Hook Jaw #1 ComicWow! Review

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In the harsh waters off the Somalian Coast, a group of three marine scientists are studying a pack of female great white sharks. When things seem normal, they are caught in a battle between pirates and the US Navy. As it turns out, the sharks are much more dangerous than we thought…especially when led by the legendary great white, Hookjaw!

One thing that I’m most curious about is why the heck the CIA is so curious about what this team of marine scientists is studying. Why would they care so much about great whites? Maybe it’s just Hookjaw? But what about Hookjaw? I hope writer Simon Spurrier gives us a history on this shark in subsequent issues, because I want to know why this king of the great whites is so infamous (aside from the fact that it is known as “Hookjaw” because it literally has a hook stuck in its jaw).

I’m also actually really interested in the actual process of studying these creatures. Sharks are some of the most majestic animals, and they’re beautiful to watch and even study. In this issue, the team gets evidence of cooperative behavior. For anyone who doesn’t know, sharks aren’t the most intelligent creatures. However, their cooperative behavior is really indicative of how they think better in terms of problem-solving in packs. I can see why the team was so stoked on this behavior.

Spurrier adds some distinct characterization in this issue. The head of the scientific endeavor, the Professor, is a feisty, nearly carefree woman with quite the mouth on her. Nearly every other word is profanity, when the ship is invaded by pirates she doesn’t even care, and she jokes about a lot of the material. She honestly seems like an awesome leader with a fun personality and a lot of experience—enough that she can get away with talking the way she does. This is probably my favorite character. This much profanity would be really distracting, unnecessary, and just trashy in most stories, but Spurrier kind of makes it work here.

Her two disciples are mostly all about business, and are simply there to get the job done. They’re more serious than their Professor, but are just as emotional about their findings. It’s awesome to see people as passionate as these get to accomplish what their life’s work has been dedicated to.

Conor Boyle’s artwork, in terms of the human characters, isn’t too detailed, but shows a great deal of emotion, action, and reaction. The sharks, though, are drawn with an immense amount of precision and detail. Surrounded with blood, these sharks look absolutely vicious. And the opening page—five panels of open, dark, stormy water—looks just petrifying. It creates an overarching tone of extreme danger.

If you’re a fan of the Jaws franchise, you’re going to love this series. Elements of danger, adventure, action, violence, and drama are all present. Sharks, pirates, the CIA, marine biologists—what more could you ask for?!

Written by: Simon Spurrier

Illustrated by: Conor Boyle

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