FCBD Suicide Squad: King Shark #1
Why has the Shark God called King Shark home? And why's a regular human girl going with him? Some answers will certainly follow!
I love Free Comic Book Day.
Sure, the free books often give you a taster-sized sample of what’s coming rather than a full story, hoping that you’ll like it enough to check out subsequent issues, but they’re almost always fun. As most of us know, any story involving King Shark is bound to be a good time.
This story is a rollicking adventure, packed with humor, and spiced with enough casual brutality to appeal to any Suicide Squad fan.
Tim Seeley packs a lot of heart into a fish-out-of-water (hehe) story about a powerless (in the superhero sense) young graffiti artist named Defacer, who has been jailed for adding a lil’ something extra onto a publicly erected (hehe) statue of her ex boyfriend. The ‘something extra’ starts at waist level, hence her unusually long sentence.
She’s having trouble fitting into the Harley-run self-help-circle provided by the prison, and she can’t really come to grips with the fact that she’s in Superjail. One of the problems Defacer is having stems from the fact that she’s antagonized a real villain, with actual powers (Hot Take), who then tries to murder Defacer while she is attempting to use the bathroom.
Luckily for her, King Shark has a soft spot for rescuing Defacers in Distress and this is a weakness that Amanda Waller exploits. She uses his newly-developed affection for the girl, his desire to protect her from harm, as a means of controlling him while he’s sent on a visit to his father.
Seeley cleverly thrusts us into the perspective of the non-powered Defacer as a means of drawing us into this uncomfortable, hilarious world. King Shark appears as something of an enigma, even for readers who know the character well. This is an effective narrative technique, and it is applied very well.
Despite the cartoonish color sense, and humor that might appeal to the middle school set, this isn’t a story for kids. It’s the kind of book that I’d get yelled at for reading in front of my toddler. If you’re grabbing it on a FCBD splurge for a child, in the hopes of getting them into comics, try something else.
Scott Kolins’ art is cartoonish (softening the effect of, say, a woman getting her head bitten off) and it’s lucid (in places, joyful) and packed with little jokes and details. It’s truly a delight to look at.
The total effect of the book is of something that is much better than you’d expect from a product that’s been designed to be given out for free. As a character often says in my favorite adult cartoon (Bojack Horseman, if you’re wondering), ‘It’s not Ibsen, but it’s good.’
It’s definitely entertaining.
Joyful, casually brutal art, and a fun story elevate this book to something that is a lot better than you'd expect for a product that's meant to be given away for free. Grab it before it goes.
FCBD Suicide Squad: King Shark #1: Blood in the Water
- Writing - 8.5/108.5/10
- Storyline - 9/109/10
- Art - 9/109/10
- Color - 9/109/10
- Cover Art - 8.5/108.5/10
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