Season 1 of The Flash exceeded all our expectations from a visual standpoint, particularly in the introduction of classic DC villain Gorilla Grodd, a fun tease that unexpectedly grew into a live-action feast for the eyes. Well, Season 2 may have outdone its predecessor, delivering on a King Shark tease that ranks among the most insane and impressive effects ever brought to life on TV.

You’re warned of potential spoilers for last night’s Flash installment “The Fury of Firestorm” from here on out (beyond a King Shark appearance, at least), but good grief, did The CW throw one hell of a curveball at DC fans. Early clips of the installment saw Barry’s burgeoning love-interest Patty Spivot investigating the possibility of a man-shark metahuman on the loose, even if Barry seemed to downplay the possibility.

The hour even went so far as to have Barry scientifically disprove the possibility of said “bad sci-fi movie” scenario, only for the final moments of the episode to chum the waters with an impressive twist. Not only was the unnamed shark villain real, but we actually saw the towering beast in the flesh (cartilage?), as he throttled Barry and announced his purpose from Zoom (thereby making him Earth-2's King Shark), before a mystery figure subdued the great white beast.

Lest you doubt the veracity of King Shark’s identity, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg explained the appearance at a recent Flash screening of the hour:

King Shark came from … we actually put him in the comic book adaptation because we said, ‘No one’s every going to let us do this, and we’re never going to be able to do this,’ since we knew we weren’t going to be using the [Suicide] Squad anymore. We were talking about it, it was really [writer] Todd Helbing who was just like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’ It was a very expensive 30 seconds in the show. But our visual effects team are the best and they really love challenges like this.

Armen Kevorkian, who’s the head of our team, got really excited, and it was probably the thing he sent me the most, like, ‘Check it out! Here’s how it’s coming!’ And I literally can’t believe that. That’s beyond feature quality and they realized it so well. It was just fun for us, because obviously we can’t afford to do an entire King Shark episode, so the idea that he’s one of Zoom’s minions … He said, ‘Zoom sent me here to kill you.’ He’s just the latest in another line, which does mean that there is a King Shark on Earth-1, now that we’ve designed him.

For those unfamiliar, DC’s King Shark was initially created as a Superboy villain, supposedly the son of a “Shark God,” and has varied from an anthropomorphic Great White to a Hammerhead depiction. Occasionally included in the Suicide Squad (and initially rumored for the David Ayer film), the character was also, as mentioned above, included in The Flash: Season Zero tie-in comic, albeit with a significantly less monstrous appearance:

Flash Season Zero King Shark
Warner Bros.

It’s safe to say we won’t see King Shark in any significant capacity again (though Grodd will make a return appearance this season), but did The Flash do right by one of DC’s most outlandish villains? Who next might make an impressive appearance from comic lore?

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