Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Review - Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #0 (@DynamiteComics)


Sheena is one of the most intense guard dogs around when it comes to the jungle she protects. Her ferocity is always at the forefront when the jungle is threatened and she's more than capable of holding her own in that defense. In Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #0 from Dynamite Comics, new readers are given the chance to meet that Sheena. The issue is written by Marguerite Bennett and Christina Trujillo, illustrated by Moritat, colored by Andre Szymanowicz and lettered by Thomas Napolitano.

In this riveting relaunch, the guardian of the jungle, SHEENA, pursues a mysterious invader that has come to spy on the Amazon's most ancient secrets... Following the path of the trespasser, she encounters a forbidden ruin in which even more deadly dangers lie in wait -- and begins an adventure that will take her beyond her wildest imaginings!

Bennett and Trujillo accomplish a lot in Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #0, the most notable of which is a clear presentation of the character and what she stands for. The writing duo use a modern day drone careening through Sheena's jungle to show of her adulation of the jungle and her commitment to protecting it. Bennett and Trujillo fill the issue with plenty of inner-monologue as expressed through conversations with the jungle. Treating the setting as a character is very powerful in the issue and really underscores Sheena's responsibility and capabilities. The issue's ending is also a fascinating way to modernize the character as it emphasizes the coming discrepancy between conflicting eras.

Moritat infuses Sheena with a certain animalistic quality that reinforces her presence in the jungle. She still sports the same look that's made her famous, but Moritat illustrates her in poses that clearly draw upon the animals she's tasked with protecting. And Moritat portrays her with a natural grace as she swings through the jungle. There are a few instances as well where Moritat showcases a series of successive actions through panel overlays, presenting a clear string of events that lead to something larger. The colors by Szymanowicz are a good match for the artwork in that they're muted somewhat to provide more of the pulp vibe the character is known for.

Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #0 throws the reader right into the thick of things with a character who's been around quite a long time. Sheena's almost blind devotion to protecting the jungle is what carries the issue and is a great motivator for the plot. Bennett and Trujillo team up well for the book as their script is straightforward and succinct in its approach. Moritat's artwork is worthy of the character, emphasizing her closeness with nature. Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #0 does a great job of bringing the fabled character back into the modern limelight.

Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #0 is available now.

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