Hook Jaw first appeared in Action #1, inspired by the success of the film, Jaws. It was one of the strips that provoked the public campaign against Action, causing the comic to be briefly withdrawn from the shelves. In 2011 Hook Jaw made a return in the British anthology comic, Strip Magazine, with the old Action strips coloured and re-lettered.
Despite his seemingly horrific actions Hook Jaw is never the villian. He is simply a force of nature. The villian is the greed of mankind who seek to exploit the oceans resources for his own ends without thought of the consequences. Hook Jaw passes no judgement on the morality of mankinds actions. To him we're nothing more than meat to be ripped apart and eaten.
One stormy night in the Caribbean sea, a juvenile great white shark was searching for a meal. On the surface above, a ship had gone down, and he and the other sharks were drawn to the sailors that were frantically swimming for safety.
On one raft, a treacherous refugee, named Haki, fed his own comrades to the sharks in order to save his own life. But, not without a price. The juvenile great white bit off the leg of the survivor, and discovered a taste for human flesh.
Many years later, the juvenile shark had grown monstrously large and was sought after as a trophy for big game fishers. Among one of these fishers was Haki, whose leg the shark had eaten so many years ago. Still not having given up his treacherous ways, Haki sacrificed his men in order to kill the gigantic shark. This time, his own life was forfeit for his evil ways, and was eaten by the very shark he intended to kill.
As Haki's men attempted to save their leader, one of them drove a harpoon through the shark's jaw. The harpoon was bitten in half, with the pointed end sticking out from the shark's lower jaw, disfiguring it and giving it a name that sailors would learn to fear: Hook Jaw.
Major Story Arcs
American businessman, Red McNally, decided one day to drill for oil in the Caribbean sea. Unfortunately, he made the poor decision to drill in Hook Jaw's territory. Only days into the business endeavor, many divers lost their lives to the shark, much to the ire and chagrin of lead diver, Rick Mason.
McNally's first direct attempt to kill Hook Jaw proved to him that the shark was more intelligent than the average fish. He commissioned the help of a professional shark hunter, who very nearly succeeded in killing Hook Jaw. In the end, it was his own greed and desire to kill that ended his life at the maw of Hook Jaw.
It was decided by Mason that escape was the best option. An attempt was made to get off the rig, but the escape was thwarted by McNally's attempt to kill Hook Jaw again. An attempt that failed and destroyed the means of escape from the rig.
In time, the coast guard came to deal with the trouble and rescue the stranded rig workers. What the coast guard thought was a simple job proved more complicated when they underestimated the strength and cunning of Hook Jaw, who mercilessly tore through the coast guard and nearly took the life of Red McNally.
Matters were complicated when a passenger plane crash landed near the rig. At great risk to his own life, Rick Mason swam to the rescue of the survivors, who were all endangered by the presence of Hook Jaw. The survivors had been rescued just in time as a hurricane began brewing in the Caribbean.
Under the force of the storm, the oil rig began to fall apart and the rig workers and plane survivors fell into the ocean and into the waiting mouth of Hook Jaw. Rick and some of the other divers went into the water to secure the oil rig to keep it from blowing over. Sensing their presence, Hook Jaw went to attack, but was driven off by an electric shock from Mason.
Sent adrift in the water, Hook Jaw was revived just as he was about to be scavenged by other ocean predators. Aboard the rig, the hurricane was dying out. The only survivors of the storm were Rick Mason and Red McNally. The two men fought and fell into the water as the rig fell apart.
Stranded in the ocean, hope arrived in the form of a sea plane. Both men raced to get the attention of the pilot. McNally, trying to get revenge on the shark who ruined his chance for fortune, battled with Hook Jaw one last time. In the end, he was messily devoured while Mason was rescued by the seaplane.
Having survived the fiasco on McNally's Rig, Rick Mason found employment on the island of El Salvados, which was owned by the wealth Doctor Gelder. There, Rick befriended a native islander named Sharkie, who he confided to about his experience with Hook Jaw.
Two vacationing children who had overheard Rick and Sharkie were convinced that Hook Jaw was nothing more than a myth decided to take a raft out sailing beyond the reef that surrounded the island that night. The shark that they had deemed myth revealed himself terribly real, when he killed and ate both boys. The next day, the remains of the boys' raft was found washed up on the shore of the island. Upon investigating the raft, Mason discovered the distinctive bite pattern of Hook Jaw on the wreckage.
When Mason and Sharkie reported the find to Doctor Gelder, Gelder was unconvinced, stating that the entire island was surrounded by a protective reef that would prevent anything larger than a sardine from swimming through. Unknown to anyone, the island lagoon had been intruded by Hook Jaw during the high tide at the full moon. Now in the midst of hundreds of tourists, Hook Jaw's bloodbath continued.
Unwilling to make the danger known, Gelder kept the news of the deaths under wraps and ordered Mason to continue his duties. While taking a high-profile guest out for water skiing, Hook Jaw pursued and made his presence known by chasing down and devouring the unfortunate skier.
Sharkie devised a plan. He and his fellow natives would hunt down Hook Jaw using a technique that his people used for hundreds of years. Hook Jaw proved more than a match for the native hunters and destroyed the hunting party.
The natives grew frustrated and sought the council of their shaman, who said that it was Mason, who had been scarred by Hook Jaw, who led the shark to their island. Against Sharkie's protests, the islanders used Mason as live bait to draw Hook Jaw near. Mason escaped and fought Hook Jaw up close once again.
After being rescued by the less superstitious islanders, Hook Jaw made another attack on the island's underwater restaurant, where the guests were promptly devoured. Mason and the other islanders arrived to rescue the guests and Mason once again was forced into combat with the shark.
Some time later, Hook Jaw was successfully captured and used as a tourist attraction. A deal was made that if anyone could kill Hook Jaw in his tank, they would be paid handsomely. Sharkie took it upon himself to fight Hook Jaw personally to end the terror that the shark had reigned for so long. Unable to watch his friend in such danger, Mason jumped to Sharkie's aid. Both men managed to escape, and Hook Jaw was able to escape back into the sea.
Another plan was made to kill Hook Jaw by luring him with a mechanical shark. As usual, Hook Jaw was not fooled, and Mason went to kill the shark himself. After putting up a valiant struggle, Mason was soon killed by Hook Jaw.
Sharkie took up the charge to kill Hook Jaw and avenge his friend. He gathered up every man in his village and went to join Doctor Gelder's hunting party. Many sharks were killed by the two, but Hook Jaw found and killed Gelder, before he was able to escape over the reef. Meanwhile, Sharkie rejoined his tribesmen, vowing to move to the mainland, far away from the water.
Far away in the English Channel, Jack Gunn and his band of pirates have robbed a boat that was transporting a shipment of gold. Unknown to them, Hook Jaw has swam far from his home in the Caribbean to the coastal waters of Europe. As they make their escape, Gunn and his men are assaulted by the fury of Hook Jaw, and lose their stolen gold.
Not about to let their effort go to waste, Gunn hatches a plan to retrieve the gold from the bottom of the sea. Unfortunately, the territory has been claimed by Hook Jaw, who is now prowling the seabed where the gold lies.
Many attempts are made to retrieve the lost treasure, until the Royal Navy arrived to retrieve the gold themselves. Now at war with both the navy and Hook Jaw, the two sides battled one another for the treasure. Taking no sides, Hook Jaw massacred both factions and laid claim to the turf.