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Jeff The Land Shark, Marvel’s cult-favorite landshark (with a reading order!)

It’s been only five years since Jeff the Land Shark first showed up in the Marvel Universe, stealing the hearts of West Coast Avengers readers. Created by Kelly Thompson and Daniele di Nicuolo, Jeff the Land Shark, also called Jeffrey, became the adorable pet sidekick of superheroine Gwenpool, named after Gwen’s own kitten.

Jeff quickly became a hit online and won over Marvel fans with his undeniable cuteness, landing him numerous cameo appearances and variant covers (this would make a great ‘Where’s Jeff?’ book!). All of this will naturally lead to our boy Jeff headlining his own series, and prompting Comic Book Treasury to make a dedicated Jeff The Landshark Reading Order, further solidifying his place as a cherished icon in the Marvel universe.

But first…

The Secret Origins of Jeff The Landshark

Jeff wasn’t created with a storyline in mind. For Kelly Thompson, Jeff was “just something that happened”, as the writer of West Coast Avengers explained in one of her newsletters:

It all started in WEST COAST AVENGERS #1, with Stefano Caselli’s fantastic designs of landsharks that were attacking L.A., and who turned out to be genetically engineered by B.R.O.D.O.K. (who was just M.O.D.O.K. temporarily in a hunky body).

The landsharks were just supposed to be a one-off thing for that first story, a fun thing to fight. But in Caselli’s beautiful pages I noticed this very concerned landshark in the background. This guy was CONCERNED.

This concerned shark caught Thompson’s eye while she was working, sparking the idea to mix him with… cats! Kelly Thompson, who has two cats named The Monarch and Clive, knows firsthand just how charming and mischievous our feline pals can be. The result was Jeff!

Jeff’s first official appearance in West Coast Avengers #7

Jeff was co-created by Daniel Di Nicuolo, but his character design evolved over time, with input from various artists, culminating in what can be considered his definitive look in the It’s Jeff digital comic. Thompson described Jeff’s early appearance as “leaner and longer, with side flippers that were sometimes prominent and other times laid flat, almost invisible.”

Several artists contributed to Jeff’s depiction, including Chris Bachalo and Gerardo Sandoval. Thompson acknowledges Kevin Libranda for his role in shaping Jeff’s final appearance. According to Thompson, Libranda’s interpretation marked the beginning of Jeff’s iconic “round boi” design, featuring four identical legs, the absence of side flippers, and a notably smaller size. This version of Jeff also, as she writes, “looks/feels a bit more baby-ish than in the previous iterations.”

Soon after, Gurihiru featured Jeff in a highly popular exhibition piece at a convention and incorporated him into the backgrounds of other illustrations, shaping the Jeff we know today!

Marvel Girls by Gurihiru. Art Print for the 2019 Tokyo Comic Con.

It’s your Jeff The Land Shark Comics Reading Order!

As we all know now, Jeff was introduced as a background character in West Coast Avengers #1 and made his real first appearance in issue #7. He’s present in the last issues of the series. We invite you to read Kelly Thompson’s fun run on West Coast Avengers for the occasion!

Following, the West Coast Avengers appear in Superior Spider-Man #7 for the War of the Realms crossover event. Jeff is on the cover, but there’s no need to read the issue for him as he’s not in it! Next, Jeff finds himself with Elsa Bloodstone, which lasted two pages in two different comics, but gave us cute drawings of Jeff (especially in the first one):

  • Marvel Comics #1000
    Jeff is present in the 1-page story “Monsters”, collected in Marvel Comics 1000
  • Fearless #1
    Jeff appears in a page scene from the “Unusual Suspects” story. This drawing served as a cover for the second printing.

Jeff’s time with Elsa was cut short as Gwen transported Jeff to Gwenpool’s Island, where he stayed in her viewing box with her friends instead of being forced to fight.

  • Gwenpool Strikes Back
    Collects Gwenpool Strikes Back #1-5. You can find a little bit of Jeff in issues #1, #3 & #4.

Kelly Thompson became Deadpool’s main writer in 2019 and she made Jeff a supporting character in her run! Gwen was having doubt about her own future in the Marvel Universe and, fearing for Jeff, left him in the care of Deadpool!

Jeff is eating a slice of pizza in Deadpool (2019) #10

While in Deadpool, Jeff made several cameos in Spider-Man & Venom: Double Trouble (#2-4), Power Pack: Grow Up! #1, Captain Marvel #23, and the sort of Sunday Funnies-style Heroes At Home (drawn by Gurihiru – most of these had served as variant covers before being collected here).

Speaking of cover, Jeff is clearly a star for the variant cover, as Gurihiru continues to put him on his variant covers for Captain Marvel #39 and #42, and Captain America: Symbol of Truth #6 while Nao Fuji drew him on the covers of Ant-Man #4 and Shang-Chi and the Ten Rings #4. All of this was in 2022.

While 2023 also started with a variant cover for Spider-Gwen: Shadow Clones #1 (by Chrissie Zullo), things really turned around for Jeff afterward. Our favorite land shark simply headlined his own series! You read that right, Jeff is the star of the digital comic It’s Jeff, embarking on his own adventures across the Marvel Universe!

  • It’s Jeff (2023) #1
    Collects Spider-Maid, Jeff World Tour and It’s Jeff! Infinity Comic Chapter #1-12
  • Marvel Meow  (2023) #1
    Collects Marvel Meow Infinity Comic #1-18. Jeff appears in #6, #8-10 & #12.
  • It’s Jeff: The Jeff-Verse (2023) #1
    Collects Midnight Snack and It’s Jeff! Infinity Comic Chapter #13-24

    • Ziggy Pig and Silly Seal Infinity Comic #6-7
      Jeff appears in the last pages of #6 and shows his cute teeth in a few panels in #7.
  • Alligator Loki Infinity Comic Chapter #15 & #25-26
    Jeff interacts with Alligator Loki.

Jeff continues to make some cameos in Captain Marvel (2019) #50, Marvel’s Voices: Pride (2023, the story with Gwenpool) but most importantly, you’ll find him in:

  • Extreme Venomverse #5
    Collected in Extreme Venomverse
  • It’s Jeff! Infinity Comic is still ongoing!

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