Those of you who have seen last night's episode of The Flash know about this reveal and are probably (ok, hopefully) just as excited about it as I am. Just to clarify, this is not going to be a review of the entire episode, I just don't have the time for that, I'm simply going to be touching on one of the greatest moments I never thought I'd see on TV.
So as anyone who watched last night knows, that big beautiful lug up above is King Shark, introduced and (presumably) killed off in the last minute of 'The Fury of Firestorm.' This is great for a couple of reasons. As we progressed through the first season of The Flash, it became clear that this was not your average superhero show. The dark, gritty, and "realistic" (I'm looking at you, Arrow's earthquake machine) tone that most shows have tried to push in order to make them more believable is all but ignored in favor of a lighthearted, thoroughly goofy (in a lovable way) tone, which still manages to get the serious points across.
Throughout this first season hints for Gorilla Grodd were dropped, which I'll admit, had me intrigued. Sad to say, but I've never been a fan of Grodd, not even in the comics. As a villain, he never elicited as much interest from me as some of DC's more menacing evil-doers, and as a concept, he always seemed downright ridiculous to me. Still, I have to admit, I was among those waiting intensely for his appearance in the television universe, interested to see what kind of spin they'd put on him. "Surely they aren't going to just straight up throw a talking gorilla on screen," I thought to myself every time a hint was dropped. I've never been so glad to be proven wrong in my life.
The Grodd we got was fantastic. He was menacing, had a believable motive, and most importantly, the show made him a believable character (owing, in part, to the fact that he actually LOOKED good). I was surprised to find that after watching the episode, I actually liked Grodd, a lot. Particularly, I was quite fond of the fact that they made him speak solely through his telepathic abilities, instead of actually opening his mouth and speaking (perhaps the quality about comic/cartoon Grodd that I've always disliked the most). The most important thing that Grodd showed us though, was that this show had no intention of pulling any punches.
The showrunners have obviously intended to make this one of the most authentic comic book experiences that they could, and Grodd's portrayal was a huge leap forward for that idea, adding to some already consistently good (and appropriately campy) characters present on the show. The fact that I can now sit down and watch a live-action show that is beginning to rival the quality of character depth, story telling, and all around fun that the Justice League cartoon offered is mind boggling to someone who's as big of a comic fan as I am.
Now, fast forward to a mere five episodes later, and the show has done it again. As the episode began, with Patty talking about the "shark man," I smiled briefly at the idea of King Shark or Hammerhead already existing in this universe, but brushed it off as another one of those great many references that Flash and Arrow tend to make. However, as the episode dragged on, and the shark man was continually referenced, I began thinking, "Surely they won't put a giant talking shark man on television..." Boy, was I wrong - again.
Let me put something straight: The idea of a live-action King Shark happening makes the idea of Grodd appearing seem as likely as sunrise. Sharky's just not a big enough or deep enough character for it to make sense to bring him to the small screen. So the fact that he was brought in—and again, brought in well—is a huge amount of proof that the showrunners have a true respect for the source material, if that wasn't already obvious. The thing that gets me is they didn't just bring him in, they sold him.
That's right, for the grand total of 30 seconds of screen time that he got, they sold the idea of a ten foot tall human-shark hybrid exceptionally well. The voice was excellent, and the fact that his introduction was simply his claw sliding onto screen made for a great reveal, and a moment of "Holy *%&$ they're actually doing King Shark!" before we saw the whole character, and what we saw was good and I mean damn good. King Shark looked excellent, even by film standards. I'd even go so far as to say he looked better than Grodd, which is understandable, considering he was on screen for a significantly shorter period than the gorilla mastermind.
Perhaps Shark's biggest contribution to the show, however, is the fact that we as fans can now reasonably hope for basically anything to happen on this show. The first season handled time travel remarkably well, and Season 2 has jumped right into the concept of the multiverse. This, in addition to giant, anthropomorphic talking animals, tells us that seemingly nothing is off limits in respect to this show's future - barring those character that Warner Bros. says they can't use, that is. Here's hoping for that Arm-Fall-Off Boy spinoff we've all been waiting for.