We take a look at the first three issues of Shark of War, a digitally rendered action adventure about a genetically engineered shark that becomes America’s greatest weapon. Can this comic make all others leave the waters or is it simply a small fish in a big sea?
Publisher: Biting Comics
Writer: Ben Lacy
Artist: Ben Lacy (art), Nikki Powers (Letters)
Price: Issue 1 free here
Shark of War tells the story of ‘Gnasher’, a giant Great White Shark whose life is forever changed when mad scientist Dr Fischer, saves him from death and outfits him with body armour jet rockets and an onboard A.I., while increasing his intelligence to become the newest weapon of the U.S. Military. However, when Dr Douglas, Fischer’s assistant, betrays her colleague and attempts to destroy Gnasher, the Great White makes a daring escape in an effort to perform the mission he was programmed for while also seeking revenge for his creator.
If we had to sum this in a sentence this is Deep Blue Sea meets Robocop, and creator Ben Lacy has created quite possibly one of the most bizarre concepts I’ve seen in a comic (and I’ve seen a few). However, while strange to the nth degree, Lacy makes the story a truly enjoyable and engaging read. This is in no small part thanks to his depiction of Gnasher. The shark’s ‘personality’ and interactions with the artificial intelligence installed within him, feel really genuine and likeable, almost making you forget the lead is a big fish!
Meanwhile, other characters, such as the young boy Gnasher rescues and the Seal Team he encounters equally make the story more realistic with their understated characterisation. Beyond that though, this is pure B movie storytelling at its finest. Gnasher’s talent, while realistically explained in the bonus pages, are the stuff of a Megashark or Sharknado movie, while the villains are so over the top they would not look out of place with a top hat and moustache. Of course, rather than make for a jarring split, Lacy seems to have weaved these two aspects beautifully, making the read never feel forced or out of place in any way.
As for the art, this perfectly matches the story in the form of its uniqueness. Lacy, who lacks artistic skill by his own admission, utilises computer graphics to depict his story. The result is a visual style that is most likely seen in short comic strips found inside newspapers. However, this is in no way a fault, as this style works incredibly well to show off this concept. It shows off this crazy concept in a loud, vibrant visual style, that also picks up the various character’s personalities fantastically.
While it’s easy to write off this comic just from the concept alone, Sharks of War has seriously defied expectations as an enjoyable and uncomplicated action story shown off in a uniquely fitting way. If you are looking for a laugh and something with over the top action, there are few better options out there than this.