Dr. Shay Lamden, nicknamed King Shark by Patty Spivot, is a meta-human with the physical characteristics of a human and a great white shark. He was hired by Zoom to take out Earth-1's Flash, only to be brought down by Harry Wells and captured and imprisoned by A.R.G.U.S. Though Shay eventually escaped, he was defeated and re-captured again by Team Flash. Formerly, Shay acted as a type of "guard dog" at A.R.G.U.S. Though Shay eventually escaped again, he was defeated and re-captured a third time by Team Flash. Shay resurfaced yet again when Team Flash asked A.R.G.U.S. if he'd be willing to serve as a test subject in a trial with a meta-human cure they'd been working on, but Grodd attempted to mind-control him, causing him to suddenly run off before a decision could be made. Shortly thereafter, The Flash forced the cure into Shay, turning him human again. However, Shay volunteered to permanently turn back into King Shark in order to stop Grodd from taking over the city, also wishing to make up for hurting so many people when he'd previously been King Shark. He was then returned to A.R.G.U.S. and relocated to a nicer tank, where he now resides peacefully under the care of the widow of his late Earth-1 doppelgänger.
Shay worked as a marine biologist on Earth-2. Around 2013, Shay was one of the people affected by Harrison Wells' particle accelerator, and the dark matter mutated his cells and he transformed into a half man/half shark creature nicknamed "King Shark". Shay's new nature as a human-shark hybrid also made him a cannibal, eating whoever was unlucky enough to cross his path.
Recruited by Zoom
Shay was brought to Earth-1 by Zoom to kill the Flash. Patty hears about this "man-shark" hybrid and obtains a shark tooth and wants Barry to test it for her. Barry then tests it to find only shark DNA, disproving what Patty was saying before. When the Flash watched Patty Spivot from a distance, Shay suddenly grabbed him and told him that Zoom wanted him dead. Shortly after, Patty walked out and Shay was shot by her several times, though the bullets ricocheted off him. As he approached Patty, he was shot by Harrison Wells with a blast of energy from a special gun stolen from Mercury Labs.
This left him seemingly dead, but he was shown to actually have been unconscious, and was secretly taken into custody by A.R.G.U.S., who planned to use him as an asset and a weapon. Fortunately, this plan died with Amanda Waller. Eventually, he feigned death to get his guards to deactivate the laser grid over his aquarium, allowing him to escape, devouring any A.R.G.U.S. agents unlucky enough to cross his path. He tracked the Flash to the West house. Though the Flash appeared and challenged Shay, the man-shark knocked him down. However, he was forced to flee as A.R.G.U.S. troops arrived. Later, Team Flash and A.R.G.U.S. planned a trap using a Flash dummy mimicking an electrical frequency that Shay honed in on. Shay took the bait, but the tranquilizers hidden inside did not sedate him. He was eventually beaten by the Flash, as the superhero was able to lure him out to the ocean and defeat Shay by electrifying the water, subduing him. A.R.G.U.S. took him into custody, but this time, Lyla Michaels, the new director, vowed to study Shay and find out how he came to be, hoping to cure him.
A guard of A.R.G.U.S.
By May 2017, Shay had become a "guard shark" of a Dominator's power source in an A.R.G.U.S. facility, though was unable to prevent the power source from being stolen by a desperate Barry Allen and Leonard Snart.
Rampage in Central City
Shay is implied to have escaped A.R.G.U.S custody sometime later that year, as he was seen fighting the Flash in the streets of Central City, but was re-captured by Flash, and was presumably sent back to A.R.G.U.S., shortly before Iris and Barry's wedding and the attack of the Earth-X Nazis.
