REVIEW: Lords of the Jungle #1 Feat. Tarzan & Sheena

You would have thought that if a publisher had mashed worlds together in an effort to create a friction filled commune, a fraught collaboration that leads to two or more people to forget and forgive their differences, eventually working towards a common goal, which didn’t have a great deal of success last year in a much publicised comic book event, that the publisher in question would lick their wounds and leave world mashing alone.  But oh no!  Dynamite are back at it, throwing Tarzan, self-appointed Lord of the Jungle and Sheena Queen of the Jungle together in the most potentially explosive coupling since a Capulet and Montague decided to date.  Well, I may be over exaggerating a tad there, but hopefully you see my point.

This first issue serves as a better introduction to Sheena than any of last years Swords of Sorrow books from last years multi issue event.  There, she came across as scared and fearful.  Here, she is competent, tackling the bad guys with some aplomb.  However, during the altercation, would you believe a wormhole opens up and draws Sheena to Tarzan’s world and an introduction to one of Tarzan’s most familiar partners in crime.

Corinna Bechko is a writer of a number of books from a number of publishers, starts this series with a great deal of pace.  In fact, there is nothing but pace.  Sheena is practically always on move, the motions driving the reading forward through the story.  If sparkling dialogue and repartee is your bag, then this book isn’t for you.  The dialogue that is there is serviceable and helps set the lines of good guy and bad guy.

Roberto Castro provides the art for a return trip to a Jungle, having previously worked on Lord of the Jungle for Dynamite.  It would be easy to demote the quality of the work as cheesecake and I have written in the past of the need for diversity regarding how women are drawn in comics.  So it is more than refreshing so see Castro’s fluid lines and action scenes although I am sure detractors will bemoan the need for certain poses.  Castro’s work isn’t just about a woman in s swimsuit; it ranges across the detailed jungles, facial expressions of all the cast, not just the heroine with a mix of panels adding to the pace of the story.  If anything, Castro’s inks look a little heavy, maybe an inker would help with cleaner lines.  The colors, by Alex Guimaraes, are vibrant; great colors are a bit of a constant when you look at a Dynamite book.  Finally, as there seems to be nowadays, there are a couple of covers, the one to get is the one by Alex Ross.

Comic fans have to realise that not every book is going to be The Killing Joke and to be honest that’s not a bad thing.  For whilst there are books that challenge the medium of comic books and challenge us as readers to accept or at the very least discuss their impacts, surely there is place on the racks to just enjoy a comic book; enjoy the adventure.  This book falls right into the latter distinction, harkening back to the days where comics were just plain fun.

writer: Corinna Bechko
artist: Roberto Castro
publisher: Dynamite Ent.
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