The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, vol. 1

Summary: Wolverine, Deadpool, Doctor Doom, Thanos: There’s one hero that’s beaten them all-and now she’s got her own ongoing series! (Not that she’s bragging.) That’s right, you asked for it, you got it, it’s SQUIRREL GIRL! (She’s also starting college this semester.) It’s the start of a brand-new set of adventures starring the nuttiest and most upbeat super hero in the world!

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, vol. 1, b Ryan North and Erica Henderson 7.5

Squirrel Girl. A superheroine with squirrel-like abilities. Seriously. And she’s a legitimate part of the Marvel Universe. This is not a joke.

Squirrel Girl first showed up in 1992, in a special issue of Marvel Superheroes that writer Will Murray intentionally wrote to lighten things up.

Somehow, Squirrel Girl was resurrected in the mid-’00s and generated enough interest that she ended up with the Great Lakes Avengers.

And now in her own comic book.

In ‘The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’, we are (re)introduced to Doreen Green (alias: Squirrel Girl), who has just decided to enroll in college.

(You know, to study to become a better superheroine – and to create a “normal” alter-ego so that she can better protect her loved ones.)

Of course, she’s utterly incapable of keeping her real identity a secret because she lacks wit and thinks out loud in the presence of others.

In fact, the only reason that she gets away with it is because the other characters are simply more clueless than she is. They don’t geddit.

Of course, that’s part of the humour of the piece.

It’s quite the quirky book.

Not only is Squirrel Girl a little nuts (!), which produces a fair amount of laughs, but she has such strange crime-fighting notions and strategies.

For instance, she eventually convinces Kraven the Hunter that he’s been focusing his energies on the wrong goals and targets all this time.

Or she makes a squirrel armour and has the squirrels swarm Whiplash and sneak under his mask and climb into his mouth to subdue him.

I know: weird… but funny.

The best of it all, though, is her attempt to stop Galactus from coming to Earth and consuming it, which finds her stealing Iron Man’s many armours.

(You know… after trying the Squirrel-a-Gig (i.e. “Squirrel Copter”) and discovering that it won’t take her to the moon to intercept him, of course.)

When she finally confronts the wielder of the power cosmic, they have the most curious exchanges, essentially talking it out and bonding for a bit.

Ha!

I was immediately impressed with Ryan North’s comedic sensibilities, which took a wacko character and made a wacko comic book out of it.

Not only are the dialogues rather amusing, he peppers the series with fun tidbits, too, like the silly SG commentary at the bottom of each page.

He also decided to riff on the Marvel Letters pages at the end, with he and artist Erica Henderson  answering questions in their own inimitable way.

Henderson is the perfect artist for this series. Though her style is very cartoony and, her interpretation of SG is different, it adds to the quirkiness.

I wuvs it.

This collection is also terrific because it includes Squirrel Girl’s debut appearance, fighting Doctor Doom with the help of Iron Man. It’s really WTF.

But that’s the point of Squirrel Girl: she’s more of a spoof of superheroes, a character like no other that doesn’t fit neatly in the Marvel Universe.

And, though, her shtick might get tired with time, or make me squirrely, I found this first foray in the Squirrelverse quite enjoyable, a treat to read.

I look forward to more unbeatable adventures with Squirrel Girl.

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