Daily Archives: July 20, 2011

Know Thy History: Sheena, Queen of the Jungle

On the eve of the world’s biggest nerd prom, it’s fun to speculate the alternate paths that comics could have taken. Superheroes have been the big game for, oh, forever, but what if it were not always thus? In Watchmen, Alan Moore envisioned a world that had, instead, embraced pirate comics… which isn’t as ridiculous a scenario as it sounds at first.

But … what if the comic industry were dominated by stories of attractive blonde ladies swinging through jungle vines wearing skimpy animal-print bikinis?

A year before Superman founded the superhero genre in Action Comics #1, Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, carved her own sexy, sexy niche in the pages of Wags, a British tabloid. Sheena would arrive on American shores a year later, three months after Superman’s debut. She was such a successful character that she inspired a whole slew of imitators with names like Tiger Girl, Camilla, Lorna the Jungle Girl, Tegra and Zegra… and, later in the 1970’s, Marvel’s not very imaginatively named Shanna the She-Devil. Truly they must be jungle goddesses if they can survive the harsh African jungles while maintaining fabulous hair, impeccable make-up, and impossibly pale complexion! They were also all, for the most part, fairly Scandinavian in complexion, which makes you wonder how all these jungle goddesses managed to avoid getting horribly sunburned.

The Most of the Best?  What does that even mean?

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