King Shark’s new miniseries makes him the Jesus of sharks


For a character concept as inexplicable as “nearly indestructible man-shaped shark” King Shark is a character who works absurdly well without any explanation at all. But like all comic book superheroes and villains, he does have an origin story, even if it’s not brought up very often.

Suicide Squad: King Shark, a three-issue digital first miniseries timed to the release of James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, is bringing it up. King Shark’s real name is Nanaue, and he is the son of the god of all sharks. And that, the book takes pains to point out, makes him the Jesus of sharks.

What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)


“Lord Chondrakha, also called Kamo the Cutter of the Waves, the Teeth of the Depths, and He Who Is the Shadow Above and Below...” explains King Shark to the person floating in the water with him in Suicide Squad: King Shark #1 (2021). Image: Tim Seeley, Scott Kolins/DC Comics

“He’s the god of all sharks. I’m like the son. Whatsisname—?” says King Shark, floating above his father, a titan-sized great white shark god covered in scars and striped markings. “Jeez!” says his human companion. “Close enough,” he replies, in Suicide Squad: King Shark #1 (2021). Image: Tim Seeley, Scott Kolins/DC Comics

Tim Seeley has flexed his “absurd comedy with heart” muscles on titles like Grayson and Shatterstar, so I have every expectation that he and artist Scott Kolins will bring home this story of a very bored King Shark on his yearly trip to the ocean to prove to his demanding relatives that his teeth are still sharp enough to be the Jesus of Sharks.

The Prince of Power explains to Hercules that with the way his Infinity Stone works, his strength increases with his intelligence — and it’s better if he stays stupid. “If I thought about what someone smarter than me could do with this stone I’d go mad with fear. So... I try not to think [...] with the power I have, it’s better to be stupid than mad,” in Guardians of the Galaxy Annual #1 (2021). Image: Al Ewing, Flaviano/Marvel Comics

Guardians of the Galaxy has introduced a new Prince of Power, which used to be Hercules’ (yes, the Marvel superhero Hercules’) sobriquet. The new guy is … a man whose power is magnified by his intelligence to such a fantastic degree that he has to stay stupid to avoid cracking the universe in half. If it’s not clear, I think this is great.

Wynd recalls his adolescence hiding his strange nature and daydreaming about a world in which he can date the cute guy he sees working out every day in Wynd #9 (2021). Image: James Tynion IV, Michael Dialynas/Boom Studios

This is just to say that James Tynion IV and Michael Dialynas’ Wynd is just quietly out there being a really great queer YA dark fantasy series. All the world building you’d expect from a tabletop setting, with the kind of subject matter that would have made middle school me feel like I was reading something very grown up — but without exposing me to something that should really only be processed by a grown up.

Superman is shocked to find himself in the middle of a rally/counter protest between anti-fascist pacifists and supporters of what appears to be a fascist version of his symbol — one of the supporters has a pro-Nazi sign, in Justice League Infinity #2 (2021). Image: J.M. DeMatteis, James Tucker, Ethen Beavers/DC Comics

OK, so I was definitely wrong about the Justice Lords. But we’ve got Superman acknowledging the rise of neo-nazis in his modern America and it’s in the comic based on the Cartoon Network show for kids? Truly an unexpected surprise.

As the Fantastic Four scramble towards the giant rocket that would take them to their origin story, text draws a parallel between their heroic origin and the Hulk’s tragic one in Immortal Hulk #49 (2021). Image: Al Ewing, Joe Bennett/Marvel Comics

Immortal Hulk is almost over, but Al Ewing and Joe Bennett are not resting on their laurels. The series’ penultimate issue absolutely killed it, hanging the entire issue on the reverse parallels between the Hulk’s origin story and that of the Fantastic Four, Marvel’s first family, who inspired the heroic age.