Summary: The breakout character of 2015 continues her one-woman crusade against injustice and jerks! These TAILS of the Squirrel Girl will show you the Marvel Universe’s most powerful super hero from a bunch of brand-new perspectives, several of them QUITE ASTONISHING.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, vol. 2, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson 7.5
Galactus. How do you best Galactus? I don’t mean actually defeating the cosmic entity known as the “Devourer of Worlds”. I mean: How do you outdo a match-up with Galactus?
That’s the overwhelming task that Ryan North and Erica Henderson faced with their second volume of Squirrel Girl adventures. How could they possibly top Squirrel Girl vs Galactus?
I’m happy to report that the answer is: Squirrelactus!
I’m also quick to deny it. There is no Squirrelactus in this four-issue set of ‘Unbeatable’. None whatsoever. But there should be. Imagine Squirrelactus storing planets in its cheeks!
I know: the perfect villain, right?
Alas, instead Squirrel Girl merely takes on the challenges of Hippo Hippo (half man-half hippo!) and Asgardian fiend Ratatoskr – with the help of Thor, Odinski and even Loki (as Cat Thor).
Yes, Cat Thor!
…as created by Nancy, Doreen Green (a.k.a. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl)’s roommate, best friend, and unmitigated fanatic of all things feline, and drawn in her handmade cartoons.
It’s basically an anthropomorphized cat version of Thor.
With its own enchanted weapon, Mewnir.
(It’s a Squirrel Girl comic, dudes… what didja expect?)
Nancy even gets to go to Asgard with Thor, Odinson and Loki (can you say Fangirl frenzy?). She also takes centre stage in the first issue, listening to hostages recount their SG stories.
…while waiting for Squirrel Girl to save them, naturellement.
That’s a really great way to start the set of four issues (plus a few extra goodies at the tail end) because it allows Henderson to emulate different comic book styles for each short story.
It’s pure fun.
Essentially, this second volume of ‘The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’ is more of the same: goofiness, superhero action, and the ever-delightfully quirky and positive Squirrel Girl. And Tippy-Toe.
The coolest thing about this series is that it’s not just imaginative and a genuinely funny book, but it presents alternative conflict resolution models – instead of beating villains to a pulp.
While I’ll grant you that many of them are a bit dubious, I like that, for all her squirrelly might, Squirrel Girl mostly finds ways to empathize with and talk out problems with her nemeses.
Now that‘s a role model!
Thankfully, the book isn’t preachy one bit; it strictly shows by example. It’s a very well-balanced series, which says a lot about North’s skill and focus. Basically, I’d let my kids read this.
(And then borrow the books while they’re sleeping.)
My only issue with these… issues… is that the subpanel commentaries are inconsistently present. Oh, pooh. So I wrote my own little gags while talking to myself in Doreen’s supervoice.
No, I didn’t: it’s a library book. (Respect your library, kids!)
(Plus which, I’m no Ryan North!)
All this to say that ‘The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’ is a refreshingly nutty series – especially in this dour era of ‘Man of Steel’, ‘Batman V: Superman, Dawn of Justice’ and ‘Suicide Squad’.
“Squirrel Girl, Squirrel Girl!
She’s a human and also a squirrel!
Can she climb up a tree?
Yes she can, easily!
Her name is Squirrel Girl!
Is she tough?
Listen bud: She’s got partially squirrel blood…”
Post scriptum: Expect to see more of Squirrel Girl in the future. She’s actually scheduled to star in her own TV show, as one of the leads of ‘New Warriors’, on Netflix. It can’t come soon enough.