King Shark

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King Shark
King shark.jpg
King Shark
Art by Phil Winslade & Butch Guice
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Superboy (vol. 4) #0 (October 1994)
Created by Karl Kesel
In-story information
Alter ego Nanaue
Team affiliations Secret Society of Super Villains
Suicide Squad
Secret Six
Abilities Superhuman strength, and endurance
Powerful teeth and claws
Undersea adaptation

King Shark is a DC Comics supervillain. The character first appears in a brief cameo in Superboy (vol. 4) #0 (October 1994). The characters first full appearance is in Superboy (vol. 4) #9 (November 1994).

Fictional character biography[edit]

Born in Hawaii, Nanaue is a humanoid shark. His father is "The King of All Sharks"—also known as the Shark god. Other characters, such as special agent Sam Makoa, have dismissed this as superstition and referred to Nanaue as a "savage mutation" with no mystical nature. Given the reality of magic within the DC Universe, either origin is equally possible. It has also been implied he was one of the "Wild Men", evolved animals based on those in Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth. The now-ended Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis series, however, seems to have put an end to the controversy by firmly establishing him as the Shark God's son.[volume & issue needed]

King Shark was responsible for a number of missing persons several years before Superboy arrived in Hawaii. Sam Makoa was responsible for bringing him in and bore the scars to prove it. King Shark is freed by the Silicon Dragons who plan on hiring him.[1] Nanaue is not interested and kills his liberators before heading to his mother's house. His mother allows him to bite her arm off to feed. Superboy managed to take him down with his heat vision. When Superboy and Makoa were assigned to the Suicide Squad to destroy the Silicon Dragons, King Shark was forced to help. An explosive belt was strapped to his waist, set to detonate if anything happened to Makoa. Other members of the Squad included Knockout and Squad veterans Deadshot and Captain Boomerang.

Nanuae was a crazed fighting machine, shredding legions of the Dragons (and killing Sidearm too, when he betrays the team). Despite the belt detonating, King Shark survived the blast and the destruction of the lair.

After a research team sent to investigate the lair's remains went missing, King Shark was initially suspected, but it turned out to be Black Manta. King Shark fought Superboy,[2] but he was defeated and driven out to sea.

King Shark later turned up in the Wild Lands and fought Superboy and his allies. After a fierce battle, he was assumed killed, but no body was ever recovered.

He joined Manchester Black's Legion of Villains in the "Ending Battle".[3] He later turned up in Metropolis and attacked Jimmy Olsen. Superman quickly took him down, knocking most of his teeth out (though they grew back). In all of his previous appearances he rarely spoke, but during this issue he was very verbose (although that may be because of Black's influence). He also was smaller and a long way from the water.

King Shark also made an appearance during the Joker's Last Laugh riot with Orca.

King Shark is recruited into Alexander Luthor's Secret Society of Supervillains and is one of the many sent to attack Sub Diego. During the battle he kills Neptune Perkins.

Nanaue reappears one year after the Infinite Crisis, bearing a scar from a previous encounter with Aquaman. He is less violent and more talkative than in previous appearances. His origin has been definitely given as son of the Shark God, due to the new Aquaman book being more magic-based than previous incarnations.[4] He is a major character in the series, acting as an unwilling caretaker for Arthur Joseph Curry. Saved from a gang of marauders by the young man, he brought him to the mysterious Dweller in the Depths (the mutated, for unknown reasons, Aquaman) who gave him the role of assisting the new Aquaman in filling his role. Albeit feigning disrespect, and often disappearing for a while, King Shark accepted, sharing his knowledge of the way of sea with his young savior. It is later revealed in a flashback sequence that he was asked to do so by his father :

"The currents of destiny bend and twist around that young man. For good or ill, he will shape the coming oceanscape. You will protect him. You will be my agent in his camp. Close enough to guard against others who seek to control him. And close enough, when I decide the time is ripe... ... to strike, and kill him without warning."

