Review: Shanna, the She-Devil #1

Shanna, the She-Devil #1 cover
Cover by Jim Steranko

Shanna, the She-Devil #1
Published and © by Marvel, December 1972

Title: “Shanna the She-Devil!”
Synopsis: Disgusted by mankind’s predilection for guns, a veterinarian takes an assignment in Africa that puts her at odds with poachers.

Writers: Carole Seuling and Steve Gerber
Penciler: George Tuska
Inker: Vince Colletta

Review: A mix of tired jungle tropes and unsubtle messages, Shanna, the She-Devil #1 is a relic that’s aged poorly. Carole Seuling and Steve Gerber’s story is chockablock with dated dialogue and tired concepts; there’s little new here, and what is here is poorly done. The story bludgeons the reader with its morals: Guns? Bad! Poaching? Bad! Greed? Bad! There’s little entertainment to be found in this didactic beat down. There’s also not much joy to be found in George Tuska’s art, which features bland storytelling, lackluster rendering and inks by Vince Colletta. Even the Jim Steranko cover is pretty weak.

Grade: D+

Second opinion: “One of Marvel’s several ill-fated attempts to produce Women’s Lib comics written by women. Better than its counterparts. But not much.” – The Slings & Arrows Comic Guide (second edition), 2003

Cool factor: Joe Kubert’s Tarzan over at DC (see reviews). No, seriously. If you want jungle comics from this time period, head over to the Distinguished Competition and check out a master at work.

Notable: First appearance of Shanna.
Collector’s note: According to MyComicShop.com, there is a Mark Jewelers variant of this issue.

Character quotable: “He dares to defy me? The fatuous fool!” – Shanna, the Arrogant-but-Well-Spoken She-Devil

Editor’s note: This review was originally published by Comics Bronze Age on Jan. 14, 2013

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