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Interview With Ben Lacy: Creator Of “Shark Of War” #5

Have no fear, unless you’re part of a coastal drug cartel, Shark of War #5 is here! The epic conclusion to the final battle between USS Gnasher and friends against bioengineered flying piranha comes to fruition in this issue. Fortunately, we were able to have an interview with Shark of War creator Ben Lacy on the build-up to this edition and what’s next for our bloodthirsty protagonist with a taste for human flesh. Here are his responses!

What is Shark of War #5 all about and how does it build on the central plot and themes that you have explored through the first four issues?  

#5 is the conclusion to the current storyline and features the epic battle that’s been building throughout the series between the “Shark of War” and the criminal cartel that almost killed him in Issue #2. After being badly beaten in that first encounter, Gnasher is a better-prepared shark who also some upgrades to hopefully make it a fairer fight – but the bad guys have become even more powerful – so it will be a far less fair fight than Gnasher realizes when the battle begins.
One of the themes of this story has been how Gnasher’s increased intelligence has changed his character and emotions. He now understands things like anger and a desire for revenge, emotions a human might have, but he’s still a shark and has a much different perspective on the world than a human does.

Shark of War #5 gets right to the point and shows us the climactic final battle that the comic has been building to over these five issues. How did you go about setting up this final confrontation? 

We’ve been building to this point since #1, when Gnasher saved a boy who would in a ‘Daniel in the Lion’s den’ fashion, go on to return the favor by helping him recover from the #2 battle. This leads to USS Gnasher becoming an upgraded “Shark of War”, with a few tricks up his fin for the rematch. At the same time, the cartel and Gnasher’s co-creator have been becoming progressively more aggressive using their new technology (hordes of cyber-piranha that they’re now mass producing) to not only attack other mobsters but even the US Military.  Believing themselves unstoppable, they decide they can finish Gnasher off, as well as some others who’ve crossed them.

Were there any inspirations that you drew upon for this collision between USS Gnasher and allies versus the comic’s main villains? 

It’s very much a High Noon kind of ending where one man (or shark in this case) has to battle against overwhelming odds. Gnasher has some allies, but in the end, it mostly has to be him.

Without giving too much away, since Shark of War #5 has been built up as a somewhat final edition of this original storyline, how did you go about deciding how to close the various plotlines for the multiple characters in this edition?

I wanted to give a definitive ending, but also the possibilities of spinoffs and other stories in this universe involving the characters who are still alive at the end. The technology that made Gnasher and the cyber-piranha is still out there and as we see at the end, there are people ready to exploit it for even more horrible uses.

Shark of War #5 ends on a cliffhanger that indicates that this is just the beginning. What are your plans for Shark of War going forward? 

We may see more Shark of War – if he survives this battle. We will definitely see more of the characters shown in the cliffhanger, either in an #6 or in spinoffs. I have two spinoffs already in the works. The first will be in an anthology by another publisher and will involve series villain, Dr. Brooke Douglas attempting to make an even more deadly monster.

The second is a spinoff from an event that happened in #1 where Gnasher saved a number of women from human traffickers. But being a shark, he didn’t really save them, he just killed their captors and left them adrift at sea. The story will follow these women as they desperately try to survive both the ocean and the mobsters who want to recapture them.

What do you want audiences to take away from Shark of War #5? What do you want them to possibly look forward to? 

I want people to know they’re getting a complete, epic story. I know a lot of people put out an #1 or an #2 on Kickstarter and never finish their story. You don’t have to worry about that in this case. While there is a cliffhanger ending, the main story reaches a clear conclusion.

Are there other projects that you are currently working on as well? 

In addition to the two spinoffs, I’m also hoping to work on a superhero-style project as well!

If you want to know more about this entire series including Shark of War #5 you can check out this Kickstarter link. Be on the lookout for a review for #5 later this week and sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter!

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Dylan FIne

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