With their newly completed meta-human cure ready to use, Team Flash decided to find someone to test it on to ensure that it'd work. They then met up with Tanya Lamden (who was the widow of Shay's Earth-1 counterpart) and Lyla at A.R.G.U.S., hoping to test the cure on King Shark. Tanya had formed a close friendship with Shay, and informed him that some people had come, wanting to help him. Tanya talked to Shay via a set of earbuds she'd designed that linked to a device (which she called a telepathic crown) she'd built for Shay which she'd designed to halt the regression of his neural pathways that had been caused by the dark matter in his system (which had been causing Shay's mind to become less human, and more like a shark's). She spoke to him, and when he came out of the water, he asked them if their cure could really help him. However, he then suddenly threw aside the telepathic crown and ran off.
Team Flash and A.R.G.U.S. then began searching for Shay. When Caitlin informed Barry and Cisco that Shay had been found at the wharf, they then suited up and headed to his location. Once there, they waited for Shay at the water's edge. When Shay came ashore, he abruptly grabbed Cisco; fearing Shay would eat Cisco, Barry quickly inject Shay with the cure. This prompted Shay to drop Cisco, with the former falling backwards into the water. When he emerged a moment later, he'd reverted to his human form. Team Flash then brought Shay back to S.T.A.R. Labs to rest. While Team Flash seemed to have successfully turned Shay back into a normal human, after running further tests, they found that they'd need to inject Shay a second time in order for the cure's effects to be permanent.
Due to DeVoe's actions the night of the Enlightenment, the A.R.G.U.S facility where Grodd was being held lost power. As a result, the meta-dampeners in Grodd's cell at were momentarily disabled, until generators came on, restoring power to the building. This gave him a window that he needed to take control of a guard's mind, forcing that guard to cut power to his cell, thereby allowing Grodd to escape. He later stole the telepathic crown, which Grodd then used on himself to enhance his own psychic abilities, intending to take control of the minds of everyone in Central City. When Shay learned what Grodd had done and what the evil gorilla planned to do with the device, Shay asked that Team Flash turn him back into King Shark so that he could try to stop him, due to the fact that his more animal-like mind as King Shark kept Grodd from controlling him. Team Flash warned Shay that if they allowed him to turn back into King Shark, it may not be possible to return him to his human state. However, Shay opted to be transformed again, due to the fact that he wanted to attempt to make up for the trouble he'd caused as King Shark. Cisco then hit Shay with a vibe-blast, causing him to return to his humanoid shark form. Grodd and Shay then engaged in a fierce battle. While Grodd seemed to gain the upper-hand, with a bit of help from Barry and Nora, Shay was able to come out on top, reclaiming the device from the evil gorilla.
Grodd was then taken back into A.R.G.U.S. custody, where he was placed into a medically-induced coma, thereby preventing him from being able to use his psychic powers. Shay was later seen in a new tank of water at A.R.G.U.S., with Tanya watching him. Tanya was saddened that she couldn't help Shay become human again, but Shay expressed gratitude toward Tanya for everything she'd done for him, saying that he loved her.
- "I have a question I've been debating in my brain. What drives King Shark? Is it the shark... or is it the man?"
"If you're asking, 'should I be held accountable for my actions?' my answer's simple. Yes; I should. I don't remember how many people I hurt... or who. But that's no excuse."
- —Harrison Sherloque Wells and Shay Lamden[src]
As seen after Barry injected him with the meta-human cure, causing Shay to revert to his human form, Shay deeply regretted the trouble he caused as King Shark. For this reason, when Barry and Nora went up against Grodd but ended up getting immobilized due to the latter's psychic abilities, Shay selflessly volunteered to be turned back into King Shark, due to the fact that his shark-form's more animal-like mind kept Grodd from being able to control him, even when Team Flash told him that if he turned back into King Shark, it wouldn't be possible for them to make him human again.
Shay is incredibly animalistic in nature. Once he finds a target, he is fixated on it and will stop at nothing to complete his mission. This is shown when he continuously mutters "Zoom wants the Flash dead" while in A.R.G.U.S. captivity, and later tracks him across a city into a suburb using bio-electric location and smell alone. Despite his insanity, he is somehow intelligent enough to play possum long enough for A.R.G.U.S. to deactivate his laser grid, and was somehow able to distinguish Barry Allen's scent and bio-electricity among other people.
