You have to appreciate creators that just go for it. And that is exactly what Ben Lacy does in the new miniseries Shark of War. A four-issue comic that is part Jaws, part RoboCop, maybe even part Sharktopus, Shark of War tells the story of the USS Gnasher, a shark preprogrammed with AI directives to enforce U.S. law. I love Syfy’s Sharktopus by the way, that was not a slight towards this comic at all. And throughout the miniseries, Gnasher must grapple with coastal cartels, his own natural instincts, and an even more formidable foe built by one of his creators.
Ben Lacy gives us this unique take on the cartel war alongside Nikki Powers as the comic’s letterer. Shark of War is published by Biting Comics. No pun intended. Originally the largest shark ever recorded, Gnasher is bioengineered into an “aquatic soldier” after a severe propeller injury. With the help of neurologist Dr. Brooke Douglas and bioengineer Dr. Ray Fischer, Gnasher receives updates such as a nano circuit connection to an AI program, retractable titanium blades, a jet engine with a backup electric motor, and two 7.62 MM automatic rifle connected to his new titanium frame. It’s hard to describe this so I’ll just put up an image of the design below.
Gnasher goes around busting up drug deals along the eastern seaboard until one of the drug lords decides to fight back. And here, we get to further explore our protagonist’s, a shark, complicated origins. As well as why this coastal cartel might have the upper hand in trying to finish off the ultimate threat to their bottom line. In addition, as Gnasher goes about protecting U.S. waters he befriends a former, kidnapped drug mule who eventually becomes the key to his survival. Shark of War has a lot more twists and turns than you would expect going into it. And effectively presents a detailed storyline and character arc for a shark, which is definitely a first. At least in my eyes.
In addition, Shark of War has a unique computer-generated artistic style. In which Lacy and his team certainly bring these characters to life by constantly showing them in mid-motion. Which effectively conveys their emotions and what they are doing at the moment. To add on, especially for a creature feature comic, the most important aspect of the art is how the creatures come out. Along with his badass design, Lacy provides us with a detailed scientific explanation of Gnasher’s physical makeup. Showing how much thought went into this character. And, ultimately, the passion that Lacy and his team have for this project is very apparent. Making the comic all the more compelling to the reader.
Overall, Shark of War is a fun, chaotic ride that delivers exactly what it promises in its cover page. And actually evenly balances the seriousness of death and child trafficking with a flying AI shark-piranha battle. The comic doesn’t go off the rails like, for example, some (or most) of the Sharknado films. Which is important, because this is a world that the reader can still emotionally connect with. So, if you’re into a fun, bloody world where the world’s future revolves around a bioengineered shark and piranhas, check out Shark of War! Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, not even the skies are safe now.
If you want more details about Shark of War #1-4 you can check out its Kickstarter here! Be sure to read to the end to check out variant covers as well as some very entertaining shark toons. Sound off on both our Twitter and/or Facebook feeds about that to let us know what you thought about Shark of War!