SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL & SAVAGE LAND REAPER
One the cooler, yet sadly under-used, aspects of the X-Men universe is the Savage Land, a secret tropical area located within Antartica. It’s a fairly standard hidden land sort of idea, and the X-Men have a tendency to find themselves stranded there every 20 years or so. Because, honestly, what’s cooler than watching your favorite heroes duking it out with actual dinosaurs? Very little. While the typical “lead” in any given Savage Land story is Ka-Zar (Marvel’s answer to Tarzan), in recent years, the breakaway character has actually been his frequent co-star (and eventual wife) Shanna the She-Devil, who, interestingly enough, was actually imported to the Savage Land after she and the location had both been established. She and her pack-mate the Savage Land Reaper became the first residents of the Savage Land to make it into DST’s Marvel Minimates line back in 2013.
THE FIGURES THEMSELVES
Shanna and the Reaper were released in Series 51 of Marvel Minimates. The whole series was themed around Marvel’s then-current “Marvel Now!” relaunch. Shanna was serving as a major player in the Savage Wolverine title, so she found herself in this assortment, with the Wolverine that went with her being packed into the 15th TRU-exclusive assortment released at the same time. Both figures were packed with a Savage Land Reaper, which served somewhat as an army builder.
SHANNA THE SHE-DEVIL
“Shanna O’Hara is a former Olympic athlete and a licensed veterinarian, and she has made the Savage Land her adopted home. Her fierce hatred of firearms arose from the accidental shooting death of her mother.”
Shanna gained some additional notoriety in the early 00s when Frank Cho helmed a heavily cheesecake-driven solo series featuring the character. It was actually an alternate universe Shanna, with very little connection to the real character, but it served to elevate her somewhat in the public eye, and it was successful enough for Cho to be able to work her main universe counterpart in when he launched Savage Wolverine. This figure draws her look from that series, meaning she’s kind of an amalgam of the two Shannas. She’s built on the standard ‘mate body, meaning she stands about 2 1/4 inches tall and she has 14 points of articulation (though the hair restricts a lot of the neck movement). She has add-ons for her hair and her belt/loincloth, both of which were new to this particular figure. The hair’s a little bulky for my taste, but it’s not terrible. The belt piece is actually pretty nice, and I particularly like the the sheath for her knife. In terms of paintwork, Shanna’s okay, but she certainly leans far heavier on the Frank Cho alternate universe side of things. Her hair’s straight blond, rather than the starwberry blond the 616 version’s supposed to have. She’s also wearing a far more revealing bikini, which is perhaps not the most flattering thing on a block figure. Ultimately, she looks okay, but I can’t say it’s my ideal take on the character. She’s packed with a knife (to go in that cool sheath on the belt), a spear, and a clear display stand.
SAVAGE LAND REAPER
“In the Savage Land, the skies are owned by the Reapers, giant pterodactyls who resemble X-Men villain Sauron. When the attack Wolverine and Shanna, they quickly learn that the pair are not easy prey.”
Originally, this ‘mate didn’t just resemble Sauron, it actually was him. When 51 was originally solicited, the Reaper was just called Sauron, despite being based on the more generic group of pterodactyl men from Savage Wolverine. A number of people brought up the various design differences between them, and ultimately this figure was re-labeled. 24 Series later, the real Sauron still hasn’t made an appearance. Poor guy. This figure starts with the same basic body as Shanna, but gets a unique head, hands, and lower legs, as well as add-ons for his wings and tail. The new pieces help to sell him as one of the Reapers, without removing him too much from the usual Minimate aesthetic. His paint is mostly just a lot of the same shade of green, but it’s appropriate for the character, and the detail lines are all pretty decent. The Reaper is packed with a clear display stand, specially molded to fit his slightly smaller than average feet.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
When Series 51 was released, I was in the habit of ordering full cases of the latest series, so that’s what I did here. While this wasn’t a set I was dying to have, I like both characters (or at least the characters that inspired both characters) enough to want them on my shelf. Both ‘mates are decent additions to the line, but neither is particularly thrilling.