Shay also could have brief moments of almost human pride, telling Flash that he could never run as fast as Shay could swim.
Powers and abilities
- Meta-human/Shark physiology: After Shay was struck by the energy of the particle accelerator explosion on Earth-2, this altered his DNA and supercharged his cells and Shay became a meta-human with physical characteristics and abilities of both a human and a shark, augmenting his physiology into well-beyond peak human condition.
- Accelerated healing factor: Due to his shark physiology; Shay's cells are regenerative in nature, thus allowing Shay to rapidly heal from extensive injuries. Even after losing his entire right hand, he fully regrew it in seconds.
- Electrolocation: Shay is able to sense the bio-electricity in living creatures, as a normal shark does to allow it to track its prey, which allowed him to track down the Flash's powerful electrical signature throughout an entire city (although he claimed it was by scent).
- Superhuman durability: Shay can withstand very high levels of physical damage, as shown when he was shot multiple times by Patty, but sustained no damage, as the bullets ricocheted off of him. This was proven again when he was able to face off against A.R.G.U.S. agents and get shot at plenty of times and simply remark that guns and bullets can't hurt him. King Shark's durability is far beyond that of average humans as he was able to take several lightning bolts hurled by the Flash.
- Superhuman speed: Shay is able to move at speeds far faster than normal humans. His superhuman strong legs allow him to run very fast on land, although he is much faster in the water, as he was able to swim at speeds comparable to the Flash. However, he still isn't as fast as Barry on land.
- Speed swimming: Due to his shark physiology, Shay is able to swim as fast as an actual shark, allowing him to move in water at speeds nearly equal to that of the Flash.
- Superhuman strength: Shay has shown great physical strength when he effortlessly grabbed Barry and held him up with one hand, with Barry being helpless as Shay gripped his neck. He also showed greater levels of physical strength when he tore open the roof of the West house during another attempt to find the Flash. During his attack on the West house, King Shark was able to knock down the Flash while the latter was running at superhuman speed.
- Telepathy immunity: Due to the fact that Shay's mind is more animal-like as King Shark, he's immune to Grodd's psychic powers, which allow the latter to control most humans.
- Underwater breathing: Due to his shark physiology, Shay is able to breathe while underwater.
- Intimidation: Shay's physical appearance is quite intimidating by itself; two A.R.G.U.S. agents were paralyzed with fear when they saw King Shark, which gave him enough time to kill them.
- Skilled hand-to-hand combatant: As King Shark, Shay is able to use his immense size and strength when fighting against his opponents. When he fought against Grodd, he was able to punch him multiple times and toss him with ease.
- Skilled tactician: Shay is a skilled tactician as he was able to escape an A.R.G.U.S. holding tank by playing dead and track down the Flash using his superhuman senses.
- Stealth: Despite his large size, Shay was somehow able to sneak up on the Flash without being noticed by anyone.
- Electricity: Shay has a huge weakness when it comes to electricity, especially in water, which is how Barry was able to beat him.
- Mercury Labs Energy Rifle: Being hit by a blast from this energy rifle is enough to render Shay unconscious.
- Temperature: Due to his partially great white shark-like physiology, like a great white shark, if the temperature of Shay's surroundings drops below 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit, he falls unconscious.
- Tonic Immobility: Because of his shark physiology, if Shay's body is upside-down, it will cause him to enter into a state of paralysis.
- Water dependency: Due to his shark physiology, Shay must stay in or regularly return to water to re-oxygenate his blood, which restricts his ability to operate on dry land for long periods of time.
- Meta-human cure: After being injected with the meta-human cure, Shay's body reverted to its normal state. However, he still needed to be injected with it again for him to be permanently human, as his left arm momentarily began mutating before turning back to normal. After voluntarily agreeing to turn back into his meta-human form, it is now impossible for the cure to work on him again.
