Zenescope Entertainment 2016
Written by M.L. Miller
Illustrated by Carlos Granda
Coloured by Leonardo Paciarotti
Lettered by Micah Myers
The island of Kipling is turned on its end when the first snow falls on the jungle habitat. What will this sudden shift in the weather mean to the fragile peace between the animal tribes? And what secret does Bagheera hold that may change the fate of the island forever? Mowglii is determined to find out the chilling truth.
I was thrilled to see this one being brought back for a Holiday Special. Of all the stories told I found this one to be among the more creative reimaginings Zenescope did, even with the gender swapped Mowgli. In this one shot the Earth’s weather patterns have shifted and for the first time snow comes to Kipling Island. This sets off something of a Chicken Little response in one of the island’s denizens. It’s actually cute for this lil guy to think that the clouds are falling to Earth.
With a tenuous truce between the tribes it doesn’t take much for something to come along to upset the balance and their snowfall is just one instance. Before we get to that drama though we get a look at Mowgli and Bagheera. The question comes up as to why there aren’t any other panthers on the island which honestly is something I’ve wondered about. Bagheera sits in a tree looking out over Mowgli but how is it that there isn’t a tribe he belongs to?
As the snow falls and Bagheera explains as best he can what snow is this sets off a chain reaction. The first time you experience something you’ve never known about can both exciting and scary depending on who you are. The Monkeys are crazy, still, and are going to take the snow falling as a sign to invade the island. As Mowgli and Bagheera run around the island we see Khan and the aftermath of his beloved dying as well as where all the snakes went. Nag and Nagina, way to keep the whole Kipling thing going strong, definitely have plans for something to come.
I like the interiors here. I’m a fan of the way Carlos is able to bring the characters to life. The animals have that magical quality where seeing them talk just feels right. The use of page layouts through angles, perspective and backgrounds really do wonders helping tell the story. Though I have to wonder why Mowgli looks so much younger than the other humans. Nag and Nagina looks marvelous in their contrasting matching colour schemes. The way the snow blankets the island evokes the spirit of the season and just looks beautiful.
I like this story, not only do we get to see the island and everyone it but it gives us hope for another limited series. The story is lovely and the characterisation is great and it’s kind of that feel good stuff we rarely get anymore. You can tell there are plans for one from the interactions that we see. And that note of promise that this hasn’t been forgotten is a sheer delight for me. This is one of the rare franchises Zenescope has that doesn’t need to be tied into their Universe because as it sits it’s near perfect. With a charm all it’s own this is one I look forward to.