Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle 99 Cent Special

Sheena, Queen of the Jungle 99 Cent Special, March 2007, Devil's Due Publishing
writer: Robert Rodi
artist: Steve Cummings
colorist: Julie Collins-Rousseau
letterer: Brian J. Crowley

In Sheena, Queen of the Jungle 99 Cent Special, the "jungle witch" is established as a living contradiction, embodying the superstitions of primitives and industrialists alike. Similarly, this issue in itself possesses and displays various dichotomies, between Sheena's past and present incarnations, between her character's penchant for action yet writer Richard Rodi's talking head ridden introduction to her latest adventures, between her rich history as the first female character to earn her own series (beating Wonder Woman by four months) and this inexpensive opportunity to join her for another go 'round. Interestingly, this story reflects what I expected from yesterday's After the Cape, utilizing a news tabloid format (hosted by the satirical Reynoldo Herrera) that explores the phenomenon of a jungle woman in the modern world. Further, the essay about Will Eisner and S.M. Iger's creation of Sheena and her impact on varied media is as much introduction as it is history lesson, exploring her real life phenomenon with just as much vigor as Herrera. One part Tarzan, one part Paris Hilton, this new Sheena is something to behold, literally and physically . . . well, with that thin loin cloth, mostly visually. In the few panels in which Sheena actually appears, artist Steven Cummings puts her in a vicarious position or two, just by nature of perspective, but also by nature of interest. Hey, not all comic book readers are as impressed by a seven decade lineage and might need some other angle to jump aboard. Therein lies Sheena's ultimate dichotomy, that duality that has made her so successful over the years: as much as she has attained an iconic significance in the comic book medium, she is still just as a scantily clad adventurous -- historians and casual readers alike have a vested interest in her. She plays well in the concrete jungle and the real thing, to the sensible reader and the primal one. Simply put, she represents where comics have been and where they could be going, and for ninety-nine cents, I'm grateful for the insight.

1 comment:

Paul said...

There is a new DVD out - 5 1/2 hours - 16 episodes of the '50's Sheene TV show - called Sheena Queen of the Jungle