With all the excitement around Shark Week
, and the movie franchise, Sharknado
, you’d think sharks were just discovered!
Even back in 1975, when Bruce popped up in Jaws
sharks were around….and even before that! Both DC and Marvel Comics
(as well as other comic companies) used the shark imagery to menace
The earliest villain who was a shark…was the Shark!
Introduced in Green Lantern #24
(October, 1963) by John Broome
and Gil Kane
the Shark was a shark, mutated by radiation into a more human form, and
he caused problems for Green Lantern Hal Jordan of space sector 2814!
He returned in Green Lantern #28
(his first cover appearance), and then on and off over the years in Adventure Comics
(facing Aquaman and Wonder Woman, separately in #443
), Superman (in Action Comics #456
) the Justice League of America (#40
), returned to fight Green Lantern a few times (#126
), took part in the Crisis on Infinite Earths
, and even menaced Black Condor!
Now, mutating a man into a shark….well, that was the basis of the Tiger Shark, a foe of the Sub-Mariner’s!
Starting with Sub-Mariner #5
(September, 1968, by Roy Thomas
and John Buscema
), Todd Arliss
was an Olympic swimmer who had lost his ability to swim after being
injured saving a drowning man…and was transformed in an experiment by
scientist (and foe of Namor’s) Doctor Dorcas, into Tiger Shark! Tiger
Shark came back to continually stalk his prey of Namor, in the Sub-Mariner title (#6
), the Hulk in Incredible Hulk #160
, and even in Marvel Team-Up (#14)
and Super-Villain Team-Up
), and menaced Namor’s relatives like Namorita (in the pages of Ms. Marvel #15
), as well as later joining up with the Masters of Evil
(with Avengers #222
, not battling the Sub-Mariner). More recently, he battled Wolverine during the Acts of Vengeance
, and joined with Terrax, Baron Mordo and Red Hulk in an alliance against the early Defenders (Silver Surfer, Dr. Strange and the Hulk…their respective foes!).
A few other sharks worth a brief mention….
King Shark first appeared in Superboy #0
(October, 1994) by Karl Kesel
and Tom Grummett
, (and first cover in Superboy #9
). Nanaue later helped Aquaman during the Aquaman, Sword of Atlantis
run, and joined the Secret Six
...and is now a part of the Suicide Squad
along with Deadshot and Harley Quinn in the new 52.
And he’s always hungry!
Killer Shark burst to the surface first in Blackhawk #50 (
March, 1952 by Reed Crandall
), but was mostly an aerial ace fighting Blackhawk (at least in the Quality Comics days), until Blackhawk switched to DC Comics with Blackhawk #108
(January, 1957), he continued to fight Blackhawk and his squadron (in Blackhawk #123
), and even Lady Blackhawk (continuing his fight with her in Birds of Prey #114
and Batman Confidential #36
But, with all this shark talk, you think you’d need Bat-shark repellent!
Oddly enough, Batman faced both the Tiger Shark (in Detective Comics #147
May 1949, art by Dick Sprang
Gaige…this villain decided to take over on the sea, resulting in Batman
and Robin fighting him with the Bat-Submarine! Odd how this cover
reflects how Batman encountered a shark in the 1960s Batman
movie with Adam West
) and the Shark (of the Terrible Trio, along with the Fox and the Vulture, in Detective Comics #253
in March, 1958 by Dave Wood
and Sheldon Moldoff
were just ordinary criminals, using the shark name to inspire fear (and they returned later, in Detective Comics #321
, and much later to face Dr. Mid-Nite)…
if you want to feel safe to go back into the water, call Batman!
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