Friday, March 29, 2013

#0069: Jab

When you're a kid growing up, you have your heroes. For a lot of young'uns, that immediately translates to comic book supeheroes: your Batmans, your Spidermans, your Supermans (proper nouns, ergo correct grammar. Doncha be givin' me no grief!), and in my case, I was no different. As I have alluded to ever so frequently, my childhood heroes were, most significantly, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, comic book heroes all the same.

I won't repeat myself, as I'm wanton to do, about how marketers worked furiously at recapturing the lightning in a bottle that was Turtlemania, though I will confess that the Street Sharks were my favourite of the many, many attempts. Whether Biker Mice from Mars were too edgy for my tastes, whether Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa were too irreverent and western (I never dug westerns), none of them seemed to catch my attention.

But Street Sharks somehow succeeded, and from the time of its inception in 1994 to the time of its death in 1996, I wanted me some sharks! Because not only were they cool and badass lookin', but importantly, they were very 90s.

Being an artefact of the 90s is a double-edged sword. Because although it holds nostalgic value, it also feels completely flippant now. Whether it's the tie-died wackiness of the early 90s, or the bubblegum pop and inflatable furniture preceding the millennium, it's not just dated, it's practically groan-worthy.

I mean, shit, I still love it to bits, but I can see why others wouldn't. As an aside, I have no idea who half of those characters are. I didn't know there was a pre-Mario Lopez era, and frankly, I don't like it.

And while we're at it, those lyrics really don't check out, do they? What kind of teacher fails to hand test papers to a student, simply because they were hiding in their chair? Are we to assume that this student is 8 centimetres tall?

But I digress once more. In the case of the Street Sharks, they're simply 'Jawesome'. Had radical, funky, gnarly or tubular been translatable to shark related puns, they'd have been all of those things, too.

So here we have Jab. My memory of Street Sharks lore is obviously waning, because I had him pegged as the brains of the operation, the resident 'Donatello', if you will, but apparently his defining characteristic was that he was lazy. It doesn't exactly grab you as being one of your archetypical roles: the uncertain leader, the rebellious cool guy, the virtuous peacekeeper and the lazy fuck, but hey, at least modern Tony can associate with Jab.

As you may have noted, Jab is a hammerhead shark, which means he's capable of doing neat shit like extending his eyeballs forward. A definite plus on the battlefield, as it allows you to stare at your opposition three inches closer, and could also be a means of showing surprise.

He's definitely a menacing figure, as one of his fists is permanently closed and raised at you in a very threatening gesture, which seems out of character for someone supposedly laidback, but we shan't split hairs. Really, if you're looking for something to complain about, you're more likely to point out the fact that he's a very shiny shade of silver, whilst the source material clearly had him as brown.

I don't know what he's holding in that picture. I just assume he's going to eat it.

His body is made of a fascinating rubbery material, and for the record, this meant that he retained water like a motherfucker. If you were like me, and assumed that shark figures would work well in the water, well then you were a damned fool, because he would then have to sit there for a week as he dripped all over the bathroom shelf.

This choice of material wasn't without cause, however. Because like all of the Boltons (excluding Michael), his trademark feature is his mighty jawline, and pressing down on his fin allows him to open his mouth and to feast upon his enemies! It's... not really that exciting, but if you were the really patient sort, you could actually make it look like he's talking.

I'm almost 100% certain I lifted that line from episode 3.


  1. Love it! Just discovered the Street Sharks after our pal Bubba Shelby hooked me up with the "Turbo" version of Jab this past year. : )

    1. Ahh yes, Turbo Jab - that thing looked TERRIFYING!

  2. I only had like two of these guys. Just not enough articulation for me even back then. They were okay to fight the Turtles as some reject mutants, though.

    1. Consarnit, why did this comment get filtered as spam? Silly spam filter! Anyhow, the Sharks' lacking posability never effected me too much. I was a pretty uncreative kid; the only time I ever took full advantage of the Turtles' 360 degrees of articulation was when they were just kind of sitting on the floor, raising their arms with glee.


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