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Comic Book / Shanna the She-Devil

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A comic by Marvel Comics that began in December 1972, part of the growing wave of Marvel titles featuring black or female heroes, such as Luke Cage: Hero for Hire and The Cat.

The comic focused on the titular She-Devil, a woman named Shanna O'Hara, who grew up as a child in Africa. When she was younger, a pet leopard belonging to her mother had gone amok; in his haste to shoot it, her father accidentally shot and killed her mother instead. Moving to America, she became a veterinarian and ecologist specialising in big cats, until an event where a maniac with a high-powered sniper rifle sneaked into the zoo one night and shot all of the big cats in the African exhibit. The sole survivor, a female leopard whom Shanna had raised from a cub, was then shot by a panicking police officer, further disgusting Shanna with guns, men and human society. Given an opportunity to be part of a project run by the zoo aiming to return zoo-born leopards to the wild in the African Dahomey Reserve, Shanna eagerly joined, personally caring for the twin cubs, offspring of her own murdered pet, that had somehow survived the massacre.


Using her natural affinity for the animals of the African wilderness, and her Olympics-qualified skills in Karate and physical training, Shanna became a proud warrior woman, determined to protect the wilderness from those who would abuse it.


  • Action Mom: She has a son with Ka-Zar.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: She was originally a redhead when introduced in The 1970s, but was mistakenly colorized as a blonde several times in the comics and in her appearances on Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends and X-Men. Ever since Frank Cho's mini-series, the blonde coloration seems to have stuck, despite Cho's comic being centered upon an entirely different Shanna.
  • Amazonian Beauty: She is tall and has a muscular yet voluptuous body. Having men going ga-ga over her looks is not unusual in the comics (and in the Frank Cho miniseries, said men don't even try to conceal their perverseness... until Shanna finally learns this is not supposed to be done to a woman and nearly kills one of them in retaliation).
  • Badass Family: With Ka-Zar and Matthew.
  • Badass Normal: Originally, Shanna had no powers. Instead, she relied on martial arts and having two leopards/a giant python as pets.
  • Battle Couple: With Ka-Zar.
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  • Blade on a Stick: Shanna's other favored weapon, besides her knife.
  • Combat Stilettos: Believe it or not, Shanna occasionally has these when she's actually wearing shoes.
  • Does Not Like Guns: Shanna despised guns, though later stories featuring her would have her use them herself when necessary.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Shanna seems to enjoy running barefoot through the jungle. Despite this, she has absolutely gorgeous feet that are always perfectly clean!
  • Expy: Was developed as Marvel's version of Sheena, Queen of the Jungle after Marvel was unable to buy the rights to the character.
  • Fiery Redhead: In the original comics and in Ultimate Marvel.
  • Flanderization: Originally Shanna simply preferred the jungle to the city, since she had a strong connection with animals and nature, though she didn't mind the occasional visit to the city and even had her own car. This was later changed so that Shanna had a hatred of technology and would only use it when the situation was desperate enough, even yelling at her husband for having a CD player.
  • Fur Bikini: She wears one in most of her incarnations, even in the X-Men series from the 1990s, though she wore a less stripperific outfit made of cloth in Skaar: King of the Savage Land and a more traditional bikini-esque outfit in the late 90s Ka-Zar series.
  • Happily Married: To Ka-Zar.
  • Heroic BSoD: Went through this after her father was murdered by Nekra and her leopard companions, Ina and Biri, were murdered. She later went through this again when Ka-Zar was seemingly killed. She got better in the former case via therapy and the latter through weird machinery. Yes, seriously.
  • Heroic Willpower: This is what allowed Shanna to resist the Mandrill's pheromone based control over women.
  • Jungle Princess: Shanna's the most famous one to come out of Marvel Comics — though there is a definite resemblance to Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.
  • Kindly Vet: She's a well-trained veterinarian.
  • Knife Nut: Not crazy (usually) but she does carry a knife as her primary weapon.
  • Mama Bear: Not even her own husband is safe from this. Hurt Matthew and she'll hurt you.
  • Most Common Super Power: She is very busty.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Shanna is a tall, very beautiful blonde haired woman who wears revealing outfits that present her skin and highlight her muscular yet voluptuous body, large breasts, strong toned muscles, ripped broad shoulders, nice rear end, and long muscular legs.
  • Named After Someone Famous: In the Frank Cho version, a soldier named her "after the comic book character".
  • Nubile Savage: She lives in Savage Land. The only reason for the existence of a tropical region in the middle of the Antarctic is so that residents can fit this trope.
  • She's Got Legs: Thanks to her outfit of choice that present her long muscular yet shapely legs.
  • Ship Tease: During her Heroic BSoD over the death of Ka-Zar, she ended up becoming pretty attached to Peter (unaware that he was Spider-Man.)
  • Stripperific: Just look at the picture above.
  • Super Soldier: The result of a Nazi genetic experiment in the Frank Cho comics.
  • Super Speed: After being resurrected in "Savage Wolverine." She can run at least 50 miles per hour.
  • Super Strength: Her resurrection also caused Shanna to develop the strength of ten men.
  • The Ageless: Being resurrected connected her to the Savage Land itself. So long as it survives, so will Shanna.
  • The Beast Master: Shanna was quite capable of handling herself in a fight, but the fact that she was always followed by the fierce Ina and Biri, a leopard and a "black panther" (melanchromatic leopard), further aided her. After they were brutally killed, Shanna got a snake named Anata and she later had this going with her husband Ka-Zar's friend Zabu (a sabre-tooth tiger).
  • Will They or Won't They?: Had this going with Ka-Zar for a while, since he tended to attract a lot of women. They eventually did, even having a son together.


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