Shark Week: The 7 Best Shark vs. Super-Hero Fights
If you’ve been following my work for a while, you probably know that above almost everything else, I love comics where super-heroes fight animals, and none quite so much as when they throw down on nature’s perfect killing machine: The Shark. So while Shark Week rages on, I’ve delved back through my archives to bring you The Seven Best Shark Fights In Comics!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Misty Knight, she’s essentially the Marvel Universe version of Mid-’70s Pam Grier, except that she has a bionic arm. Hot Girl + Bikini+ Nautical danger is a time-honored formula across most all media, but It’s that little extra touch that pushes this one over the top, as it’s a rare example of an honest-to-goodness robosharkpunch.
#6. Batman, Part One
The Caped Crusader has a long and wonderful history of fighting sharks, including his immortal use of Shark-Repellant Bat-Spray in the 1966 “Batman” movie. This, however, comes from the classic Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams story ‘The Joker’s Five-Way Revenge,” and while the actual fighting is pretty awesome, the real gem here is the bit of dialogue in the first panel.
According to Batman, he’s “never had to fight so unprepared!” Everything else he’s got covered, but fighting a shark, underwater, while handcuffed? That presents a slight — but hardly insurmountable — problem.
#5. Captain America
When you think about it, Captain America fights Nazis so often that switching it up with the odd shark is probably a welcome change, if only for the novelty. Either way, it takes a hell of a man to not only backhand a shark under water, but to do so while swinging around a giant piece of metal. Cap’s a strong guy, folks.
The two best things here, though, are a) that writer Mark Gruenwald decided that the sound effect of a vibranium/adamantium alloy shield smacking into a shark’s head under water was “SPLOOM,” and b) that whether it was his intent or not, artist Kieron Dwyer, totally made that shark look really sad. He’s like “Ow! C’mon, man, I just wanted to eat you! I know it sucks but it’s not like I can help it!”
Seriously: Sad Shark cracks me up every time.
#4. The Goon
Aside from the obvious — you know, the fact that it’s a dude cold uppercutting a shark — there’s not much remarkable about this one, and that in itself is remarkable. This is the honest man’s shark-punch, a simple, no-frills bit of underwater fisticuffs that’s more rebuke than attack. It has an air of class about it.
The Thinking Man’s Sharkpunch, if you will.
#3. Batman, Part Two
Yep, it’s Batman again. Like I said, he does this a lot.
This time, however, it’s even more awesome. Not only is he Bruce Wayneing it in his Dread Pirate Roberts cosplay, but he’s also rescuing someone, and fighting two sharks at the same time. Even better, check out his face: He’s not worried at all. If anything, he just seems inconvenienced. “This again? Great. Now I’m going to be late for Alfred’s Macaroni Night.”
So many fantastic things about this picture, not the least of which is that it provided children of the ’80s whose parents insisted on buying them “educational” toys a blueprint for what to do with the figures they picked up at the aquarium.
It’s also worth noting that Snake-Eyes isn’t holding on to anything here (his left hand isn’t low enough to be grabbing onto a fin for stability), so it’s pretty clear that he’s riding a shark through the ocean with just the strength of his ninja-trained thighs. This is basically the Arashikage Dojo equivalent of the mechanical bull. And again, the shark’s natural tendency to frown works well for this one, as it gives off the impression that he’s saying “Aw crap, he’s on my back with a knife, isn’t he?” Sorry, shark, but any day where you mess with Snake-Eyes is not going to be your day.
So what tops that? Easy:
#1. Batman: Pirate Edition
Batman fights sharks so much that he can’t get away with them even in a story where he’s a 17th century pirate named Leatherwing, but this one takes the cake. Not only is this a dude who kicks a shark in the face while wearing ninja stars for shoe-buckles, but he does all this while removing a woman’s dress. Admittedly, this is the 17th century pirate version of Catwoman, but that is smooth.
I’d wager to say that it’s the ballerest thing Batman has ever done, and considering that dude has an anti-crime basement under his mansion where he keeps a robot dinosaur, that’s saying something.