Issue: The Jungle Book #2
Story: Mark L. Miller, Raven Gregory, Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco
Writer: Mark L. Miller
Penciler: Carlos Granda
Colorist: Liezl Buenaventura
Letterer: Jim Campbell
Cover: Mike DeBalfo, Sanju Nivangune
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
The Jungle Book #2 opens with a pack of tigers stalking their prey. Among them is Bomani, a human boy raised among the tigers. He has not been able to kill any prey and the leader, Shere Khan, is getting fed up with the young man. After being mocked by not only his pack, but also another animal, Bomani leaves a cut on his arm to show his failure. It seems he already has several cuts.
From this point on the comic then shifts back and forth between Mowglii — not a boy, as is traditional, but a girl, fighting a bear and losing — and her pack, the wolves that raised her. The wolves wonder where she could be; half of them seem worried while the other half think she is off playing games. The wolves sense danger, but cannot see that they are being surrounded by the same tigers that were introduced earlier.
Back with Mowglii, we find the bear is none other than Baloo and the whole fight had been a training session — one that Mowglii is determined to win. However, she takes none of her teachings to heart and Baloo manages to gain the upper hand. Meanwhile, all of the tigers, except Bomani, have managed to close in on the wolves and a fight begins.
Shere Khan is attacking the wolves because long ago during a war, the wolves killed his Queen and he wants revenge. The leader of the wolves sends Tolla, another wolf, to find Mowglii and make sure she is safe. The tigers then kill all the wolves. Once told of the attack, Mowglii runs back to her pack, but she is too late. As soon as she enters the clearing where the attack is taking place, a bolt of lighting hits the ground, scattering the tigers. Bomani sees Mowglii and seems to be impressed by her; however, the issue ends before we can see if they have any interaction.
I liked this comic — I thought it was an interesting twist to make Mowglii a girl and just as tough as any male incarnation that’s come before her. However, I do also think she might have been made a girl to have some kind of romantic connection to Bomani, though that remains to be seen. Having a romance between members of the tiger pack and wolf pack would be interesting, considering they are mortal enemies.
I also really enjoyed the art style. I like how it was realistic — the way the characters moved, for example. And the jungle background is amazing to look at. Sometimes, the text was hard for me to read, but that might have been an issue on my end more than anything else. In other renditions of The Jungle Book, Mowglii was hunted because he apparently knew how to create fire, and I can see how they could work that into this comic.
If you like twists on classic tales, then this is a comic you should definitely check out.