By Ashley Gibbs
Having not been thoroughly impressed with the teaser, Sheena #0, I went into Sheena #1 hesitant but still hopeful. Surely the story was going to get exciting, and any issues from before would smooth themselves out, right? Somehow this is both better and worse at the same time. We’re given a bit more action, and Sheena faces actual problems this time around, but it’s hard to invest in the story yet, and the artwork isn’t helping either. Mediocre would be the best way to describe this comic, and while that’s not horrible, it’s a disappointment for those like myself seeking more strong, well written female characters on the comic landscape.
Sheena is still shooting down drones which are being sent by a random college student, there’s no relevance to the story, but hopefully, it will lead somewhere. This issue deals with mercenaries that descend on Sheena’s village, which is humorously labeled as “untranslatable.” I’m not sure if this was meant as a joke, but I laughed. That’s where the fun stops. While we’re given action scenes of Sheena siccing her jungle friends on the mercenaries it all boils down to the revelation they’re in the employ of an evil big corporation searching for a man who went missing and are willing to use violence if need be. The village elder tasks Sheena to find the man to satisfy these mercenaries and the rest of the issue is mainly her tracking him. Also monologues, a lot of them. Sheena endlessly talks to herself, during moments when she doesn’t need to, and it’s flat-out boring to read.
Part of the reasons that it’s boring to read is because more often than not, the artwork tells the story just fine without the need of Sheena explaining every little thing. We see the tracks when Sheena does and the piece of trash the “sir veyor” discarded, it’s a comic book so let the art speak for itself! That’s also the end of the nice comments about the art, outside of the coloring that has an interesting 70’s movie vibe to it. Sheena is a sex symbol but somehow in this comic she’s ugly. At times her posture is that of an angry monkey -yes she’s a jungle woman but it’s still off-putting. Her legs are too long and general proportions could be better, there are other weird posture moments with her movements and at times her face just looks weird. Somehow everything around Sheena is generally ok, even other characters, but not her, the main character. These moments are jarring enough to take a reader out of the experience.
Sheena was at her best leaping and fighting the intruders, when everything began to get interesting before ultimately dying down into another monologue fest. Sheena #1 has redeemable qualities and I personally try to give a new series a few issues as a chance to see if it catches on with me and some do pick up once they find their rhythm. This one needs to find that drum beat fast and give us more than the Queen of the Jungle talking to herself. It is beautiful that she is so in touch with nature and the world around her but if this is an adventure series then readers need more excitement and thrills. Sheena picking up trash and mulling over it is the exact opposite of that.
Writers: Marguerite Bennett, Christina Trujillo
Artists: Moritat, Dimi Macheras
Colors: Moritat, Casey Silver
Letters: Thomas Napolitano