SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL is back!
- SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL mini series by Frank Cho (Liberty Meadows) will
be coming out late this year (just in time for Shanna's 30th
anniversary, late 1972!)
This will be the first MAX title I'll collect and read.
And probably the last, given the rumors of Marvel's "Ulitmate"
destruction of the true Marvel Universe in New X-Men #150 to wipe out
ALL of the established Golden Age, Silver Age, and Modern Age
continuity, only for the sake of promoting its lame-ass Ultimate line
Getting back to the subject of Shanna O'Hara (Yes, her father was
Irish!)-- In 1972, she was a veternary science doctor (specializing
in the medical care of lions and leopards) and she was a physically
powerful olympic tri-athlete (gold medalist in track & field,
wrestling, martial arts, rock climbing, swimming & diving, etc.)
She left both professions to pursue environmental efforts. Shanna was
an avenging figure, clad only in a skimpy bikini cut from pelts taken
from whatever animals she could not save. Shanna went super-heroing
as a SHIELD-sanctioned wild lands specialist, working against bio-
terrorists and spies. Often working solo, she even fought evil
mutants and pagan death cults. She even once kept a huge Indian
python big enough to swallow a man whole.(which it did!)
Finally, Shanna married Ka-Zar (Lord Kevin Plunder) and they both
ruled the Savage Land, until the hidden jungle's residents finally
kicked them out (in 1998) when they were no longer needed. But strong
characters like the Lord Plunder clan don't stay gone forever.
Back in civilization, Shanna is now in focus, some good tales may
abound--this giving Marvel one more chance to prove itself-- (at
least one can hope!)
Ka-Zar and Shanna may not seem different from their Golden Age jungle
fighter predecessors-- E.R. Burrough's TARZAN and Fiction House's
SHEENA. But they are jungle heroes that belong to Marvel. A lot of
exciting history is behind them. They deserve some more good times,
So I say give Shanna "The She-Devil" Lady Plunder another shot,
before Marvel pulls the plug on virtually everything...
- I never knew of course that Shanna was an homage/rip-off of Sheena of
the Jungle way back when I first encountered the book in Marvel's ill-
fated attempt to attract female readers with this book, and others
like The Cat and Night Nurse. Of the group Shanna was the strongest
in terms of concept and talent. Ross Andru and Vince Colletta teamed
up for some great artwork on these issues.
Like Ka-Zar who was revived way, way back in the original X-Men by
Lee and Kirby (just like the revivals of Subby in FF and Avengers,
but not given nearly so much attention), Shanna was a try to
reestablish the once fertile jungle epic which was all too common in
the pulps. It was at exactly this same time that Marvel was trying
its hand at Doc Savage (Ross Andru again as it turns out) and DC was
giving Mike Kaluta his ticket to stardom with The Shadow. In the
constant search for material, the old stuff which had proven so
successful with Conan for Marvel and Tarzan for DC (under Joe
Kubert's expert hand) was seen as a rich vein to mine. Sadly not all
of it took off.
- I have a lot of fondness for Shanna, having collected every full
appearance by her, except for the short run in Marvel Comics
Here is the Shanna *must-have* list as it currently stands:
SHANNNA THE SHE-DEVIL #1-5
KA-ZAR, LORD OF THE HIDDEN JUNGLE #1-2
SAVAGE TALES #8-10
THE RAMPAGING HULK #9
MARVEL FANFARE #56-59
KA-ZAR THE SAVAGE #1-34
SENSATIONAL SPIDER-MAN #13-15
KA-ZAR OF THE SAVAGE LAND #1
KA-ZAR ANNUAL #1
WOLVERINE/World Wildlife Fund: GLOBAL JEOPARDY #1
MARVEL GRAPHIC NOVEL-- KA-ZAR: GUNS OF THE SAVAGE LAND
SHANNA - the MAX series
And for the record, Dean, good call about Shanna being an original
character in that her origins were very different than any other
jungle action based character since the pulps and Golden Age comics.
