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The Shark

DCD Green Lantern
by yo go re

Almost every hero is identified strongly with one villain. But for every Green Goblin or Lex Luthor, there are a dozen other forgotten schmucks who've made the good guy's life hell. After all, Batman can't spend all his time fighting the Joker, and Hal Jordan can't spend all his time fighting Sinestro.

The Shark The grotesque Shark is a killing machine that sets its sights on Hal Jordan!

Boy, DC just keeps taking these bio paragraphs to all-new heights of brevity, don't they? Does reading that tell you anything about the Shark? No. This guy was once a real tiger shark, until an atomic explosion forced him through a million years of evolution. As atomic energy is wont to do. He's been devolved a few times before, but always comes back. He had some kind of mental powers, along with his strength, speed and resiliency (and sometimes they claimed he had a "yellow aura" that made him immune to GL's ring), but his motivations were pretty much the same as any shark's: hunting and eating.

ancient history The first few times around, the Shark didn't really look very threatening. He could have been a man in a shark mask. Now that he's been redesigned by artist Ethan Van Scriver? Holy hell, this is a predator at the top of the food chain. This is a monster, a remorseless killing machine hellbent on destruction!

The Shark is one of those figures ''Mr. The Shark, I think you may need braces.'' that's designed to be hunched over - stand him up straight, and he's looking at the sky. Posed properly, he's 7 1/4" tall, which is still pretty imposing. Though he lacks a neck entirely, the Shark is still carrying a lot of articulation. He moves at the ankles, knees, hips, waist (yes, a waist!), wrists, elbows and balljointed shoulders. It's clear why his head doesn't move - it's just too integrated into his musculature to turn (and besides, sharks don't have necks) - but they really could have (and should have) given him a moving jaw.

The sculpt is really impressive. Van Scriver has a really detailed art style, and the figure is absolutely covered with thin little etchings, and his muscles are thick and corded. The webs between his fingers and toes are translucent, as are the vestigial fins on his arms, legs and back. where'd he buy that? The highlight of the sculpt is the Shark's head, with its snub nose and three rows of serrated teeth. Scary!

The paint is just as good as the sculpt. The Shark's suit looks like wet rubber, and his skin is varying shades of tan and yellow. The darker brown stripes fade in nicely, and his mouth, gums and gills are pink. The wetsuit is weird - it's not something he took off a diver or something - it's cut specifically to fit him, with purple piping around all the edges, even where his fins poke through. So 1) why does an evolved shark think it needs clothes, and 2) where does it get them?

The Shark gets the same translucent green cue ''Jaws'' theme music disc base as all the other GL figures, but it's not like he needs it - his feet are big enough already. There are no accessories, but there is one "extra" included: tucked behind the base is the Shark's dorsal fin. It's too large and sticks out too far for him to fit in the blister pack with it in place, so you have to plug it in once you open the figure. Careful not to throw it out.

The great thing about a villain like the Shark is that you don't need to know a thing about him to like the toy. This is a sick design captured beautifully, and he'll look manacing no matter who he's hunting. A lot of Green Lantern Series 2 was definitely aimed at the hardcore fans, but the Shark could swim into any collection.

Who's your favorite second-rate villain? Tell us on our message board, The Loafing Lounge.


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