Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, here comes Metalshark Bro #1! Picture this: you’re a normal, everyday shark, cruising around the ocean when a large meal that just happens to be a man drops into the ocean in front of you. You have hit the jackpot! You finish your meal. All is well, your tummy is full and then suddenly a demon appears on a motorcycle from hell (literally).
Unfortunately for this shark, the demon that appears in front of him is Beelzebra, Satan’s herald and nephew. Beelzebra explains that the simple-minded shark has eaten a soul that belonged to his uncle. And the shark ate a bro, so now he has to become a bro! And with the use of dark magic, the shark transforms into a shark/human hybrid complete with a leather jacket, jeans and a wicked skull belt buckle. This is the life, right? Wrong! The shark isn’t happy and wants to go back to his normal life of scouring the ocean looking for easy meals. Even though his abs are sexy as hell.
Well, life isn’t easy and Beelzebra is late for a date. He tosses Metalshark Bro a list of damned souls and tells him that if he can kill off everyone on the list, he will be returned to his normal shark form. What’s a shark to do? Kill every damn person on that list! With his fin tied behind his back, he really has no choice but to obey Beelzebra and a killing spree ensues! Comic shop owners better watch their backs, because not even they are safe from Metalshark Bro’s wrath!
Metalshark Bro comes off like a story that could easily be a cartoon playing at midnight on Adult Swim. Bob Franz (Monty the Dinosaur) and Kevin Cuffe (Oathbound) have created a mass of intriguing characters, along with amusing jokes and a funny subplot that includes Ninja Nuns and a corrupt Catholic Church with a priest who holds the real bible contacting dinosaurs and Black Jesus. There isn’t any unnecessary exposition that many first issues sludge through. Metalshark Bro’s pacing is quick and keeps the story exciting and entertaining.
The artwork is solid and complwments the mix of humor and violence. Walter Ostlie (Shiver Bureau) and Shawn Greenleaf (Escape from Jesus Island) illustrate precision line work and vibrant colors to bring the Bro to life. The fight scenes are visually appealing and each of the characters have incredible detail. Can I get a spinoff featuring the Ninja Nuns? Despite the violent nature, the characterizations remind us that this is a fun book. Your anti-hero is a heavy metal amphibian that isn’t scared to mix things up. Just sit back and enjoy the ride!
Metalshark Bro #1 is a promising first issue. It grabs you on the first page and doesn’t let up until the cliffhanging last page. I wanted more and it was such a fast read, I read it once more before I put it away just to see if there were any minor details I overlooked. Like I said earlier, this could easily be an Adult Swim title. If you are into metal, blood, and fish, then look no further than Metalshark Bro!