This particular issue of The Adventures of Kool-Aid Man went light on the actual comic action, but they packed in one story -- "Deep Sea Adventure" -- and it's all about Mr. Fin. While Sharkleberry was an undeniably rockin' character in the television commercial, I'm sad to report that they've kinda Urkelized him here. The character he shares panels with love him, but those of us reading at home have to wonder how Kool-Aid Man survived all of his lame puns and asinine pranks without decreeing his secret lust for shark meat and eating him on the spot. Still, I give credit to Kool-Aid for finding a more creative way to get kids interested in trying out Sharkleberry Fin than just writing "Drink Sharkleberry Fin" over and over again for fifteen pages.
As you can see, the style shows obvious Archie Comics roots. Sharkleberry manages to make it through the first page without being too incredibly annoying, and we're all set up for a deep sea diving adventure starring a pink shark, red pitcher and three kids who would later become Power Rangers. It's the kids' first introduction to Sharkleberry Fin, and since they're so very close with a guy who spills fruit punch out of his head whenever they horse around, the fact that he's a shark doesn't raise eyebrows in the least.
See, Sharkleberry is the kingfish of bad puns. He is simply unable to speak without making one. Kool-Aid Man and the Kool Kidz alternate between responding with pity laughs and just outright ignoring him, but Sharkleberry just keeps busting out with the puns no matter how poorly received they may be. I guess he figures, "Hey, I'm a shark. They either deal with it or get eaten."
Speaking of sharks, take a look at the Kool-Aid Man's boat. Go ahead, lie to me. Tell me you wouldn't kill to have a boat that looked like a giant shark. Tell me you wouldn't steer that thing down to the Jersey shore, stock it full of tequila and invite every curious hottie onboard for a night of drinking, dancing and rare Kool-Aid packet trading.
Okay, I'll forgive the "shellfish" joke, but "cape cod" is a stretch. I'm not psychic and cannot judge whether you're actually reading the scanned pages as we go along, but to sum it up, Sharkleberry's lured everyone down to a sunken ship to play a big prank on them. I'd be pretty pissed if someone made me risk death and/or the bends just so they could "get me." That's one "maybe send" to cross off my Christmas card list.
That's it? That's the big trick? A spring-loaded prop treasure chest with a "GOT YA!" sign inside? All of this...for that?! I wouldn't mind half as much if the kid's reaction in the second panel wasn't so grossly overplayed, but before I spend the next ten minutes complaining about it, LOOK OUT FOR THE GIANT OCTOPUS!
Yes, a giant octopus. Now that's worth something. The brown-eyed beast of many sticky parts threatens to eat everyone, because octopi generally grow into bigger and bigger assholes in complete correlation with their size. Sharkleberry's defense plan of erratically swimming around the octopus's head seems pretty goofball, but screw me, it's working.
Sharkleberry saves the day, though it's kind of silly for Kool-Aid Man and friends to give him so much credit since it's the damn shark's fault they went down there in the first place. "Fintastic" my ass. I was kind of hoping that Sharkleberry's trademark shades would fall off during the big scuffle with that octopus, but they didn't. Now we'll never know what color eyes he has.