Saturday, September 19, 2009


Comic Art


OK, imagine, you're an Olympic CHAMPION swimmer. You break your back saving someone's life, leaving you paralyzed. You've gone from sports hero to genuine hero. Hard life, but life well lived. But that is not good enough for you - NO! - you want to swim again. So you pursue all avenues for healing. Including a megalomaniacal criminal scientist (is there any other kind?) that genetically alters you. Oh, you can swim again, but you have really pointy teeth and an incredibly nasty disposition. In other words, you are more shark than man. And of, of course, rather than fight to overcome you baser, and fishy (I think there is a pun in there somewhere), nature you become the archnemesis of all underwater heroes, primarily Namor. You become Tigershark.

Now, I will resist the temptation to moralize about this story in light of stem cell issues and focus instead on how cliche such an origin story has become. The only thing unique about Tigershark is that he has underwater powers, as opposed to power X and he has a really cool look. If there is a reason Tigershark is still around, it is that really cool look.

He has morphed, inexplicably, over the years back and forth becoming more or less fishlike, which just adds to the generic and cliched nature of the character. HE is little more than foil when a water based baddy is needed. Which makes him really problematic since water-based heroes are so....unpopular? Namor is better off than DC's Aquaman, who has become the but of many a mainstream comedians jokes, but regardless, swimmers just are not cool.

But I think this guy, Tigershark, could change that. Finally, an underwater hero that looks cool, and the perfect origin story to set up a great redemption tale and a turn as a face.

"Seeking to redeem decades of evil, not to mention the consumption of a few people, Nurse Shark (oh wait, does that name blow the whole thing?) travels the seas and shores to fight evil and stand for the American way."

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