Suicide Squad has been a weird part of the superhero media empire in recent years, with the first movie attempt in Hollywood often attributed as the beginning of the end for the critical reputation of DC Comics’ cinematic universe. But due to the dedicated fanbase, and the unstoppable popularity of Harley Quinn, we’re seeing several derivative works anyway, all of which seem to have momentarily rehabilitated the license. And with these efforts come a new look at characters we don't all know super well. One of those characters is King Shark.
King Shark Suicide Squad Character Guide
A character who has been cropping up a lot in a short amount of time, King Shark is one of the stranger C-tier villains in the DC Comics universe. Naturally that makes him a perfect candidate for the Suicide Squad. He can show up as a bruiser character in the comics whenever needed, and as far as playing the anti-hero role, he’s enough of a wild card to fit that dynamic. Also he’s a shark, so he can bite people real nice. If you’re a casual superhero fan, you may not have encountered this guy before! So here’s a primer on the wheres, whens, and whos of King Shark
There’s a giant grain of salt involved with talking character backstory shop in comics, because canon is the most disrespected literary concept in the medium. We’ve seen many forms of King Shark over the years since his debut in the 1990s, but his point of origin seems largely consistent. In most stories, King Shark defies the usual villain/animal hybrid thing, as he’s an actual supernatural entity as opposed to a victim of mad science. The CW “Arrowverse” makes it a science thing anyway, but in most cases King Shark is a literal shark person who is the son of the Shark God, aka the King King Shark. He originally showed up as a Superboy villain, but ultimately became the Big Scary Shark Man who shows up in teams like the Secret Six and more regularly, the Suicide Squad.
King Shark ended up with a pretty significant presence in CW’s The Flash series, although tons of liberties were taken with the character. But also the character was voiced by David Hayter in his shark form, which is pretty rad for Metal Gear fans. The character has also appeared in more comics-true form in various DC animated movies. Perhaps most notably, King Shark is a part of the hilarious Harley Quinn adult animation, in which he’s voiced by comedian Ron Funches and plays a lovable computer nerd who occasionally slips into a murderous bloodrage. He’s also making an appearance in the upcoming James Gunn movie The Suicide Squad, which seeks to rehab the brand after the relative success we saw with Birds of Prey. In the film he’ll be voiced by Steve Agee, another comedian.
In video games we’ve mostly seen King Shark in the comedic misfit role, mostly showing up in LEGO games besides being a part of a DC Universe Online story. But we’ll see King Shark get the big time, AAA-style leading man treatment as a part of Rocksteady’s Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League. What’s cool about this version so far is the representation of King Shark’s Hawaiian-slash-Polynesian origins, which you can see directly in his design here via those distinct tattoos. He’s also voiced by Polynesian wrestler Nuufolau Joel Seanoa, better known as Samoa Joe. And Samoa Joe rules, so that’s an instant rocket boost into my radar for this game.
If you’re really interested in diving more into King Shark, we recommend checking out the Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis comics series, the brief Superboy “Watery Grave” story, and the New 52 iteration of Swuicide Squad, which ran for a few years starting in 2011. Harley Quinn is also a great show if you have access to HBO Max, which shows off a great comedy version of the character.
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Are you stoked to see more of King Shark as he comes to bigger stages in Hollywood and video games? Or are you still confused about how a walking shark man is supposed to be an interesting character? Are you just here because of Samoa Joe (we don’t blame you)? Let us know what you think over at the Prima Games Facebook and Twitter channels!