This is an in-universe article with out-of-universe material.
Born in Hawaii, Nanaue is a humanoid shark, his father is "The King of all Sharks" -- also known as the Shark God. Other characters, such as special agent Sam Makoa, have dismissed this as superstition and referred to Nanaue as a "savage mutation" with no mystical nature. It has also been implied he was one of the "Wild Men", evolved animals based on those in Kamandi.
Terror of the Pacific Islands
King Shark was responsible for several missing persons several years before Superboy arrived in Hawaii. Aided by his family, he had viciously eaten the kidnapped persons. Sam Makoa was responsible for bringing him in and bore the scars forever after. According to Makoa, it took a combination of heavy weaponry and sheer luck that his team was able to bring him in (and several of his fellow officers were slain). Makoa bore a personal grudge against King Shark after that.
King Shark was freed by the Silicon Dragons shortly after Superboy arrived at Hawaii. The Dragons planned on hiring him (perhaps to use against Superboy), but Nanaue was not interested. He killed his liberators before fleeing the prison.
King Shark headed to his mother's house. She sheltered him (and even allows him to bite her arm off to feed) and Shark made an aborted attempt to snag a swimmer on a beach. Superboy, learning Shark's origins from Makoa, insisted on going along with Makoa to apprehend him. Shark ambushed the kid, but Superboy managed to take him down by firing a point blank blast of heat vision from his "X-Ray specs." King Shark was knocked out and taken back into custody.
When Superboy and Makoa were assigned to the Suicide Squad to destroy the Silicon Dragons, King Shark was forced to help by Amanda Waller, given that the base was at the bottom of the sea (and, as Waller put it, in his element). An explosive belt was strapped to his waist, set to detonate if anything happened to Makoa, or if he got too far from him. Other members of the Squad included Knockout, Sidearm, and Squad veterans Deadshot and Captain Boomerang. Nanuae was a crazed fighting machine, shredding legions of the Dragons. He toyed with Makoa as much as he can. When Sidearm betrayed the team by trying to cut and run, Nanue casually murdered him by stabbing him in the back. After a long series of running battles, King Shark was purposefully knocked into the reactors of the underwater base by Knockout, who crushed the belt. The resulting explosion completely destroyed the lair, leaving no trace of either Knockout or King Shark.
After a research team sent to investigate the lair's remains went missing, King Shark was initially suspected (especially since Knockout had turned up alive and well in Hawaii), but an investigation by Superboy and Makoa uncovered that it was actually Black Manta who was responsible.
King Shark turned up alive and well shortly thereafter, duking it out with Superboy, but he was defeated again and driven out to sea.
King Shark later turned up in the Wild Lands (where the implication that he was really a Wild Man was made) and fought Superboy and his allies. After a fierce battle, he was defeated, but no body was recovered.
King Shark also appeared as a member of the legion of villains prompted by Manchester Black in the "Ending Battle" storyline. In this case, he turned up in Metropolis and attacked Jimmy Olsen. Superman quickly took him down, knocking most of his teeth out (although apparently they grew back later). Whereas in all of his previous appearances he had only two lines of dialogue, in this issue he was quite chatty (although that may have simply been because of Black's influence). He also was physically smaller and a long way from the water.
Nanaue has since reappeared in Aquaman, one year after Infinite Crisis, bearing a scar from a previous encounter with him. He was less violent and more talkative than in previous appearances. His origin has been definitely given as son of the Shark God, due to the new Aquaman book being more magic-based than previous incarnations. It also appears that he will be a major character from now on: in fact, he has currently started acting as an unwilling caretaker for Arthur Joseph Curry. Saved from a gang of marauders by the young man, he brought him to the mysterious Dweller in the Depths (the mutated, for unknown reasons, Aquaman) who gave him the role of assisting the "new Aquaman" in filling his role. Though often feigning disrespect and disappearing for a while, King Shark has been helpful in sharing his knowledge of the way of sea with his young savior. It is later revealed in a flashback sequence that he was asked to do so by his father:
"The currents of destiny bend and twist around that young man. For good or ill, he will shape the coming oceanscape. You will protect him. You will be my agent in his camp. Close enough to guard against others who seek to control him. And close enough, when I decide the time is ripe... ... to strike, and kill him without warning."The following arc tells the first meeting between the original Aquaman and King Shark, which occurred several years ago. It took place in Reef's End, a little border town in the Coral Sea, distant from Atlantis. Orin - who was still the King of Atlantis at this time - fought King Shark because he murdered a priest belonging to the Order of the Thorny Crown. In the last six months, King Shark had killed a lot of other members of this group, obeying his father's will. Indeed, the Order was associated with an old prophecy:
"When thorned crown lies shattered, she comes. Born of coral, of life-in-death, of long prayer. Shake the sea floor with her power, shall she, shake the destiny of all beneath the waves..."The Shark God believed that if the Order was destroyed, that would trigger the prophecy, birthing some great power in the process. However, King Shark was defeated by Aquaman before reaching his father's goal. He then was imprisoned by priests of the Thorny Crown during three years, before achieving escape; Nanaue mentioned that he was tortured during his captivity.
- Unique Physiology: Nananue's amphibious physiology is rumored to come from a variety of sources. Nananue himself insists that his father is the "Shark God". Others state that he is a "Wild Man", a race of humanoid animals. Government officials state that he is nothing more than a "savage mutation" of a genetic experiment gone wrong.
- Amphibious Nature: King Shark can survive indefinitely under water and for long periods of time on land.
- Claws: Super-strong claws.
- Fangs: Super-strong teeth.
- Superhuman Strength: Monstrous strength, the exact limits of which have never been measured.
- Superhuman Stamina: King Shark, when driven to a frenzy (such as when there is blood in the water), is nearly unstoppable
- Swimming: King Shark is an expert swimmer.
- 58 Appearances of Nanaue (New Earth)
- 7 Images featuring Nanaue (New Earth)
- 3 Quotations by or about Nanaue (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Nanaue (New Earth)
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