- Neural regression: Over time, as the dark matter flowed through Shay's body, his neural pathways began to regress, causing his mind to become "more shark-like" as Barry put it. After being given the telepathic crown by Tanya, this is no longer an issue.
- Telepathic crown: Lyla offered Tanya Lamden the opportunity to work with Earth-2's Shay Lamden, explaining that this Shay Lamden was effected by the same type of dark matter anomaly as Tanya's late husband. Tanya found that the dark matter in Earth-2 Shay's body was causing his neural pathways to regress; as Barry put it, Shay's mind was "becoming more shark-like". However, Tanya was able to stop the regression of Shay's mind by using a cerebral interface that would stimulate his neural outputs; a device she referred to as a telepathic crown.
The Chronicles of Cisco
- King Shark is no longer a threat, being humanely detained in an aquatic research lab under the care of his late Earth-1 doppelgänger's wife.
- Shay, Linda Park/Dr. Light, and Laurel Lance/Black Siren have two things in common:
- All three used to work for Zoom, though in the cases of Shay and Linda, they were each brought to Earth-1 against their will by Zoom, who promised to return them home if they killed the Flash. On the other hand, Laurel willingly travelled to Earth-1 along with the rest of Zoom's army.
- All three are among the few known surviving denizens of Earth-2 after it was destroyed by an antimatter wave; Laurel escaped to Earth-1 with the aid of Earth-1's John Diggle and Oliver Queen, while Shay and Linda never returned to Earth-2.
Behind the scenes
- King Shark's identity as "Shay Lamden" and being a meta-human is exclusive to the series. In the DC comics, King Shark's shark-like features were natural and came from his father, a shark deity, and his real name is actually Nanaue. His origin in the comics is based on a legend in Hawaiian mythology.
- Ironically, during his debut in the DC comics, characters dismissed his origins as superstition, believing him to be merely a "savage mutation". This was proven to be false in later years, as he was confirmed to be the son of a Shark God.
- Many episodes in which Shay appears feature references to the Jaws film franchise:
- In "":
- The shark is called Bruce, the same name as the mechanical shark in Jaws.
- Cisco says "Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the suburbs" referencing the Jaws 2 tagline “Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water". He also says "We’re gonna need a bigger Flash" referencing the line "We're gonna need a bigger boat" in the original Jaws.
- Cisco also says he should be "playing Quint" referencing a character in the original movie. Wells then points out that Quint dies in the film.
- In addition, two episodes before this, in "", right before Harry, Barry, and Cisco go through the breach to go to Earth-2, Cisco expresses how nervous he is, remarking "I got no spit". Harry believes Cisco to be quoting Jaws, but Cisco says that he mouth is just extremely dry.
- In "":
- When Barry and Leonard Snart enter the cell to steal the alien power source after putting King Shark to sleep by lowering the temperature in the room, with Shay's form mostly hidden by mist, Snart mentions that it reminds him of Jaws and how they couldn't afford to show the shark due to money issues.
- in "":
- Cisco likens King Shark's freaking out when Grodd tries to control the latter to the film Jaws: The Revenge.
- In "":
- King Shark was voiced by actor and screenwriter David Hayter, famous for providing the voices of the characters Solid Snake and Big Boss in the Metal Gear video game series.
- Grant Gustin tweeted about the special effects work done on this creature using the hashtag "KingShark".
- While it was originally stated by Andrew Kreisberg that King Shark having his own episode would be expensive and difficult to pull off, the Flash producers managed to pull through and do it anyway.
|Other versions of Shay Lamden (Earth-2)|
|To see other versions of this character, click the Earth name below for that Earth's counterpart of Shay Lamden.|
|Earth: Prime |
Earth: 1 • 2 • Shay Lamden (The Flash: Season Zero)