The following arc tells the first meeting between the original Aquaman and King Shark, which occurred several years ago. It took place in Reef's End, a little border town in the Coral Sea, distant from Atlantis. Orin — who was still the King of Atlantis at this time — fought King Shark because he murdered a priest of the Order of the Thorny Crown. King Shark had previously killed a number of members of this group, obeying his father's will. The Order was associated with an old prophecy:

"When thorned crown lies shattered, she comes. Born of coral, of life-in-death, of long prayer. Shake the sea floor with her power, shall she, shake the destiny of all beneath the waves..."

The Shark God believed that if the Order was destroyed, that would trigger the prophecy, birthing some great power in the process. However, King Shark was defeated by Aquaman before completing his father's goal. He then was imprisoned by priests of the Thorny Crown for three years before escaping; Nanaue mentions that he was tortured during his captivity.

Following the Final Crisis, King Shark's jaw is broken after being cleaved wide open and later his left arm is ripped off his body during battle, but later grew back.[5]

King Shark is among the Superboy's villains brought by Krypto to a hill near the Smallville high school. However, he is either unconscious or stunned at the time.[6]

Most recently, he has joined the Secret Six[7] as a brawler. His tenure with the Six proves to be short-lived, as the team is soon captured by a large group of superheroes during a failed mission in Gotham City. King Shark manages to briefly overpower his old foe Superboy during the battle, but is ultimately pummeled into unconsciousness by Supergirl.[8]

In The New 52 (a reboot of the DC Comics universe), King Shark is featured where he now resembles a humanoid Hammerhead shark. He was tortured and forced into the Suicide Squad by Amanda Waller.[9] When it comes to the Suicide Squad having to comply with Amanda Waller's demands, King Shark ended up eating his teammate Yo-Yo.[10] (It is later revealed that he survived)

During the Forever Evil storyline, King Shark is among the villains that the Crime Syndicate recruited to join the Secret Society of Super Villains.[11]

Powers and abilities[edit]

King Shark's augmented flesh provides protection against the pressures of the deep and physical attacks. He has shark-like teeth and uses them as a weapon. As he has gills he can breathe under water. He swims at great speeds and is resistant to cold. His strength and endurance have been enhanced, where he can now lift up to 55 tons. He can also regenerate lost limbs, organs and teeth.

Other versions[edit]


In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, King Shark works as a strongman freak show in the Haley's Circus.[12] Haley's Circus is attacked by Amazons, and King Shark is killed while trying to save Doctor Fate.[13]

In other media[edit]


Video games[edit]


  • King Shark appears in issue #14 of the Young Justice tie-in comic book. King Shark is known in this franchise as King Nanaue Sha'ark. He is shown as a student at the same Atlantean sorcery academy that Aqualad once attended. King Sha'ark is also the ruler of the Atlantean city-state Nanauve. Sha'ark has the habit of referring to those he considers weaker than himself as "chum". In issue #15, Lori Lemaris and Topo had to convince Sha'ark not to eat the former Atlantean Purist Ronal (who was pardoned by Aquaman).


  1. ^ Superboy (vol. 4) #0 (October 1994)
  2. ^ Superboy (vol. 4) #31 (September 1996)
  3. ^ The Adventures of Superman #608 (November 2002)
  4. ^ Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #40 (May 2006)
  5. ^ Secret Six TPB 1: Unhinged
  6. ^ Adventure Comics (vol. 2) #3 (December 2009)
  7. ^ Secret Six (vol. 3) #21 (July 2010)
  8. ^ Secret Six (vol. 3) #36 (October 2011)
  9. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 4) #1 (November 2011)
  10. ^ Suicide Squad (vol. 4) #5 (March 2012)
  11. ^ Forever Evil #1 (November 2013)
  12. ^ Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1 (June 2011)
  13. ^ Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #2 (July 2011)

External links[edit]