“The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl” has been a fan favorite for two decades, and she finally has her own title. Part Ms. Marvel, part Rocket Raccoon, this new series follows Doreen Green’s dorky and hilarious antics navigating her top secret identity as Squirrel Girl during her first semester at college.
WRITTEN BY: Ryan North
ART BY: Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi
PUBLISHER: Marvel Comics
RELEASE: January 7. 2015
Reviewed By Katy Rex
Remember all the fun that Spider-Ham was? Completely absurd, heavily referencing the known Marvel universe, but separate? This is what it would look like if a Spider-Ham character entered the canon universe in a real and long term capacity. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has even corrected the popular Spider-Man theme song to accurately reflect the most suitable subject for such a tune; namely, herself. Her best friend, a squirrel named Tippy Toes, accompanies her on superhero-ly duties like stopping muggers as well as normal-girl-y stuff like moving into her dorm.
Squirrel Girl’s character design is intriguing. On the one hand, she keeps her hair short (practical), and on the other, she wears a bodice with lace lined cups. She has a tail– and it’s real, but totally fits in her pants to make her look bootylicious instead of squirrelesque– but her squirrel ears are on a headband. Her front teeth are pointy and squirrellike, but she doesn’t have the black pointy squirrel handclaws the original design featured. And despite the contradictions, despite the illogical components, her design is just so gosh darn likable. Her design reflects the silly vagueness of her powers: “she’s got partially squirrel blood.” What does that mean, exactly? Well, exactly, who cares? It’s cute and fun and a laugh a minute.
The biggest thing about this character, from her character design to her dialogue, is the way it reflects how frickin’ rad she thinks it is that she gets to be a squirrel-powered superhero. She relishes her various powers and her army of squirrels even when she’s trying (super duper hard) to pretend to be Plain Ordinary Mild Mannered Doreen Green, no powers here, no sir. And the mild mannered alter ego thing is going to take some effort, clearly, since she wears acorn earrings and forgets that proportional squirrel speed & strength are not normal human powers sometimes.
The villain in this issue is a surprise, so I won’t say who it is, but rest assured, he matches Squirrel Girl in both epicness and camp. The resolution to the issue is a little bit 90’s After School Special, I almost expected (hoped for?) the cast addressing the audience at the end, in front of a grey photo background drop, about the Very Real Issues facing kids today and the ways to solve them. If you or someone you know is feeling this way, call the hotline. Instead, they have a letters column, which is pretty fantastic in its own right, featuring made up questions about who could beat up whom, from a range of probably fictional querents including some weirdo obsessed with ducks named Chip Z.
With the cliffhanger at the end of this issue, I’m only mad that I can’t get the next issue right now.