and attributes of a superhuman; long claws, superhuman strength and superhuman stamina.
Add to that the ability to survive on land and in water indefinitely, and the fact that he goes into frenzy mode whenever he sees or tastes blood and you've got yourself a regular nightmare machine that would make the Dark Knight himself scared beyond belief!
He also sometimes carries a trident. You know, just in case he wants to impale you before he sinks his teeth into your soft and tender flesh. Even flesh-eating monsters have enough table etiquette to know to use a fork!
The MASSIVE Shark from Shark-Man (Image)
That is not a miniature ocean-frisbee, that is a regular-sized submarine with a couple of unlucky passengers, being chomped on by a shark that makes Jaws look like a Chihuahua!
Shark-Man is one of those obscure comics that hardly anybody knows about. But if you do know about it, there's no way you'd ever forget it! Shark-Man was clever, ludicrous and visually stunning, its Pop Art style and intriguing characters/setting turned it into an iconic piece of comic book history. But sadly, a very short-lived one, lasting only 3 issues.
I could have included the comic's titular Power Rangers/Super Sentai looking character. After all, Adam/Tom Gaskill is one of the coolest non-Marvel or DC superheroes since Hellboy! But Shark-Man isn't really a shark, and I'm saving my cheat card for later.
Plus, who wouldn't want to talk about a humongous man (and submarine) eating shark? Shark-Man may have been the hero of this comic, but it's this shark that steals the show! Obvious by the above scene where he's treating a ship meant for a crew of five like one of those toys that says 'Warning: Choking Hazard' on it! He's not in it much, but this shark that I've titled 'Sharkus NOPEicus' is the true star of Shark-Man!
King Shark may be big, but he's not big enough to have his own zip code! But as great as those sharks are, there are still some absolutely deadly beasts to look at on this list. Like this next shark. Well...sort of shark?
Grizzly Shark (Image)
Oh Image Comics, we can always rely on you to bring us the most outrageous content, to boldly go where no Marvel or DC comic has ever gone! At least, not since before the '90s. Pay no attention to the water-breathing bear, this is an article about sharks. Besides, bears are already pretty good swimmers, so it's not that big of a stretch for a comic book to make.
What's really bizarre and creative, is the land shark hunting unsuspecting campers! As if sharks weren't scary enough, Ryan Ottley (of Invincible fame) decided to put the deadly man-eating beast with razor sharp teeth on the same surface as us vulnerable humans! The results were the stuff of nightmares.
Grizzly Shark stalks his prey, hides in the bushes and strikes when his next meal is most vulnerable! In all honesty, he's pretty much just like a bear, and I'm not saying bear's aren't scary, but there's something freakier about a shark on land acting like a grizzly.
Maybe it's those dead eyes, and the fear that kicks in when you start to ponder that question that pops into your brain: "How is he walking on land with...flippers?"
Tiger Shark (Marvel)
Here's that cheat I was talking about. Supervillain Todd Arliss may not have been born a shark, but by now, he's more sea creature than he is human. Todd's story is one full of cliches. Once an Olympic swimmer, Todd's career was cut short when he suffered a spinal injury. Along comes Dr. Lemuel Dorcas (snickers), who promises a desperate Todd that he can fix him.
One dark and certainly illegal experiment later, Todd was "cured." With the DNA of a tiger shark and Namor the Sub-Mariner (Marvel Aquaman) coursing through his veins, Todd became the Tiger Shark!
He may not be a shark, but he certainly looks and acts the part. With razor sharp teeth and claws, and the ability to walk on land, Tiger Shark is a viscous adversary. Here's hoping that Marvel and Image can one day collaborate and give us what we've all been waiting for. A Tiger Shark v. Grizzly Shark 10 issue special event!
Deadly as Todd is though, I'm going with the one that's actually a shark.
The Shark (DC)
DC's second shark/abomination hybrid is brought to you by toxic waste! The number two cause for super powered individuals! The first is radiation.
The Shark was just a regular shark, swimming in the ocean, catching fish in his jaws and minding his own business. One day, an experimental atomic station exploded, causing atomic waste to go flying everywhere! The Shark came into contact with some of that waste, and slowly over time, he was transformed into a humanoid aquatic nightmare machine! As if that weren't enough, The Shark also has human-level intelligence and psionic powers!
Due to his appearance and oceanic setting, you would think that The Shark's main enemy would be Aquaman. Though he has tussled with the Atlantean king from time to time, The Shark's first and most prominent enemy is Hal Jordan, a.k.a Green Lantern. I'm not sure why.
I'm also not sure why a being with the powers of flight, and a ring that shoots out energy that can take any physical shape or form would have such a hard time with a measly human-like shark. But hey, that's comics for you.
Honorable Mention: Ghost Shark (IDW)
The Ghostbusters have fought a lot of spirits in their day. One such supernatural entity was a large great white shark ghost. Why didn't he make the list? Well, mostly because I liked the other sharks better, but also because all he is a regular shark who can fly because he's a ghost. Not as special as the other sharks on this list.
So why is he the honorable mention? Because he's a REGULAR SHARK THAT CAN FLY BECAUSE HE IS A GHOST! That's still pretty special!
So there you have it, the coolest, most deadly sharks (or shark like creatures) in comic books! Hope you like them, and I hope you tune in for Shark Week tomorrow for all the cool shark moments, featuring the very creature we're both fascinated and admittedly frightened by!