Who Is King Shark? A Look At The Suicide Squad Characters - Comic Years
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Who Is King Shark? A Look At The Suicide Squad Characters

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BY April 29, 2021

Now that The Suicide Squad trailer has dropped, fans everywhere are hoping to learn more about some of the new characters that were introduced. We’re here to help! I’m continuing my series of posts looking at each of the new characters in The Suicide Squad and in today’s post I’m going to investigate: who is King Shark?

Who Is King Shark And What Are His Powers?

King Shark was first introduced as an antagonist to Connor Kent’s Superboy in 1994. As his name suggests, this supervillain is indeed a shark, and his powers are the same as the ocean predator (sharp teeth, excellent swimming skills, enhanced sense of smell, and a taste for meat); however, he’s also able to communicate with humans and survive on land for long periods of time.

While sharks are already powerful creatures, King Shark’s abilities have all been super-enhanced, meaning that his strength, swimming, and healing capabilities are even greater than normal. When he catches a whiff of fresh blood, he becomes an unstoppable ripping/killing machine, lifting huge amounts of weight and punching through steel and concrete.  King Shark is bullet-proof and can withstand extreme temperatures and pressure. If he loses a limb or is hurt badly, he can heal quickly and even regrow his missing limbs. Lastly, he can identify his location from anywhere as long as he can find some water to taste.

In the comics and the Harley Quinn animated series, King Shark is intelligent and is able to talk normally, often bantering with the other characters using his keen sense of humor. In The Suicide Squad trailer though, it seems like King Shark has the intelligence of a young child rather than an adult person, but perhaps we’ll get a better picture of the character once the movie comes out. King Shark also appeared in The Flash series on the CW and in Justice League Dark: Apokolips War.

The Beginnings Of King Shark

who is king shark Image via DC Comics

King Shark was created by writer Karl Kesel (who also created Connor Kent’s Superboy) and was first introduced in Superboy #0 (published in 1994). He was born in Hawaii and named Nanaue by his father (“The King of All Sharks” aka Shark God) and his human mother. He ended up being responsible for several deaths on the Hawaiian islands before Superboy arrived. In other comics and storylines, King Shark is actually supposed to have been created due to a mutation–a 1999 comic had Superboy calling him a Wild Man, which is a type of genetically evolved, anthropomorphic animal being.

From 2006-2007 King Shark was part of the Aquaman series. Originally held captive by Atlantis, he was later given a chance at redemption by acting as the protector of Aquaman’s heir, Arthur Joseph Curry. Then from 2008-2011, the supervillain came across the mercenary group, The Secret Six, and joined them on several murderous adventures before their ultimate defeat. Later, he would become a part of the Suicide Squad.

In the DC Comics, King Shark was originally introduced as a hammerhead, but James Gunn (as well as the animators for Harley Quinn) decided to depict him as a great white. Gunn later explained on Twitter:

I did tests with the hammerhead design, which I love and originally thought I’d use, but having eyes on the sides far apart made it incredibly awkward shooting interactions with other people. You couldn’t really see him looking at the other person and the shots tended to be too wide.

The Suicide Squad debuts in theaters and on HBO Max on August 6, 2021.

Are you excited to see King Shark rip people apart? Also, the voice of Sylvester Stallone! For more Suicide Squad content, check out our post about the history of Harley Quinn and our post about who is Polka-Dot Man! Let us know what you’re looking forward to and excited about in the comments below.

Featured image via Warner Bros.

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Keilin Huang is a freelance writer that likes the Oxford comma, reading from her neverending pile of books from the library, and Reeses peanut butter cups. She thanks her Dad for introducing her to his Superman comics and probably majored in Journalism because of Lois Lane.

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