Who are we most excited to see in the upcoming Suicide Squad movie by James Gunn? I think the most popular answer is King Shark. Who is this unusual character? Well, it’s honestly kind of sad that he’s not a household name, because he’s a very fun character. I have a feeling that casual comic book fans may not be too familiar with this character, but in recent years, he’s been mostly affiliated with the Suicide Squad. That does explain his inclusion in the upcoming movie, but let’s be honest, he’s clearly the elephant (in this case shark) in the room that everyone’s looking at. And on a very hilarious side note, this King Shark is being voiced by the one and only Sylvester Stallone. Can this get any cooler?
So first of all, why did James Gunn choose to add King Shark in his Suicide Squad? Well, even David Ayer originally chose him to be a part of his Suicide Squad back in the 2016 movie. He ultimately chose Killer Croc over him because he didn’t want a CGI character. It was an understandable decision, since the make up on Killer Croc was very well done. It’s just too bad David Ayer didn’t really give the famous Batman villain much to do. Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case for James Gunn and his version of King Shark. Based on the trailer, it looks like this character could very well be the best character in the movie.
If you’ve checked out the trailers, it looks like King Shark is not the smartest character in the squad, but he is the biggest and possibly the baddest. The humanoid shark literally rips people apart and eats them. Sounds like a one-dimensional character, but if you listen to him talk, he genuinely sounds friendly. In fact, even when he’s not trying to eat people, he’s just minding his own business and doing normal things. He reads books, gets excited when he meets new people, and will even give a friendly smile. He’ll probably only try to eat you if he’s hungry. Hey, he’s still a shark at heart.
Many of the YouTube comments from the trailers will keep saying that this King Shark will become the Groot and Rocket Raccoon of the DC Cinematic Universe. I’d say that’s a very accurate assumption, given the way James Gunn has written King Shark. It totally makes sense, considering James Gunn gave us the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Rocket and Groot, the two unexpected and hilarious mascots of that universe. A talking animal? Check. Is he illiterate? Yes. Can he be adorable and funny one minute, then turn into a total wrecking machine the next? Absolutely.
Needless to say, I believe James Gunn will give us the new mascot for the DCEU, just like he did for the MCU. Who better to do it than James Gunn? Just like Rocket and Groot, King Shark wasn’t very popular before his live-action debut, but The Suicide Squad will probably change that. With a cast of colorful and lesser-known characters, I think having King Shark on the squad will be a fine addition.
But where did King Shark began? His presence in DC Comics was growing long before he joined the Suicide Squad. In fact, he debuted in 1994 as a villain of Superboy. He basically debuted in the comics as the shark from Jaws did in the movie, lurking in the ocean and preying on victims. But one day, Superboy saved a girl from this shark, but noticed that it had arms. After the incident, a special agent by the name of Sam Makoa observed the injuries of the girl and revealed that the creature was a humanoid shark hybrid by the name of Nanaue.
According to Sam Makoa, Nanaue was the son of an ancient shark deity known as the King of all Sharks. Although Makoa himself didn’t believe this myth, he was responsible for initially capturing King Shark and imprisoning him. King Shark then escaped and along with agent Makoa, Superboy made it their mission to capture him. They eventually tracked him down to his human mother’s house, where they discovered that she deliberately allowed him to bite off her arm so he could feed. Talk about gross, but still motherly love.
This was the beginning of King Shark and his origins were never really set in stone. DC liked to play with his origins, from making him a mutant, to an actual son of an ancient deity. The latter was seemingly confirmed in a 2006 Aquaman story when he apparently had conversations with his father. And for the record, a villain named King Shark would be pretty fitting for Aquaman. This character has fought several heroes, with Superboy and Aquaman being his biggest enemies.
And let’s not forget that he’s had some tussles with Batman. Speaking of his inclusion in the Suicide Squad, check out the best animated Suicide Squad movie there is. If you haven’t seen the 2014 Batman: Assault on Arkham movie, you’re missing out. It takes place in the universe of the Arkham games and has King Shark once again being the tank of the squad. He even goes toe-to-toe with Batman and the hero really has to fight dirty to beat him. That was a very awesome scene.
Will James Gunn really explore the backstory of King Shark? The trailer for him has Amanda Waller explaining that he’s the son of an ancient shark deity. That’s something they can really get into, but knowing James Gunn, he’ll find a way to make it funny. That’s okay, because the fact that he is already making this character kind of adorable and scary all at once is amazing. But then again, that’s James Gunn’s thing. I personally find it better than the version from the Flash series.
In my opinion, that King Shark does look cool, but it’s a bit more generic and looks like it can belong in a low-budget horror movie. It fits for the CW shows, but The Suicide Squad is giving us something different. I’m super excited to see King Shark’s live-action debut in the DCEU and yes, we can call him the Groot of the DCEU. Is it even possible to unsee it?