Shanna was born in Africa, the daughter of a diamond miner named Gerald O'Hara, and spent most of childhood growing up in the Zairean jungles. One day while he was hunting some escaped leopards, her father accidentally shot her mother Patricia. This caused Shanna to hate guns and never use them. Shanna eventually moved back to the U.S. and became a licensed veterinarian.
When she completed college, she began working at a Zoo in New York City as a zoologist. Shanna raised many animals during her time as a Zoologist, she became like a mother to a leopard named Julani. Julani would soon later be shot and killed by a zoo guard, which resulted in Shanna quitting and taking Julani's cubs Ina and Biri to Africa. While in Africa Shanna started to protect the animal reserve from poachers and went by the name Shanna the She-Devil.
Shanna was one of a trio of characters (the others being Night Nurse and Tigra) created during an initiative by Stan Lee to promote female oriented comics written and/or created by female writers and artists. Shanna's first comic appearance thus came in Shanna the She-Devil #1 in 1972, written by Carole Seuling and drawn by George Tuska. Although Steve Gerber contributed some dialogue to the first two issues, he is not considered one of Shanna's creators.
Major Story Arcs
When Shanna's father was kidnapped by Mandrill, she searched for him until she was captured herself and brought to the Savage Land by Malgato. Ka-Zar would come to help Shanna against Malgato. When Shanna returned to Africa to look for her father, she found out that her father had been killed by Mandrill. She returned to America and teamed up with Daredevil and Black Widow to stop Mandrill and Nekra from overthrowing the American government.
When Shanna returned to Africa, she discovered that her Leopard cubs had been killed by a religious cult leader named Raga-Shah. Shanna would track down Raga-Shah and kill him.
Shanna eventually moved to the Savage Lands where she fell in love with Ka-Zar. They would get married and have a son named Matthew. Shanna and Ka-Zar would fight to protect that prehistoric wildlife reserve known as the Savage Land.
When Shanna is helping S.H.I.E.L.D agents to survey a remote region of the Savage Land. Their ship and equipment suddenly failed and they crashed. They soon learned from some data that survived that there is a dampening field around the island produced by some ancient machine. They spend the next 8 months trying to escape but to no avail as the agents die throughout the months. Wolverine appears on the island in an attempt to help Shanna get out off the island. But first, they must survive the natives and with Logan getting taken by a Reaper, Shanna is left to fend for herself. Shanna manages to hold her own quite well against the remain reapers and is saved by Wolverine. A previous injury hinders Wolverine and he is nearly defeated until Shanna kills the reapers a machine gun. The two run into a pack of dinosaurs. Shanna takes off running, much to Wolverine's chagrin, and uses him as bait to get the dinosaurs where she wants so she can kill them, allowing the duo to head towards their destination to destroy the machine. Shanna and Wolverine battle the natives once again, where Shanna is mortally wounded and carried off by the chief and Amadeus Cho in hopes of reviving her.
She is revived through a ritual with the Elder and the help of another Man-Thing. The three hear the village horns being blared, noting someone has intruded and it being Wolverine. Shanna races back to the village and stops Wolverine from blowing up the ancient machine, as it houses an alien creature that has been there for centuries. A burst of light flashes and Shanna and Wolverine find the Hulk standing behind them. With the Hulk appearing tensions mount. Cho manages to calm everyone down, but a great ape attacks Hulk and the two fighting cause the foundation of the building to give way. Shanna manages to separate the great ape from Hulk and get out of the foundation. But the alien monster they tried to keep imprisoned is released and manages to escape, leaving the group to pray it does not come back.
Frank Cho mini-series
A new version of the character was introduced in the Shanna the She-Devil miniseries by Frank Cho. This character is the result of a genetic experiment in which she gained superhuman strength and agility. Doc, a member of a scientific expedition who encounters her, names her Shanna after the comic character, thus the connection is only a 'meta' one. The Series was originally intended for more mature readers and released under MAX comics, a Marvel imprint.
Alternate Shanna returns in the four-issue miniseries, Shanna The She-Devil: Survival of the Fittest in 2007.
Powers and Abilities
Shanna has the strength of an Olympic athlete with extraordinary agility and fighting skills at the very limits of human capacity. She is also very skilled at using all sorts of primitive weapons such as spears, knives, and a bow and arrow. She also has skills in hunting and gathering, as well as first-aid. She is a well-trained veterinarian, with the capability of being close to wild animals.
After her brief death and revival, Shanna is now connected to the Savage Land. As long as the Savage Land remains, she shall live. Her strength has been said to have increased to that of ten men, but she was shown being able to kick a great ape that was able to fight with the Hulk. She was also clocked in at running 52 miles per hour on an uneven terrain, meaning she can run faster on a flatter surface.
Shanna made an appearance on an episode of the Spiderman and his Amazing Friends TV series (1981) in the episode "7 Little Super Heroes," where she was referred to as Shanna, Queen of the Jungle.
Shanna also appeared on the X-Men animated series (1992) as a resident of the Savage Land and the wife of Ka-Zar. She appeared in the season two episodes "Mojovision", "Reunion Part 1" and "Reunion Part 2."
Shanna the She-Devil appeared in the videogame X-Men Legends II: Rise of Apocalypse (2005) voiced by Masasa Moyo. She and Ka-Zar are seen in Magneto's base in Avalon during the X-Men and Brotherhood of Mutants' mission in the Savage Land.
In the fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds (2011), Shanna (along with Ka-Zar and Zabu), make a cameo in Amaterasu's ending. In it, Amaterasu and her Celestial Envoy Issun find themselves in the Savage Land, and team up with the trio to fend off a wild Tyrannosaurus
Toys and Collectibles
A statue by Bowen Designs and based on the Frank Cho interpretation of Shanna will be released in early 2012.
Shanna was released as a Heroclix figure in 2011's Marvel Heroclix: Incredible Hulk series.
Shanna, along with Ka-Zar and Zabu were made into action figures as part of the Marvel Legends series by Hasbro as a box set, offered exclusively at the 2008 San Diego Comic Con.
A limited edition mini-bust, based on the Frank Cho interpretation of Shanna, was released in March 2006.
Toy-Biz released an action figure in 1997 of Shanna in the Marvel Hall of Fame: She-Force series.