King Shark Was A Stand Out In The Suicide Squad And Jeff The Land Shark Is Deserving Of The Spotlight Himself

Although he’s likely not popular in Amity, DC’s King Shark is a hero in one of their darkest timelines, Flashpoint. Originally a Superboy villain who clashed with the likes of Aquaman, Superman, and Batman, the son of a Shark God Nananue was eventually indoctrinated into Amanda Waller’s Task Force X where his size and brutal nature fit in well with the other criminals and reprobates. While he’s become a fan favorite thanks to his role in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, his Flashpoint counterpart lived a simple life working in a traveling circus where he heroically died saving others during an enemy attack.

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When Barry Allen went back in time to save his mother Nora’s life from being killed by the Reverse-Flash, this alteration had huge ramifications to DC’s space and time continuum. Although he was successful, Barry awoke in a world that was vastly different than the one that only he remembered. Believing his old nemesis was responsible, Barry worked with Thomas Wayne, this world’s version of Batman to regain his powers while the world teetered on the brink of destruction from the ongoing war between Atlantis and the Amazons led by former lovers, Aquaman and Wonder Woman.

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Flashpoint is considered one of the biggest mistakes in the Flash’s career, his selfish desire to manipulate time for his own benefit brought big changes to the DC Universe through the New 52 but was also responsible for damaging the multiverse as well according to Infinite Frontier #5. While other characters like Flashpoint’s Batman would find a way to escape this universe’s destruction, it became nothing but another footnote in DC history although it was one of the few times King Shark enjoyed life as a hero. Barely speaking, Nanaue appeared to be happy helping to erect tents and build stands for the circus, Flashpoint having removed any possibility of interaction with those he fought in the mainstream DC world. If anything, Flashpoint’s King Shark may have more in common with the dangerous yet simple version of himself from The Suicide Squad, seeking to protect his friends at any cost.

Unfortunately, the Amazon/Atlantean war proved unavoidable and the Haley’s Circus performers found themselves besieged by Amazonians in Poland. Although it would be the death of him, King Shark attempted to consume an Amazon who was chasing the survivors, her strength breaking his fearsome jaw and killing him. Although the violence seems more on par with King Shark’s villainous past in another world, Flashpoint’s version of King Shark died so his friends could live, another sacrifice made in a war for a world that would live on in infamy.

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With Jeff the Land Shark introduced Kate Bishop’s West Coast Avengers, it is possible that Marvel may introduce a live-action version to the MCU in the upcoming Hawkeye series. The show will focus on Bishop becoming an apprentice to Clint Barton over its six episodes. While the focus will likely be on the duo of titular Hawkeyes, it wouldn’t hurt to highlight the duo of Jeff the Land Shark and Pizza Dog as well.

Jeff even has his own Marvel Infinity Book now. While King Shark may not remember to avoid eating teammates, the secret to Jeff the Land Shark’s success is that characters know their best pal would never do anything like that. With luck, fans can see Jeff in live-action, taking big bites out of viewers’ hearts in the MCU Hawkeye series.

King Shark first encountered his future team long after his time with the Squad when the Secret Six were in possession of the Get Out of Hell Free card. Hunting them down alongside an army of villains, King Shark gets his arm ripped off and his jaw dislocated by the banshee Jeannette. His arm eventually regrows and he clearly doesn’t harbor any hard feelings as he later joins a new iteration of the team at Jeannette’s request. Alongside the new Six, Nanaue travels to the mythical realm of Skartaris, facing off with his fair share of warlords and dinosaurs and losing an eye in the process. When this splinter team merges with the proper Secret Six, King Shark sticks around, earning his spot in the group as their brutal, seemingly amoral muscle, consuming scores of enemies all the way to the glorious last stand that ends the series.

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Though their time together was short, Nanaue still found himself wrapped up in some pretty crazy situations that really helped fans get to know the character. One such example occurs in Secret Six #33 by Simone and Jim Calafiore, when Nanaue finds himself psychically trapped in his own personal Hell: an inescapable vegetarian restaurant. Instances like these gave King Shark’s irreverent personality time to shine, and it was in these moments that fans fell in love with the character.

Plenty of on-screen adaptations, from his role in this year’s The Suicide Squad to HBO Max’s Harley Quinn have referenced Nanaue’s Secret Six portrayal in some small way, and for good reason. While his portrayals in other media may not appear as outwardly vicious as King Shark in the comics, they’re all still undeniably lovable: a trait they share with their shockingly violent comic book counterpart. King Shark While the Suicide Squad are an effective unit, the Secret Six were a family, and as a family, each member of the group gets the opportunity to fully be themselves without focusing solely on Amanda Waller’s mission – it just so happens that King Shark’s self is a vicious, carnivorous demigod who really loves being a shark.

Harley tells him their profile “isn’t getting any bites.” King Shark angrily asks if that is a shark pun, with dark shadows overtaking him, and then chuckles saying it was very funny, and asks them to “scooch” so he can get to their computer. He then corrects Harley for not using the right keywords in her Nemesis profile (think Tinder but for finding the right hero to fight).

This sequence gives the character a fantastic introduction. They already play with the expectation that King Shark will just be muscle, a bloodthirsty killer. That assumption would be understandable, but they show off Funches’ warm sense of humor for a cold-blooded character with his playful banter about shark puns and criticizing Harley for using the wrong keywords.

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