Over the past 6 weeks, I have read an absolutely horrendous amount of Marvel Comics thanks to my Marvel website subscription. Having so many comics at my fingertips can be a bit too much for an obsessive reader like myself. I have honestly read more than 200 Marvel comics recently–I know this because the site keeps track. Out of the glut of comics lore I’ve shoved into my brain, here’s my picks for the top 5 weirdest stories from the last decade. I’ll start with number five (the rest will come later–consider subscribing to this site for free).
#5: Shanna The She-Devil (7 part miniseries)
To begin with, Shanna the She-Devil is one of the most bizarre characters in the Marvel franchise. The company has a history of creating proxies of other companies’ popular characters, and Shanna the She-Devil is one of the most blatant examples of this. In the Golden Age of Comics, the great artist Will Eisner created a character named “Sheena Queen of the Jungle,” a character largely devised to appeal to boys approaching that special time in their lives. The character wasn’t a huge success, and Eisner quickly handed her over to other comic writers/ artists in his employ, until she vanished entirely.
About 2 decades later, Marvel unleashes “Shanna the She-Devil.” Originally, her character was this composite of Jane Fonda’s appeal and liberal views and Raquel Welch’s cheeky performance in One Million Years B.C. Shanna the She-Devil didn’t last long until she was retooled and turned into Ka-Zar’s love interest.
Then, the popular comic artist Frank Cho was given a shot at retooling the character again, this time for an alternate-universe in Marvel Max (Marvel’s subsidiary for publishing “mature” material). Now Shanna’s rebellious political views are nowhere to be seen, as she’s discovered in a giant beaker by a military group exploring a mysterious island full of dinosaurs. The only connection between this Shanna and the She-Devil of yore is that she’s dressed in a skimpy animal hide bikini for most of the book.
The 7 issue mini-series mostly revolves around Shanna and a resilient army guy fighting off hordes and hordes of velociraptors and the occasional T-Rex.
For its sheer audacity, its camp value, and its decision to re-use such a kitschy character makes Frank Cho’s Shanna the She-Devil one of the weirdest stories out there–not as weird though as the next four on this list.
If you enjoyed this post on Shanna the She-Devil, check out my article about DC’s dorkiest comic.