Monday, February 29, 2016

Jungle Girl #1 - Comics From The Basement

This week I review, Jungle Girl #1, from Dynamite Comics, published in 2007

Vlog Version

Blog Version There are some character types that are created that despite everything, ends up sticking around, and this weeks comic is certainly a testament to that fact, with Jungle Girl #1.

Now the character type called a 'jungle girl' is something we've all seen at one point or another, a woman scantly clad in an animal print attire (normally some variation of bikini), and often have a similar background to Tarzan, as in being a child raised in the jungle by the beasts.

Now it's said the character originated with Rima in the 1904 novel Green Mansions, and some variations of the character type include Ayla from the classic RPG Chrono Trigger, Christa on Land of the Lost, Jungle Grrrl in the Women of Wrestling wrestling promotion, Leela on Doctor Who, and Ursula from George of the Jungle.

Now getting back to the task at hand, Jungle Girl #1, from Dynamite Comics which was published in 2007. And of course I'm going to give you the break down.

Plot: Jana the Jungle Girl sees a plane crashing and rushes to save its occupants before the dangers of the island she resides on, however all is not as it seems with the survivors. Basically the plot is introduce our heroine and set the course for the rest of the series. It's simple, and straight forward, and because the island has cavemen, dinosaurs and other dangers, it basically sets up Jana as being someone is very familiar with her environment and knows these outsiders won't stand a chance without her help.

Writer: I would have to call this a collaborative effort between Frank Cho, who did the cover art, is credited with the Plot, and Doug Murray who is credited with the comic's script. Since Cho didn't write the book, just did the cover, let's talk about Mr. Murray, a Vietnam vet who has whose credits include an issue of What If in 1990, a number of issues of Marvel Comics Presents in 1991 and Athena issues 1 to 4 in 2009. Of those books, I've only read Athena and I have say I enjoyed it, found it an easy read. Which is of course what Jungle Girl #1 is, a light easy read. The majority of characters who speak are well define.

Artist: So back to Frank Cho... who did the cover art, and the cover is, well it's a great poster / pin-up style, which is what Cho is known for. Just got to his website and you'll see what I'm talking about. But who did the interior art, well Adriano Bautista. Unfortunately, I've seen only a bit of his artwork, as the only other things I've seen of his was his stuff on Dynamite's Battlestar Galatica series. Just keeping that in mind, I'd say he's decent... with a a clear love of 'cheesecake', as page 1 of the comic is a short of a plane coming down, and also a shot of Jana's backside. In fact on Jana alone there are about a dozen panels in this comic showing off 'what she's got', and considering she's wearing not much of anything that could be considered overkill, but it's not like it's spaced out, in some cases it's multiple panels on the same page. Now I'm not saying 'cheesecake' is a bad thing, but in the case of this comic, it's a bit much.

Positives: As I said the it's a light and easy read, the characters are well defined, the plot flows easy, we see someone set a timed-explosion on the downed aircraft, we see that Jana is someone who is take charge and no-nonsense. And the artwork is very decent and nice to look at.

Negatives: Well I already went over the cheesecake excess in it, and that's really the only downside here.

Weirdness: This comic has a bit of a unique way of book-ending itself... it opened with the before-mention shot of Jana's back-side... and closes with the a shot of Woolly Mammoth stampeding towards Carol, one of the survivors of the crash, and it's her backside the readers see (granted she's wearing shorts).

Recommendation: Considering the positives by far out weight the negatives, I can recommend this comic without any hesitation. It's solid story telling that anyone can follow with the artwork certainly supporting it, and since its part of a series, it leaves a great impression that makes me want to read more. You can find this comic over at www.comixolgy.com for a digital download, or if you prefer to have a hard-copy version, checkout www.mycomicshop.com to see if they have it in stock. Till next time friends.

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