Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Si Spurrier
Artist: Conor Boyle
Release Date: 18th January, 2017
Titan’s acquisition of the Action strip was truly something to be celebrated when it was first announced. Riffing on the success of JAWS, the original run was beloved by readers but deplored by the Mary Whitehouse brigade, who eventually won out amidst tabloid outrage over the supposed corruption of youth based purely on its hyper-gory scenes of limb-chewing, gut-spilling brilliance.
This latest series takes place in the waters off the coast of Somalia as our titular eating-machine finds her territory invaded by clueless oceanographers, CIA black-ops louts and – obviously – Somali pirates. Unfortunately, the series so far has been a very mixed bag that, if you’ll pardon the pun, lacks the bite of its predecessor.
Whilst writer Si Spurrier populates the story with a cast of deplorable characters who you can’t wait to see horribly dismembered, the story is sorely lacking in the violence department, with any scenes of carnage taking place primarily off-panel. I also can’t help but mention that the story is littered with bad language that is censored, which completely ruins the flow of the dialogue and makes certain exchanges barely readable.
The story takes a somewhat meta turn where the original stories are repositioned as mythic legend told to scare off unwanted seafarers. But perhaps the most perplexing element is that our star is conspicuously absent for the vast majority of story as we are treated to long scenes of bickering between the human cast.
Artist Conor Boyle does a fine job with what little he has to work with, although surely he must be aching to really cut loose, as the sharks themselves are beautifully rendered and he obviously deserves better.
I honestly can’t quite work out who this reboot is aimed at, as it’s too slapdash to make an impression on long-term fans but also lacks the gory excess for the younger readers looking for the illicit thrills of the original. A wasted opportunity.
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The writer of this piece was: Chris Downs
Chris Tweets from @ChrisDownsy