Frank Cho will go back to basics with Shanna, probably starting off
from where Shanna was beginning to get her feet wet in the mud and
blood of the Savage Land (circa 1980), squaring off in life and death
struggles to survive against raptors and other primative predators
and villains. It would seem to be the best way to compliment the more
proven ways of storytelling, without Ka-Zar completely taking over or
the excess of environmentalism. I just hope Frank does not forget
that Shanna was formerly a famous star athlete and a noted
veteranarian before becoming a considerably powerful jungle woman who
can survive in the wild.
Granted, all "jungle gals" do owe something to Sheena (who,
interestingly enough, first appeared in the Australian 'Wags'
magazine), but Sheena is more-or-less a female Tarzan, an inversion
of type. Timely had an early and very short-lived jungle gal of their
own, although I'll be danged if I can remember her name. I can
remember the rash of "jungle queens" during the early fifites, and
Atlas had at least two of their own, one of whom, Jan of the Jungle
(or perhaps it was Janna, this has been some time ago and while I can
remember the character I might not have the exact name) made it past
the coming of the comics code and was around until late '57 or so.And
you're right, Shanna was a breath of fresh air back in the very early
seventies, she was derivative, to be certain, but it was nice to see
Marvel trying to pump a little life into older genres, including the
horror genre with the unlikely fusion of monsters and costumed
villains, like we eventually had in 'Ghost Rider' and 'Werewolf by
Night', both of which first appeared about the same time as Shanna.
--- In theallwinnerssquad@y..., sonofvulcan <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> I never knew of course that Shanna was an homage/rip-off of Sheena
> the Jungle way back when I first encountered the book in Marvel's
> fated attempt to attract female readers with this book, and others
> like The Cat and Night Nurse. Of the group Shanna was the strongest
> in terms of concept and talent. Ross Andru and Vince Colletta
> up for some great artwork on these issues.
> Like Ka-Zar who was revived way, way back in the original X-Men by
> Lee and Kirby (just like the revivals of Subby in FF and Avengers,
> but not given nearly so much attention), Shanna was a try to
> reestablish the once fertile jungle epic which was all too common
> the pulps. It was at exactly this same time that Marvel was trying
> its hand at Doc Savage (Ross Andru again as it turns out) and DC
> giving Mike Kaluta his ticket to stardom with The Shadow. In the
> constant search for material, the old stuff which had proven so
> successful with Conan for Marvel and Tarzan for DC (under Joe
> Kubert's expert hand) was seen as a rich vein to mine. Sadly not
> of it took off.
- The 1970's brought back a lot of genres not seen since the Marvel's
Golden Age. This was a time when horror monsters, barbarians, bad
girls, sorcerors, and kung-fu masters ruled supreme...
TOWER OF SHADOWS/CREATURES ON THE LOOSE #1-37 (1969-1975)
CHAMBER OF DARKNESS/MONSTERS ON THE PROWL #1-30 (1969-1974)
ASTONISHING TALES #1-36 (1970-1976)
CONAN THE BARBARIAN #1-275 (1970-1993)
KULL THE CONQUEROR/DESTROYER #1-29 (1971-1978)
SAVAGE TALES #1 -12 (1971-1975)
TOMB OF DRACULA #1-70 (1972-1979)
WEREWOLF BY NIGHT #1-43 (1972-1977)
FEAR #10-31 (1972-1975)
JUNGLE ACTION #1-24 (1972-1976)
NIGHT NURSE #1-4 (1972-1973)
THE CLAWS OF THE CAT #1-4 (1972-1973)
SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL #1-5 (1972-1973)
SUPERNATURAL THRILLERS #1-15 (1972-1975)
THE MONSTER OF FRANKENSTEIN #1-18 (1973-1975)
WAR IS HELL #1-15 (1973-1975)
DRACULA LIVES #1-13 (1973-1975)
MONSTERS UNLEASHED #1-11 (1973-1975)
THE HAUNT OF HORROR #1-5 (1973-1974)
TALES OF THE ZOMBIE #1-10 (1973-1975)
VAMPIRE TALES #1-11 (1973-1975)
GHOST RIDER #1-81 (1973-1983)
KA-ZAR, LORD OF THE HIDDEN JUNGLE #1-20 (1974-1977)
MAN-THING #1-22 (1974-1975)
THE DEADLY HANDS OF KUNG FU #1-33 (1974-1977)
SHANG CHI, THE MASTER OF KUNG FU #17-125 (1974-1983)
DOCTOR STRANGE #1-81 (1974-1987)
SKULL, THE SLAYER #1-8 (1975-1976)
