Can I get something out of the way early? Read this comic. Go back and read the entire run. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is a masterclass in positive storytelling. Ryan North, along with Erica Henderson and Derek Charm, have taken every impossible moment and turned them into successes. From turning villains into friends, to time travel, to actual intersectional inclusion…hell, issue #36 was silent! Who does that? The answers are Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Derek Charm. Through sheer love and devotion, they have truly created a memorable superhero for everyone to adore. This series is a triumph.
In our penultimate issue, Doreen had been outed as Squirrel Girl and was being beaten by Melissa Morbeck and her cadre of villains (including Dr. Doom, who would be very upset at being part of a cadre). Just as all seems lost and Doreen is ready to sacrifice her own life for that of her friends, Squirrel Girl’s most powerful ally and bud arrives: Galactus. Turns out he’s responsible for all of her other friends arriving, grabbed from a time when they would be most likely to assist in the fight. In true USG fashion, his plan to simply devour all the baddies is thwarted by Squirrel Girl herself who demands a moment to speak in private…on the moon.
North’s greatest skill has always been moments like these: two characters discussing real moral issues in relatable ways. Sure, Galactus could just devour the bad guys. That’s the easy solution. In Squirrel Girl’s moral code, however, any actions that lower a person — even one who wields the Power Cosmic — to the level of the villain, reduces them. Usually, we look for the flaw within a character to define their path. Doreen Green is not defined by her flaws. She is defined by her unerring belief in the goodness of others. There is always a chance, there is always a possibility for change. Even if you’re Galactus and you know that this is the last time you will sit with Squirrel Girl on the moon.
Quick shout-out moments in an excellent ending: Tony Stark’s “deep fake” tribute to Doreen broadcast over all of Times Square. Galactus essentially talking about how great comic books are. Tony with the gender neutral callout “Guys, Gals, and Non-Binary Pals.” Captain America’s complete shock at Galactus being buddies with Doreen. Doom peacing out and still getting thrown in the clink. The goodbye letters from North, Henderson, Charm, colorist Rico Renzi, and letterer Travis Lanham. 50+ issues of Squirrel Girl cosplay from amazing kids of all ages.
I am truly and absolutely going to miss this comic. All good things must come to an end, but we need someone like Doreen Green. We don’t deserve her, but boy, she’s the perfect hero for our times. Here’s to all the years of eating nuts and kicking butts.