Shanna the She-Devil! The first issue! OMG, she was so cool. When I was a girl, I had every issue. Now some guy named Frank Cho draws a horrible cheesy version, but back when she was Marvel, she was awesome.
What’s funny is that she was this badass environmentalist who really connected with nature and animals. I had stopped reading by this time, but she eventually moved to San Francisco, just like I did. When she wasn’t kicking poacher ass in Africa in a leopard-skin bikini, that is. And I turned into an ecologist! So wow, looks like she was more of a role model for me than I even knew!
Shanna O’Hara Plunder is the daughter of a diamond miner named Gerald O’Hara. Born in Africa, she spent the majority of her childhood growing up in the jungles of Zaire. At the age of six, her father went to kill a rogue leopard that belonged to her mother, Patricia O’Hara. While hunting for the leopard, Shanna’s father accidentally killed her mother. This traumatic incident led to Shanna’s lifelong crusade against the use of firearms. After the incident, Shanna moved back to the United States to live with relatives. Shanna grows up to become an accomplished Olympic athlete, specializing in competitive swimming and track and field. She then became a licensed veterinarian.
After completing college, Shanna began to work for the Central Park Municipal Zoo in New York City as a zoologist. While working at the zoo, Shanna raised many animals, including a female leopard named Julani. During this period another shock to her system came when Julani was shot and killed by a zoo guard. The following day, the zoo director proposes Shanna take Julani’s cubs, Ina and Biri — Yoruba names meaning “bright” and “black”, respectively — to the Dahomey Reserve in Africa.
While in Africa, Shanna becomes more attuned to nature, patrolling the jungle and living freely in the wild lands. She begins to wear Julani’s fur pelt as a sight-and-sense cue to help with the raising of the cubs. In the jungle, Shanna becomes more and more at home with herself and her new native element, all the while protecting the reserve from poachers as Shanna the She-Devil.
During her stay in Africa, her father is kidnapped by the Mandrill. Shanna searches for him until the wizard Malgato kidnaps her to Antarctica’s Savage Land, a prehistoric jungle. She escapes with the help of Lord Kevin Plunder, a.k.a. the jungle lord Ka-Zar. Shanna returns to Africa to look for her father, and learns he was killed by the Mandrill. Seeking revenge, she goes to America to aid Daredevil and Black Widow in stopping the Mandrill and Nekra’s plan to overthrow the American government.
After this, Shanna travels between San Francisco and the Savage Land, finally returning to Africa. Only to find Ina and Biri have been killed by a religious cult leader, Raga-Shah. After a short grieving period in America, Shanna tracks and kills Raga-Shah. Around this time, she begins therapy with psychologist Dr. Dorothy Betz.
Later she moves to the Savage Land, where she and Ka-Zar fall in love, marry, and have a son, Matthew. Shanna and her husband fight to protect the quality of life of all natural habitats from the encroachments of the modern world.
Powers and Abilities
Shanna is gifted with Olympic-class athleticism along with extraordinary agility. She is a well-trained veterinarian, with the capability of being close to wild animals. Shanna is adept at hunting and gathering, healing and tracking. She is an experienced fighter, familiar with knives, spears, bows and arrows and other primitive forms of weapons. She has Olympic athlete-level strength: naturally excelling at swimming, diving, climbing, leaping, and running with great speed and determination.