King Shark’s Real Name And Origin Explained

Our big beautiful toothy boy, that most ravenous of Belle Reve inmates, was very rarely called by his most famous moniker during James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad, instead going by the name “Nanaue” — and if you aren’t super familiar with the comics or Pacific Island mythology, ya might have wondered why. Well, don’t worry, ‘cause I’m gonna tell ya about it, complete with probably terrible pronunciation of Polynesian names. In the film our loveable maneater is referred to as potentially being the descendent of an ancient shark god. Well, that’s uh… yeah, that’s most of it right there. He’s literally related to a god. Maybe.

In this video we’ll more specifically talk about the myth that inspired the character and the name, and how it’s been part of his comic book story since the very beginning. One thing we don’t mention in the video is that, while he technically premieres as a proper baddie in Superboy #9, Big Pappa Shark first shows up in Superboy #0 in a short cameo (complete with his mythological name). Not only is his name nothing new, it was how we were first introduced to him back in 1994.

Our story starts in Hawaii, home of Dog the Bounty Hunter, volcanoes, and apparently some pretty sick mythology. According to those legends — which are adapted very liberally in his debut — Nanaue was the son of Kamohoalii. This sharkiest of sharks was also a shapeshifter, naturally, which is a pretty important detail. DC’s original anthropomorphic Jaws was swimming around the shallows off the short of the Waipio Valley and became all hot and bothered when he saw a beautiful young woman by the name of Kalei bathing — Kaikea in the comics, but we’re talkin’ OG origins here. Needless to say, our boy Kamohoalii was more than willing to put his shapeshifting powers to, uh, questionable use and transformed himself into a man. Presumably some facsimile of Jason Momoa. Luckily he didn’t go full Zeus, instead courting her until they fell in love and got hitched — and soon enough Kalei was pregnant with the boy who would nom.

For the rest of the story, check out the video! Get outta this here description. What are you even doing down here??

Chapters:
0:00 Intro
0:32 The Suicide Squad
0:50 The Myth of Nanaue
3:33 The Comics
4:35 From Page to Screen

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Written by: Michael Keene
Narrated by: Michael Keene
Edited by: Michael Keene

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