If you have a series of mini series, it seems awfully presumptuous to treat the end of one mini with a cliffhanger. Literally, that’s how this fifth of five issues ends, with the characters in the series — and the reader — collectively uttering, “What the hell just happened here?”
The plot is simple: a scantily-clad jungle-savvy female lead is caught in a subterranean world and must help her almost-helpless male compatriots to return to the surface world before the fiend chasing them unleashes his fury upon them all. Cho certainly didn’t need much help in devising that plot. He does, however, throw a few extra monsters in the way between the start of the issue and the surface world awaiting the reader at the end.
The art is made-to-order, focusing on the cheesecake and skimping on the details of the surrounding settings. Shanna – er, Jana, rather and his companions total four humanoid characters amongst a plethora of beasties and leviathans. Batista does a good job rendering the action sequences and the introductory scenes of the creatures, but his storytelling needs some polish. Batista makes the attacking creatures seem terrifying enough, but in several instances doesn’t bother with setting the background or environment around any of the beings in this book, allowing the colorist to fill panels with gradients and solid tones.
This book is a wonderful example of mindless entertainment but, unfortunately, it is also less than memorable due to its mindlessness. Cho and crew mean well but, ultimately, this title suffers under the potentiality of what could have been. I found myself wondering just how much more intriguing would this story have been had the creatures been rendered by Cho.
Under a $3.50 price point, labeled as the fifth issue of five, I expected this story to have a more satisfactory ending, but the jump in ending at the end reduces the plot of this book to “Mystery Science Theater” fodder-in-waiting. I, for one, won’t be sinking my money into the further adventures of “Jungle Girl”.