The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 10 collects issues 37-41 in which Squirrel Girl dies! Alright, it’s clear from the jump that the one and only Doreen Green is not in fact dead. But what if she isn’t the one and only Doreen Green?! Is it a clone saga? Is it a long lost twin? Is Allene back? Is it good?!
If you’ve been reading The Unbeatable S.G. thus far, you know what you’re in for in this volume. As usual, each page is packed with jokes from top to margin and writer Ryan North continues to pen lovable characters great for all ages to read. This volume sees the return of Bass Lass, one of my favorite characters to appear in the series and gathers together a number of X-Men and Avengers as well. I love seeing North play with more characters, as they always manage to sound like themselves while fitting in to the lighthearted tone of the series.
North takes a fairly overdone story of impostors and Skrulls and keeps it entertaining through his trademark wit and humor. I’m not someone who has ever been invested in Skrulls and you get the sense North knows the reader isn’t going to be surprised by how the conflict initially plays out. However, Squirrel Girl has always been about centering the conflict of the story around the personhood of the characters involved, be they human, extraterrestrial, or otherwise. In doing so, North takes a plot that should be predictable about a corner of the Marvel universe I don’t normally care about and invested me in the people involved. Not to mention there are some hilarious stunts pulled with the Skrull abilities in this volume that I have to compliment either North or artist Derek Charm for using.
Derek Charm’s artwork continues to shine and fit the tone of the book perfectly. He and Rico Renzi work expertly to convey the tone of the book, with flat, bright coloring and simple, clean line work. I mentioned a Skrull gag earlier and it’s thanks to Charm and Renzi’s rendering that the joke sells as well as it does. There’s another page in the series rendered to look like an old-fashioned pulpy comic that I mistook for a second cover for the issue because of how great it looks. With as many Marvel characters that appear in this volume, Charm and Renzi had their work cut out for them and they excelled from two-page spreads full of heroes clashing to individual panels spotlighting drooling symbiotes and shiny suits of iron. Everyone on the team has a great sense of comedic timing and pacing, which is shown throughout the volume wherein they’ll set up up a beat in one panel and it will pay off in the next. There’s a comedic rhythm to the book that I don’t see as often as I’d like in comics.
Travis Lanham covers the lettering in the volume and continues their excellent work on the series. There are a number of sound effects in this volume from technology going haywire and such and the effects not only match the scenarios well. Not only that, but Lanham keeps the paneling in mind and uses the structure well to sometimes let sound effects drift off panel when appropriate.
This volume also features an issue with guest artist Naomi Franquiz with Renzi and Lanham staying on coloring and letters. Franquiz’s style is full of energy and character especially when it comes to facial expressions. That issue also features more action from my favorite animal in comics, Tippy-Toe! I will continue to wish she was featured more in the action of every issue, but it was refreshing to see her play a more active role in the volume.
Overall, my ever-present desire for more Tippy-Toe page time aside, I have no major complaints about this volume. I don’t know if I’d necessarily recommend it for readers new to Squirrel Girl, as there are probably other volumes that give a better into to the character. Returning readers who have like the series thus far are sure to enjoy this volume as well.
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