Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Review - Jungle Girl Season 3 #1

"He calls it a "lost world" but to me, it's home..."

Life in the jungle is hard if you're not a native of that environment. Mix in restless natives and dinosaurs if you want things to get even more difficult for just about any inhabitant of the jungle. It's all on display in Jungle Girl Season 3 #1 from Dynamite Entertainment. The issue is written by Doug Murray, illustrated by Jack Jackson, colored by Insight Studios and lettered by Marshall Dillon.

Jungle Girl Season 3 #1 picks up where the previous series left off, following Jana’s escape from an underwater city and a gigantic, otherworldly creature. However, her father soon reveals that those actions have doomed the Lost World in which they all live, as a wormhole appears in the sky and flaming debris begins to fall through. As the jungle burns, Jana and her friends must contend with stampeding behemoths and displaced, murderous natives. Furthermore, the rift presents a new, fearsome threat, for the fire from an alien dimension was not the only thing to come through.

As the issue is the direct continuation of the series to date, jumping into Jungle Girl Season 3 #1 without having read the previous series makes the issue extremely daunting to digest. Murray's dialogue feels somewhat scattered, hurrying the characters from one conflict to the next. Much of the story could do with a lot of disambiguation, as there are points where events happen in such a rapid-fire procession that it just gets confusing to the reader. Many of the characters are essentially thrown at the reader, with Murray spending little time exploring their connection to one another. It's possible this route was chosen based on an assumption that the reader has previous knowledge of the universe in the issue, but to someone who's not familiar with Jungle Girl Season 3 #1, the issue will feel overwhelming.

While the script feels a little scattered, the illustrations are pretty crisp. His depiction of the characters is fairly clean, presenting Jungle Girl in a very familiar way that doesn't go overboard in sexualizing her. Other players are largely muscular and provide a strong contrast to Jungle Girl's more feminine physique. Jackson's style is effective at handling large-scale panic in the form of stampeding dinosaurs, showcasing the size disparity between Jungle Girl and the others. The book's somewhat frenetic feel spills over into the work and Jackson imbues every panel with an appropriate level of chaos expected when confronted with stampeding dinosaurs.

Jungle Girl Season 3 #1 offers a lot to fans of the character and her world. Unfortunately, if you're not up to speed as a reader, then Jungle Girl Season 3 #1 might be very confusing, as it doesn't really seem intent on presenting a self-contained story. Murray does an admirable job trying to present a clear story, but the scattershot nature of the events contained within prove very difficult in shepherding them into a coherent story contained within the issue. Jackson's artwork is solid and mixes together human and dinosaur body forms well, making it believable that the two could coexist. Jungle Girl Season 3 #1 feels very ambitious and will likely be a welcome read for fans of the series, but new readers will likely get trampled by the somewhat erratic plot jumps.

Jungle Girl Season 3 #1 is in stores April 8 with interiors below.


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