Review - Jungle Book #4

The jungle is no place for orphaned children. Unless, of course, those orphaned children manage to be taken in by various animal tribes within the jungle and raised accordingly, as they are in Jungle Book #4 from Zenescope.

The story is by Mark L. Miller, Raven Gregory, Joe Brusha and Ralph Tedesco (written by Miller), with illustrations by Carlos Granda, colors by Lievl Buenaventura and letters by Jim Campbell.

What happens when a hungry boa constrictor lives in the jungle with so many other reckless creatures? It gets a buffet pretty much every night. That's the scenario that Mowglii and Bomani find themselves in this issue, spending most of it trapped in Kaa's coils.

Their plight does succeed in introducing Akili of the Tavi tribe, who shows up with all of her animals to break Kaa's grasp of the others. That's the bulk of the issue, Kaa tying up all the main characters as they struggle to break free.

As far as story goes, the fourth issue seemed aimed at really filling the gap between issues three and five. Yes, the reader meets Akili, but Miller doesn't really give them much more than that. Involving Kaa so predominantly this late in the series really seemed more to make sure he was involved than anything.

Mowglii is the main character, so despite her predicament there's never really any sense of real danger for her. Considering there's a fifth and final issue (and her beef with Bomani is still unresolved), you know they'll get out. There has to be the penultimate showdown between Mowglii and Shere Kahn for his actions.

Granda's art continues to be bestial. He does a great job effectively capturing the emotions of the animals in their actions. Granted, in Jungle Book the animals can talk, but even if they couldn't, they're very expressive in their own animalistic way.

This is a filler issue, plain and simple. Akili shows up, but it's hard to say how much of a role she'll play in the last issue. The series has been all about Mowglii and Bomani, which also begs the question of whether or not the other two orphans will be in play at all.

Jungle Book #4 is in stores July 18.