Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Review - Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #1 (@DynamiteComics)


The jungle brings with it an abundance of natural beauty. It also brings with it danger for both its inhabitants and visitors--welcome or not. In Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #1 from Dynamite Entertainment, all of the above is on display. The issue is written by Marguerite Bennett and Christina Trujillo, illustrated by Moritat and Dimi Macheras, colored by Moritat and Casey Silver and lettered by Thomas Napolitano.

When a dangerous group of mercenaries sent by Cadwell Industries accuses her village of murdering one of their men, Sheena is forced to make a deal. To save her home, Sheena now has twenty-four hours to find the missing man alive; if she fails, the mercenaries will attack—and they take no prisoners. But Sheena is not the only one hunting for the missing man...

Characters like Sheena work best when pitting them against the foreign, outside world and in that regard the story really isn't that much different than others before it. Where Bennett and Trujillo seek to change things is by emboldening Sheena's presence as a strong lead. Sheena has always been characterized as a strong, capable warrior and the writing duo of Bennett and Trujillo don't pull back from that characterization at all. In fact, most of the issue is spent presenting Sheena in full-on jungle defender mode against a new set of invaders in her space. Bennett and Trujillo fill the book with plenty of inner-monologue on the part of Sheena to bring readers up to speed, but there's still a sense of familiarity in the narrative itself.

The artwork by Moritat and Macheras is pretty beautiful especially when it comes to rendering Sheena. Both artists illustrate her in a way that emphasizes her athleticism and elegance when swinging through the jungle and fighting off the interlopers. The jungle itself is illustrated with a lushness throughout that further accentuates Sheena's sleek physique. There's a harshness to the lines by Moritat and Macheras lends itself well to the harshness of the jungle itself. And the colors by Moritat and Silver are vibrant, reflecting lush greens of the foliage and a stark yellow of Sheena's garb.

Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #1 is a great way to get reacquainted with a familiar character. Sheena is faced with a situation that isn't too far off from past situations she's faced and she's still up to the task. Bennett and Trujillo have crafted a story that shows the reader who Sheena is at her core: a fierce defender of the jungle she calls home. The artwork by Moritat and Macheras is rendered with thick lines that give the characters more weight. Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #1 is a strong return to a character with a long, rich history.

Sheena: Queen of the Jungle #1 is available now.

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