Squirrel Girl premieres in her own title for the second time in 2015. Is it good?
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 (Marvel Comics)
- Doreen Green is in her second year of college. She’s also still out there as her superhero alter ego, eating nuts and kicking butts with her friends.
- Nancy and Doreen also have a new apartment. Nancy gains a new BFF (and tons of embarrassing stories about Doreen) courtesy of Mrs. Maureen Green.
- Brain Drain, people….BRAIN DRAIN!
- There’s a little fighting, a lot of ingenuity, a dash of kindness, and a boatload of existential pondering…that still manages to be funny.
Is It Good?
When this series for launched in 2015, I read the first issue, put it down, and immediately considered removing it from my pull list.
It wasn’t bad or anything. Erica Henderson’s art was wonderful. Ryan North wrote some really funny dialogue. But the book felt like it was straining a little too hard to be light and funny.
Luckily, I decided to give it some time. As the series went on, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl became a welcome dose of laughter and fun on my (admittedly dark/bleak) pull list. North and Henderson quickly settled into a groove, telling all-ages, hilarious stories that could still subtly venture into bigger/darker themes without killing the vibe.
This issue feels a lot like that first #1 did back in January, but with a lot more polish and form. Obviously, a series launch has to do a lot to introduce (and hopefully hook) new readers. North stretches things a bit, but still does an admirable job introducing the series’ stellar supporting cast and various recurring elements.
For folks like me who have been reading the series since the beginning, you might feel a little antsy to get back to the balance we had before Marvel NOW-ed everything. The last arc in particular was an example of how great the series can be. North seamlessly integrated other Marvel characters into Doreen’s world via a story that was both humorous and thrilling. And Henderson’s art…oh man. Don’t let the happiness pouring off each page fool you. She can draw the heck out of a monster –as proven years ago by her wonderful art book, Baby’s First Mythos.
*Fun side note: One of my wife’s friends came over with their two-year-old last weekend. She saw Baby’s First Mythos sitting on the shelf and thought it was an actual baby book. Because I’m a terrible person, I suggested that she read it to her daughter.
My wife’s friend picked it up, put her daughter in her lap, and opened to the book. Her smile quickly faded…but she did admit that the art looked really cool.*
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is a book that pays off fantastically for consistent readers. The inside jokes, running gags, and development/interaction between Doreen the supporting cast can make even a crusty comic reader like me giggle and smile for 22 pages.
But all that being said, this is still a very good issue. In fact, I dare say it might be a better introduction than the first Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1. The table has been set up to pick up right where we left off, this time with a great new character along for the ride.