When it comes to comics, there was no shortage of feral blonde bombshells stalking the floppy jungles. Marvel has the ravishing Shaana the She-Devil and Dynamite dared to one-up them with TWO buxom tree-dwellers: Jana The Jungle Girl (who recently got a wonderful TPB Omnibus release) and, the focus of today’s review, Sheena the Queen of the Jungle! I didn’t need a whole hell of a lot of convincing to buy a Sheena statue, but when you toss in the fact that it’s based on the art of one of my favorite artists, J. Scott Campbell, this was basically a required purchase. But it was also one made with some trepidation. The Women of Dynamite statue series has been really hit-and-miss when it comes to quality control. So much so, that their Vampirella got a second release which promised to improve on the dire paint of the original. I picked that one up and while I did review her fairly favorably, it still wasn’t quite up to my expectations for a $150+ limited statue. Hopefully Sheena will fare a little better. I will confess, however, that I was slightly worried about the fact that most of the promo material for this piece was a 3D render rather than a painted prototype. Not usually a good sign!
Sheena comes in a fully enclosed box, which is fairly sizable given that this statue is roughly one-sixth scale. The box art is colorful and we finally get some shots of what I presume is the prototype. The side panel shows off some of the repainted variants that are available for this piece, including a B&W version and even an arctic version, which fails to put any more clothes on poor shivering Sheena. The statue inside is made of resin and comes encased between two Styrofoam bricks. Along with the statue you get a hand-numbered limitation card (denoting that this had a run of 750 pieces) as well as a card acknowledging that the statue was made possible by a Kickstarter campaign. I watched that campaign closely, but ultimately had to bow out of backing it because of the lack of a physical prototype. There are quite a few companies that I would trust pre-ordering based on a render, but Dynamite is not one of them. Ultimately, I picked her up through an online retailer, and she is still available through Sideshow at the time I’m writing this review.
And here she is freed of her confinement and on the prowl. Sheena is based off of the Campbell’s cover for 2017’s Sheena Queen of the Jungle #1. The only real difference is on the cover she’s depicted holding on to two vines, while here she has one hand resting on the tree and another holding her knife. It’s a clever work-around, as the vines leading to nowhere probably wouldn’t have worked for a statue. The tweaks allow her to retain the essentials of the cover art while even adding a little more excitement to it, as she has her weapon at the ready and looks like she’s about to pounce. As in the cover, Sheena’s left foot stretches forward with her toes clutching the tree, while her right leg is held back as if ready to propel herself atop her unseen foe. In terms of composition, I have no complaints here, the choices they made are all excellent and serve the character extremely well.
Sheena’s skimpy costume consists of some shredded leopard skins, which do little to conceal the Jungle Queen’s modesty. These are sculpted as part of the statue but hang off of her quite realistically and look great. Sometimes resin sculpted outfits can look rather thick and unnatural, but that’s certainly not the case here. The paint is also very well done, giving the garment a shade of yellow slightly deeper than Sheena’s hair and some meticulously painted brown spots. It’s secured by a sculpted belt, which feels a little too modern or civilized for the rest of the costume, although in fairness it is depicted on the cover. Maybe it was included to give her somewhere to carry her knife, although there isn’t a sheath. The rest of her costume consists of gold bangles on her wrists, and another on her left ankle, and finally a pair of gold bicep cuffs. And as nice as the outfit looks, its best attribute is that it shows off so much of Sheena’s best attributes. The sculpt does a nice job recreating those stylized curves that have become a trademark of Campbell’s sexy ladies. There’s a lot to enjoy here, but I think it’s Sheena’s legs that draw my eye the most. They are absolutely stunning and go on for days! What’s more the paint quality and application used for her skin tone is smooth, even, and absolutely perfect.
The portrait turned out fine, but as with Vampirella, I’m only seeing a little bit of Campbell’s work in there with more from some angles and less from others. The nose and lips look right, the overall structure of the face seems right, but the eyes aren’t quite there. In fairness, Campbell’s women are hard to copy in three-dimensions. Up until now I think Sideshow has been one of the few to get it spot-on. Still, I like what we got well enough. The paint is neatly applied, especially around the lips, and I’d say that goes for pretty much the whole statue. There are a few spots here and there where the paint lines could have been a little sharper, but you need to get in pretty close to start seeing any real imperfections. That alone makes this a huge improvement over the previous Women of Dynamite release that I reviewed. The hair sculpt is a little chunky, but that’s to be expected with resin and overall I think they captured the flow of her hair pretty well. The tribal necklace is a nice touch too!
They made an interesting choice with the base by putting the tree on a plain black disk, rather than going for a total diorama display. I kind of like it, as the contrast really brings out the detail in the tree itself. The bark is realistically sculpted and painted in a rich chocolate brown and additional vegetation is sculpted onto it, including some moss, vines, and leaves to imbue it with an unruly jungle flavor. I do love me some contrasts in my statues and the rough bark against her smooth skin makes for some great composition.
The bottom of the base indicates that this is the Standard Edition, as this piece was available in a number of different paint variations. The sculptor, Steve Kiwus is also credited here, although I’m surprised that Campbell didn’t get his name inscribed on here as well. The copyright is for 2019, but the statue was actually released this year. Finally, we have the limitation, which is hand numbered. Mine is a fairly high number: 662 of 750, but I’ll take what I can get.
And here’s a shot of her with the cover art she’s based on. I’m proud to have a CGC Graded copy of Sheena #1 signed by Campbell. And it’s the gold foil variant too! I’ll definitely be displaying these two items together!
If you can’t tell, I’m extremely happy with how this piece turned out and it’s nice to see that Dynamite is upping their game with these releases. Honestly, it was a bit of a tense moment when I opened it and had my first look at her, but gradually that apprehension was replaced with relief and then sheer delight! The sculpt, quality of paint, and precision of application are all where they need to be, making for quite an iconic and undeniably sexy display piece. But is it worth the price of admission? Mmm… that depends on where you get her. MSRP seems to be around $190 which seems pretty high for what you’re getting. I was able to pick her up for $130 and I had some gift cards to toss in, so like Vampirella, she came in at under $100 and I’m perfectly satisfied with that. Now, if only they can take another crack at Dejah Thoris and have it turn out as good as this, I’d be willing to go back to Dynamite for a third time!