Sheena, Queen of the Jungle is a comic book character created by Will Eisner and S.M. "Jerry" Iger (exactly who came up with the original concept is in dispute as both men have claimed credit). Sheena first appeared in a British tabloid comic called Wags in 1937. Her American debut occurred a year later as a reprint published in the first issue of Fiction House's Jumbo Comics. Sheena soon became the featured character in Jumbo Comics and appeared in every one of the book's 167 issues, ending in April of 1957.
Sheena also appeared in her own self-titled book, running from the Spring of 1942 to the Winter of 1952-1953. She was the first female character to headline her own book, beating Wonder Woman into publication by three months.
Sheena was brought to Africa as a young child by her father, an explorer named Cardwell Rivington, who became friends with a tribal witch doctor named Koba. Koba became quite attached to Rivington, who taught him English. When Rivington planned to move on, Koba concocted a magic potion that would make his friend decide to stay. Unfortunately Koba botched the potion and Rivington died.
Koba took the orphaned Sheena under his wing and she grew up to become skilled in the ways of the jungle. Under the tutelage of the witch doctor, she became a strong, courageous and beautiful Jungle Princess. As an adult, Sheena met Bob Reynolds, a hunter/explorer who would become her Love Interest. Along with Bob and her pet ape Chim, Sheena spent the majority of her time battling evil white hunters, slave traders, misguided natives and the occasional rampaging wildlife. She also frequently found herself having to rescue the hapless Bob, who was always blundering into sticky situations.
Reprints of the original Sheena comics were issued by Blackthorne in the 1980s, and AC Comics in the 1990s. New series included a 1998 mini-series from London Night Studios (generally not well-regarded by fans), and a 2007 series from Devil's Due Publishing. The comic rights to Sheena currently reside with Moonstone.
Tropes in Sheena comics include:
- Action Girl: Sheena was one of the earliest in comic books.
- Adaptational Dye Job: In the 1998/1999 mini-series Bound, she's a redhead.
- Banana Republic: In the DDP and Moonstone reboot, the setting is in a South American one. It's even called Val Verde.
- Bedsheet Ladder: In the Devil's Due series, Sheena fakes an escape from a hospital by dropping a bedsheet ladder out of a window and hiding behind the door. While the guards are looking at the ladder and wondering how she got away, she sneaks out the door.
- But Not Too Foreign: In the reboot, Sheena is now of mixed descent via her rich heir American dad and a local woman of Val Verde. Possibly to make her less of a Mighty Whitey.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Sheena's grandfather though it seems he might be doing a Face–Heel Turn after finding Sheena after 20 years.
- Darkest Africa
- Defector from Decadence: Sheena's dad, he's horrified by his own dad throwing in with the corrupt local government. So he turned his back on his dad and their company.
- Distressed Dude: Bob spent a lot of his time rescued by Sheena.
- Does Not Like Shoes
- Evil Poacher: A frequent enemy.
- Fakeout Escape: In the Devil's Due series, Sheena fakes an escape from a hospital by dropping a Bedsheet Ladder out of a window and hiding behind the door. While the guards are looking at the ladder and wondering how she got away, she sneaks out the door.
- Friend to All Living Things
- Fur Bikini
- Great White Hunter: What Bob was supposed to be.
- Jungle Opera
- Jungle Princess: Sheena is one of the Trope Codifiers.
- Mega Corp.: Cardwell Industries, with all the negative tropes associated with it. It might be turning around as Sheena is the heir of it.
- Mighty Whitey: Sheena
- Nature Hero: Sheena
- Nubile Savage: Sheena
- Obfuscating Stupidity: As Rachel Cardwell, she plays the role of the dumb blonde heiress to make people less likely to connect her to being Sheena.
- Professionals Do It on Desks: In the Devil's Due series, Laura Jeffries and Martin Ransome have sex on the desk of the CEO of Cardwell Industries.
- Prophetic Name: In the mini-series Bound, her real name was Sheila, which got corrupted by the natives as "Sheena".
- Raised by Natives: Sheena
- Those Wacky Nazis: They show up every so often, most recently in the graphic novel Sheena: Dark Rising.
- Witch Doctor: Koba (in the early comic strip) and N'bid Ela, later called Ebid Ela.