MARVEL CHILLERS #1-7 (1975-1976)
HELLSTROM, THE SON OF SATAN #1-8 (1975-1977)
RED SONJA #1-15 (1977-1979)
- As I recollect reading somewhere, Marvel was able to expand so
dramatically at this time because they had at last gotten free of the
stranglehold DC had on their distribution. The company fairly
exploded in the early 70's and I frankly couldn't keep up. I made a
decision to hang with the superheroes, but I couldn't get all the
other horror material and reprint stuff they were putting out. In
more recent years I have made some attempt to get ahold of some of
these very entertaining comics. Marvel's reprint lines of the 70's
are becoming increasingly valuable sources of classic comics from
- I didn't see Shanna's Marvel Presents series on your list. If
perchance you haven't seen those several issues of that bi-weekly
comic, I highly recommend it. Paul Gulacy did the art and frankly,
Shanna never looked more sexy. Marvel Presents ended up printing a
lot of junk, but some of the stuff was first rate, and this series is
certainly among the very best stuff they ever did. It deserves to be
collected in some form. I don't have the numbers of the series, but I
could check that out for you if you want.
- I don't have the Marvel Presents issues or the recent Captain America
jungle arc (from two years back?) where Shanna was last seen.
Could you spoil those storylines for me so I can have a reference for
them? Did Shanna do anything important in Marvel Presents that I
should know about? And what exactly happened in the Cap story?
I have those awful NAMOR issues where Sub-Mariner first met Shanna
when he visited the Savage Land, but I almost wish I didn't!!! (so I
didn't include Namor on my list either) Nowhere else was Shanna
written so badly than in that two-bit cameo appearance by Byrne.
The team-up with Wolverine for the W.W.F. was actually better.
The only thing important about Namor was that it paved the way for
the Sensational Spider-Man arc that followed. The post-clone Spidey
story wasn't great, but it did provide a warm-up for the final Ka-Zar
series begun by Waid & Kubert.
My favorite Shanna story (after the original SHANNA series) is
the "Savage Tales" arc and its shocking wrap-up included in the
classic Rampaging Hulk issue.
Steve Gerber also got off to a good start on the 1979 Shanna series
(Marvel Fanfare) but the L.A. story arc fell completely flat, only
two issues in! Not surprising, seeing it took him over a decade to
finish.(with editorial help)
I think I can recommend Guns of the Savage Land, though it looks a
lot further into the future of Ka-Zar and Shanna and the nature of
their relationship. Wyatt Wingfoot appears also.
Frank Cho's Shanna (marking her third trip to the Savage Land, in a
1980-81 flashback?) probably falls between the end of
Gerber's "Shanna in L.A." story arc, and the beginning of Bruce
Jones' new "civilized" direction for Ka-Zar.
In other words, a decent fresh start for a new reader because the
whole business Shanna had with her taming Ka-Zar hadn't started yet.
- --- In theallwinnerssquad@y..., sonofvulcan <no_reply@y...> wrote:
> As I recollect reading somewhere, Marvel was able to expand sothe
> dramatically at this time because they had at last gotten free of
> stranglehold DC had on their distribution. The company fairlyIsn't it great that we collectors now have the Grand Comics Database
> exploded in the early 70's and I frankly couldn't keep up. I made a
> decision to hang with the superheroes, but I couldn't get all the
> other horror material and reprint stuff they were putting out. In
> more recent years I have made some attempt to get ahold of some of
> these very entertaining comics. Marvel's reprint lines of the 70's
> are becoming increasingly valuable sources of classic comics from
> decades previous.
as a free informational resource? For longtime enthuiasts especially,
who want to do some serious research and catching up on whatever
interesting, "lost" comics there are out there from any point in the
publisher's past. Comics collecting is no longer a guessing game, but
rather a "Now you see it, now you don't, here it comes again!"