Over the holidays last year, I bought a subscription to Marvel Unlimited. For those who don’t know, it’s basically the comic book version of Netflix, but for Marvel Comics. It costs a little over $100 a year. And it’s an app that gives you access to Marvel’s massive catalog of comics, going all the way back to the Stan Lee/Jack Kirby era of the 1960s. If you’re at all interested in getting into Marvel comics without buying massive amounts of books, this is the way to go.
In addition to back issues, Marvel Unlimited also offers some exclusive content that you can’t find in a comic book store or a site like Comixology. Every week, Marvel releases a series of specialized comics designed to be read on a tablet or smartphone. They’re like traditional comics in terms of style, but they’re structured in a way that allows you to scroll down and read them in the same way you would a website.
It’s a very different kind of comic book reading experience, but one I’ve grown quite fond of once I got used to it.
And among those exclusive comics is a series about a character named Jeff the Land Shark. I promise you it’s not as menacing as it sounds. In fact, it’s the complete opposite.
Jeff The Land Shark is kind of what his name entails. He’s a shark, but a land shark. He can swim in the ocean like a shark. He can also walk on four legs, just like a dog. Also, his name is Jeff. It might be generic, but that’s not his most defining quality. What makes Jeff so special is that he is undeniably, unequivocally, unbelievably cute.
Seriously, look at him. In terms of cuteness, he checks every single box and then some.
His story and history is not that elaborate. He’s a fairly new character, having debuted in 2018. He’s mostly been affiliated with characters like Gwenpool, Kate Bishop, and the West Coast Avengers. Sometimes, he’s a pet. Sometimes, he’s a companion. But whatever his role, his primary effect is to be unabashedly adorable, lovable, and a little mischievious.
He’s basically to Marvel what Baby Yoda is to Star Wars. He is the perfect mascot for everything cute, uplifting, and happy.
Why am I singling him out?
Why am I dedicating an entire blog post to Jeff?
Well, there’s a more personal reason that I felt compelled to share. You see, in the past few years, I’ve become a proud uncle to multiple nieces and nephews. And I take my role as their awesome uncle very seriously. If I can lovingly spoil them, I will. That’s what awesome uncles do for their nieces and nephews.
And during our various holiday festivities, a couple of nieces and nephews wanted me to read them comics. That’s something I’ve done for them, even before I discovered Jeff and Marvel Unlimited. But now that I had access to Jeff the Land Shark, I discovered something that gave these wonderful kids a direct dose of unmitigated joy.
I first showed them a single issue of Jeff’s ongoing Marvel Unlimited solo series, It’s Jeff! I just scrolled through the comic, narrating it as any great uncle would, and guided them through the wonderful world that is Jeff the Land Shark.
And they absolutely loved it!
Every time we finished one issue, they laughed and asked for another. It wasn’t too long before we read through every single issue. And even afterwards, they asked me to read through it again. Jeff made that kind of impression. Even Baby Yoda didn’t get them this excited.
It surprised their parents as much as it did me. They often asked why they were cheering the name, Jeff the Land Shark. Then, I showed them a picture of who Jeff was and they immediately got it. Now, reading Jeff the Land Shark is kind of a tradition. I’ve yet to meet a kid that isn’t captivated by his cuteness.
For that reason, I hope Marvel and their Disney overlords take note. I doubt they’ve forgotten how much a boon Baby Yoda was for Star Wars. If they want to do the same for Marvel, they would be wise to leverage Jeff the Land Shark’s cuteness to the utmost.
That’s not just good advice.
That’s an urgent request.
My nieces and nephews want more Jeff the Land Shark content.
So, on their behalf, please get to work on that Marvel and Disney!
My wonderful nieces and nephews need his cuteness and so does the world!