The Shark(pop culture)
Writer John Broome and artist Gil Kane offered a cautionary tale of the dangers of the atomic age in Green Lantern vol. 2 #24 (1963). “The Shark That Hunted Human Prey” was originally a normal tiger shark swimming past an underwater nuclear facility. Radiation evolutionarily accelerates the creature, which mutates into a humanoid with a shark-like head (and a full set of razor-sharp teeth) and psionic and telepathic powers, including matter manipulation and the ability to grow to gigantic size. Despite its intellectual augmentation, this menace—now called the Shark—is driven by its rapacious urges, engorging itself not on flesh but on human psyches. He attempts to induce fear into the mind of Green Lantern II (Hal Jordan), but the hero's indomitable willpower spurs him to victory, and the Shark is devolved to his original state. The Shark evolved again soon thereafter, but by the mid-1960s had returned to dormancy. Director Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Jaws (1975) spawned his return—in combat with Superman—in Action Comics #456 (1976), the cover of which, by artist Mike Grell, borrowed heavily from the movie's famous poster. From the 1970s through the 1990s, the Shark occasionally waded into various DC titles, fighting Aquaman, the Justice League, Black Condor, and his arch-nemesis Green Lantern. At one time he deposed Aquaman from his Atlantean throne, but was bested by the Sea King. Once Hal Jordan returned from the dead in 2005, the Shark—in a grotesque shark-like form—resurfaced to plague the hero in Green Lantern vol. 4 #5, inspiring the villain's 2006 to DC Direct's Green Lantern action-figure line. A different lawbreaker called the Shark predated the mutated Green Lantern foe. This Shark, an evil inventor wearing an oversized shark headpiece, was one of the Terrible Trio (along with the Fox and the Vulture), a minor-league crime team that debuted in the Batman story in Detective Comics #253 (1958).
The Supervillain Book: The Evil Side of Comics and Hollywood © 2006 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.