By Ashley Gibbs
Blonde, bold and beautiful; the iconic Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, is back with her own series giving her a revamp for the modern world. While I am not personally well-versed on the character or her past, I know of her and know who she is the minute she takes the scene. Sheena has been around in one form or another since 1937, being the first female comic book character to have her own ongoing series. She’s also had television series and a movie so chances are you’ve seen her before without even knowing it. I decided to give Sheena #0 a shot to learn more about the character and where these writers planned to take her. This issue is short and serves more as a teaser than anything else and is a decent starting point for a reader who may also be as curious as I was.
The story presented here is short and very simple, Sheena’s role is to protect the jungle from outside threats and help all that live in it. She sees a flying object, what looks to be a drone, and shoots it down but lands in a sacred area so she must retrieve it so it does not defile the holy land. That’s it. Because not much is actually happening and there is no one present but Sheena, she talks to herself, a lot. There isn’t much narration nor does she have much an inside voice, instead she just talks and talks and talks. Granted, I imagine when we’re alone with no one else this is probably a logical thing to do. However, it doesn’t make Sheena seem like a queen but more like a teenager who is overly excited by everything. There could have been more moments of silence, letting the artwork speak instead, or even just internal dialogue of some sort. Though the story is short, it is fun seeing her use her skills to accomplish her mission.
Though, since the story isn’t very deep, the artwork stands out even more. The jungle is beautiful, dripping with details and lovely shades of green. I had a sense of actually being there, running with Sheena and trying to escape the temple’s deadly traps. Sheena herself was beautiful, her movements fluid and acrobatic. My main complaint is her face, there seem to be perspective issues and it looked odd in far more panels than I would have liked. Especially when her face was at an angle or looking sideways, for the most part if she was staring straight ahead it was ok. She is clearly young and beautiful so these moments were a bit of a letdown. On the other hand, the panel layouts are interesting and make reading enjoyable.
Even with the twist ending of Sheena #0 I am unsure how I feel about the series yet. While this adventure was dangerous, it was also rather tame and I hope to see more adventures down the road. But, this issue did accomplish its goals in my eyes. It reintroduced Sheena and her mission to protect the jungle, showed us some of her skill and personality and gets readers interested in what will happen in the next issue. This one is only a quarter which is a great price in my mind for a short but amusing adventure. You don’t have much to lose by picking this up and giving it a shot.
Sheen: Queen of the Jungle #0
Writers: Marguerite Bennett, Christina Trujillo
Colors: Andre Szymanowicz
Letters: Thomas Napolitano
Publisher: Dynamite Comics