Review: The Jungle Book – Last of the Species #2 (of 5)

Every time I read a story with talking animals I think of Animal Farm. That book has scarred me and stayed with me like few other books have. This is obviously not Animal Farm as it is something spun out of Jungle Book, but they do have one thing in common… animal on animal violence. I’m not talking about the law of the jungle and the circle of life; I’m talking about war which is a distinctly human characteristic. For everything this book is and does, that part is the part that I pay the most attention to.

Mowglii has been dumped into the same waters that claimed Shere Kahn’s life. She and the wolf Tobaqui have only each other to depend on as they fight the current against tigers and elephants that have also fallen in the water. Back on land, the battle between the tigers and elephants rage on with both sides taking damage to their numbers. Dewan and Bomani turn their attention towards each other and a battle breaks out between the two humans. The cries of battle begin to spread throughout the island alerting Baloo and Bagheera, who run to investigate.

At the end of the issue there is also a great back up story explaining how Baloo became the last of his species. Again, the story epitomizes human characteristics and projects them on the characters of the story. It was definitely a strong back up story and enriched the world that the main story takes place in.

I can’t quite place what it is about the story that I enjoy so much. At the heart of it, it is a violent story filled with psychopaths. If you switched the animals for warring human tribes you would be frightened. Dewan came off as a man in love in the prior issue, but he quickly turned into a violent psycho. In this issue he proclaims that Mowglii is his play thing and that he’s willing to kill for that. Bomani on the other hand is a different type of psycho, so seeing them fight is a different type of intense. The dialog for the most part is just ho-hum. It doesn’t stand out or even hold that much weight to the story, but the events of the plot is what keeps me coming back.

The art is still very good in this issue. I’m glad to see that it hasn’t declined because it could easily have destroyed the story. I don’t care for “cover Mowglii” as I call her; she hardly looks like the character on the interior pages and really just coloring her hair the correct color would fix a lot of the problem. The back story art was also quite good and really did a tremendous job of helping the tale. There were a lot of anthropomorphic facial expressions that contributed to the success of the story.

This was the issue with the last series that I dropped off the title, but this time around I’m way too interested to miss this book. The ending was very cool and I’m hoping that it pays off in a big way. Really, as long as this world continues to develop, I’ll be interested in it. If you missed out on the first issue or even the first series then you can still jump on with this series; there’s a great recap at the beginning that gives you all of the important details that you need so don’t be detracted.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Mark L. Miller

Artists: Jorge Mercado and Jason Johnson

Publisher: Zenescope

Price: $3.99

Release Date: 4/3/13