Leonard Sirkes (Lone Shark)

Len SirkesTo find new characters in Jessica Jones we have to move to episode 6, AKA You’re a Winner!, where Jessica helps Luke Cage in a case of missing person he’s been called in for. The missing boy, Antoine Grier, turns out to be owing some money to Len Sirkes, a local gangster portrayed by Brett Azar. Sirkes is a less-then-secondary villain coming directly from the comics, but he appears in quite a different version: originally, he’s not “a loan shark”, he actually is “Lone Shark“. And, as you could see from the fight scene in which he was the only one actually making Luke drop a sweat, he’s also quite a fighter, even if in the comics he’s on superhuman level. Let’s see together.

Not much is known about Lenny Sirkes‘ life. He most likely was born in New York City, where he lived and operated even as an adult. Big and strong, Lenny’s lack of intelligence was more than compensated by his muscles, and this opened for him quite a career as a brute for hire, usually working for businessmen, politicians and even crimelords to intimidate rivals, to beat people up, to scare off witnesses. Lenny was one thug in a milion, with no peculiar trait on his own, but received the offer of his life the moment he got hired as a “campaign coordinator” by Jeff Jeffers, a local politician…and not because he found a honest job. Jeffers was running for Borough President for Brooklyn, and he had quite an ambitious plan in mind: he wanted to build a new sports stadium and a new shopping centre to value the area (and to support his own business), but he had quite a big problem in fulfilling his project. There was not space enough to build what he wanted, since the selected zones were all residential areas. This would have been a problem, of course, lonesharkcomics1if not for people like Lenny, who were more than capable (and willing) to help poor businessmen in need. Jeffers hired Sirkes, and since most of his political speeches insisted on the damage caused by superheroes fighting supervillains, he turned him into a supervillain, so that he could have exploited the havoc he would have caused. Lenny was given a power suit enhancing his strength and durability, a costume that made him look like a humanoid shark, and was given a name, Lone Shark. Thus equipped, he was sent to Brooklyn to destroy everything in sight: a radical plan to start a construction program.

Lone Shark’s mission was pretty easy: he was to create chaos in the neighborhood and to destroy some properties, so that the residents would have been too scared to live there and forced to move away. In a second moment Jeffers (who was running without competition and was consequently pretty sure to win) would have bought the terrain and built whatever he liked in the area. Problem was, in New York there were just as many heroes as there were villains, and on his first day out the inexperienced Lone Shark stumbled upon a couple of them, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones. Albeit his suit gave him super strength, the poor Lenny proved to be no match for the married super couple of NY…but not even for one of them alone, as Luke Cage tackled him and fought him single-handedly. Unable to defend lonesharkcomics2himself from Cage’s attack, Lone Shark was easily defeated, while Jessica took care of the civilians he had put at risk. NYPD arrived soon after, and the would-be supercriminal was arrested in shame. Interrogated, Lone Shark wasn’t exactly keen on sacrificing himself for his boss, so he immediately identified himself as Lenny Sirkes, who was registered as an assistant to Jeff Jeffers. He even confirmed that it was Jeffers who had given him the suit, and who had ordered him to do everything he had done in order to take advantage of Brooklyn’s residential areas. With Lenny’s deposition, also Jeffers was arrested, and his plan to take over Brooklyn crumbled down. Not much of a career for either one of them.

Lenny Sirkes is the stereotypical henchman, not smart but pretty useful when it comes to use fists. An assistant of Jeffers, he’s been powered up to better serve his boss: as Lone Shark, he possesses superhuman strength and durability, as well as an intimidating sharkish appearance (not that any of it proved to be useful…). Sirkes may not be intelligent, but he’s smart enough to understand which one is the winning team, and to act consequently.

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