Shark-Man No. 1

Shark-Man is having a bad day. An oceanliner just got torpedoed as it was passing the shark fields.
With the liner sinking and the passengers going into the drink Shark-Man has a lot of people to save. But at the same time, his cunning foe is draining New Venice City’s financial reserves. The question is what do you try to save?
Naturally, Shark-Man helps the people first. The problem is, he fails. Before his eyes, tourists are torn to shreds, the oceanliner becomes the next Titantic and, to top it all off, the city does indeed go bankrupt.
And that’s just the beginning of the bad day for Shark-Man, also known as kabillionare Alan Gaskill, and his son, Tom.
“Shark-Man” No. 1
is a beautiful new book from Thrill-House Comics, in fact, Steve Pugh’s art reminds me a lot of Alex Ross. But the fancy-schmancy painted art isn’t all. “Shark-Man” offers an incredibly cool-looking hero (Shark-Man’s helmet has an immediate iconic appeal) in a very interesting-looking world (I’m reminded of Bladerunner with the lights on). Some of the scenes are downright gruesome as some giant sharks chow down on helpless tourists. The characters are handsome, individualized and appealling.
Likewise, the story offers some ideas that you can really sink your teeth into. There’s the Gaskill’s butler, a fellow addicted to a set of goggles that let him access any security camera. There’s the idea of New Venice City, a floating Utopia where the streets are waterways. Off-city, the oceans are trolled by pirates. Then there’s the mysterious person — or should I say entity — who’s responsible for it all — someone called The Shadow-King.
All interesting stuff. All stuff I would love to see in a live-action movie. That’s how “Shark-Man” No. 1 sets things up — it’s the opening act to an epic, and it looks to be a doozy. Just looking at it, I can see it on the silver screen starring some beefy action hero.
Sure, by the end of this issue I certainly have questions about what’s going on, but the writers aren’t handing all the mystery to me at once. Instead, they’re giving it, and some answers, piece by piece, and that’s the way to write a comic.
So here I go again, giving another comic book four stars. Boy, I gotta start being a more picky, but with quality work like “Shark-Man,” I’m not too disappointed to hand out a top-o-the-scale rating.

Thrill-House Comics
Written by: Ronald Shusett and Steve Pugh

Art by: Steve Pugh
Four Stars out of Four (Solid art and interesting concepts keeps this one afloat.)


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