Sheva plays out like the best feminist of the Jungle which sits somewhere between Wonder Woman and Red Sonja if Red Sonja was a lite drinkable version.
Coming from the mind of indie comic book creator Eliseu “Zeu” Gouveia whose art you may recognise if you ever read the Stargate Atlantis/Stargate Universe titles through American Mythology. Yeah, me neither.
Though in Gouveia’s defence, he is well within his rights to claim the creator title as he writes, pencils, inks and colours this release.
Jungle Queen Sheva #1 is an easy-to-read fantasy meets urban jungle myth where the male characters are less useful than the jungle ropes Sheva swings from. While the female protagonists are the chief characters responsible for the making and shaping of Sheva’s jungle.
Aspects of this comic that will gel with you is Sheva’s ability to go toe-to-toe with even the most maniacal of antagonist. Evident in the panels from combat against the evil Amazonians to the man handling of a lion on Page 2.
Sheva is depicted as a worthy opponent for all the antagonists she’s confronted with. While this could be enough for the character to simply vanquish her foes, it was refreshing for a physically perfect character to talk down the big bad in this issue. Adding another dimension to the Queen of the Jungle.
This is where the positives end for me.
Gouveia spends much of the issue establishing Sheva as a Jungle Queen who works in harmony with the other residents of the jungle. That said, little is achieved from the presence of Khari and his tribe.
At best the male characters are plot devices. Plot devices that are less than memorable in the entirety of the comic. If we’re going to see a heroine of the Jungle then surround her with more women. Not just women who are adversaries.
The sort of betrayal of the witch, Hodari, was redundant and confusing. Unless we are setting up for a future storyline. At first Hodari seems quite respectful towards Sheva only to (try and) betray her a few panels later. Confusing. Unless, are we prepping for a future storyline?
Though I did like the twist at the end. Buy the book to see what I mean!
You’ll be picking up this issue #2 of Sheva just to see where this goes. I’ve talked about this before where the 2nd issue of a series can make or break an audience. The creative team will need to tighten up the future storyline to keep their audience.
Tarzan, this is not. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Jungle Queen Sheva #1