Wednesday, November 17, 2010
TOP FEMALE/MALE FIGHTS IN COMICS: 28
Speaking of erotic jungle girls, get Shanna's dialogue as she wrestles with her pet python. This second modern-jungle-girl adventure, which appeared as a backup strip in issue 9 of the black-and-white magazine THE RAMPAGING HULK, was written by the fan-favorite Steve Gerber. Said dialogue goes:
"Yes-- yes! *Gasp* Make me struggle-- to be *Gasp* free!"
This issue's cover date is June 1978, so this dialogue, which sounds like something William Marston's WONDER WOMAN might say during a bondage-session, appears seven years before Gerber pitched a reboot of WONDER WOMAN to DC in response to DC Comics' CRISIS restructuring. At the very least one assumes Gerber was attempting to appeal to an older readership that might be reading the non-Code HULK magazine, for throughout the adventure Shanna, Marvel's roadshow version of the classic SHEENA, is much more violent and aggressive than the mild character Gerber worked on when she debuted in the early 1970s.
The main thrust of the story is not Shanna's odd relationship with her pet snake, but her opposition to a cult of murderous Kali-worshippers. Artist Tony deZuniga rises to the non-Code occasion by depicting loads of bloody mayhem as Shanna pretty much wipes out the whole cult. She ends by feeding the cult's leader to the python. This is probably the most noteworthy tale in the history of this minor character, and a fitting salute to the pulpy thrills of jungle comics.