January is here folks: a brand new year is upon us, and in the world of comics, that means a WHOLE NEW SLEW of #1’s! Yes, every year, under the MARVEL NOW! label, Marvel has been publishing brand new on-going titles every January, featuring some of your favorite characters, and perhaps even new ones. Last year, we saw the rise of a long forgotten team, the NEW WARRIORS, and we also saw the beginnings of a new fan favorite, the young Ms. Marvel.
However, this year, I believe Marvel has decided to start pulling in second stringers and low level characters, as there are only so many A-listers they can make books about. Why do I say this? Because the subject of my first review of 2015 is none other than the UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL!
Squirrel Girl has always been the subject of much ridicule and jokes. While she is technically an older hero created several decades ago, she is considered to be younger than even Spider-man. Squirrel Girl is very much what her name implies: a girl with squirrel based powers, such as agility, strength, a fixation and appetite for nuts, as well as a prehensile tail. She also has the ability to communicate with Squirrels, which she regularly uses to form an army of rodents to do her bidding at will.
Squirrel Girl’s greatest feats would honestly surprise you. While her power-set is underwhelming, and her overall design is pretty laughable, this JOKE-Character has managed to not only best Doctor Doom, but also the likes of THANOS the mad titan.
While I am one who would easily mock her for her silly nature, I cannot deny her feats, or the fact that in a world of moral-grey area Avengers, she is nothing but the purest form of hero one could find. So the idea of giving her own comic doesn’t seem so far-fetched, now does it? Anyway, what does this comic promise us? Well, if the art style can say anything on it’s own, I believe it will be quite the fun and light-hearted ride. LET’S CHECK IT OUT!
Our story begins with a standard mugging break-up conducted by our titular hero Squirrel Girl and her favorite pet squirrel, Tippy Toe. The pair make short and comedic work of the muggers, all the while singing a Squirrel Girl rendition of the classic 60’s Spider-man theme song. This whole sequence is nothing but cheese-cakey fun, and definitely sets the tone for the book. After knocking out the muggers, she makes her way back to Avengers mansion where she reveals that she is on her way to her first day of college, where she plan on bettering herself, as well as moving out of the attic of Avengers mansion.
At first her pet Tippy Toe is not exactly supportive in her decision, as she believes Squirrel Girl (a.k.a. Doreen Green) should be studying more about squirrels, or continue her life of crime fighting. Doreen argues that she needs her education, as well as a chance to prove herself as a hero on her own, as well as having the ability to LIVE on her own. However, her “normal” day of moving into her new dorm room is suddenly brought to a screeching hault as her campus is assaulted by Kraven the hunter, a regular Spider-man villain. we also receive a quick joke telling us where Doreen gets her information on the villains she goes up against…
She has “Deadpool’s guide to supervillains” trading cards! While most people will scoff at this as just another Deadpool reference because he is popular, Squirrel Girl and Deadpool actually share some history: the pair actually served on the Great Lakes Avengers for a time, before Deadpool was kicked out (also before the GLA was disbanded). So seeing her still have a connection to her old friend is somewhat sweet and a nice nod for older fans.
Any-who, after reading up on her new foe, she learns that he is not actually terrorizing people, as much as he was in fact attacked by Tippy Toe. Even though this battle WAS the squirrel’s fault, Doreen cannot allow Kraven to harm her legion of squirrel friends. Their battle has a nice back and forth, showing off Squirrel girl’s competent and comedic fighting style as well as her joking nature she uses to great effect against the powerful super villain.
The fight comes to a halt when Doreen reveals her TRUE powers, her ability to reason with villains like a human being and truly connect with them. She convinces Kraven that his hunt for Spider-man as well as human prey is forcing him to limit himself. She helps him realize there are great ancient prey around the world, including the likes of Krakens and other gargantuan sea creatures.
Altogether, unlike most heroes who ONLY use their fists to solve problems, Squirrel Girl is honestly a far smarter hero than most. While the likes of Spidey, and most of the Avengers will punch first and reason later, this usually ends up biting them in the ass soon after. Doreen instead looks to solve the problem NOW without violence, as opposed to having to deal with some revenge plot down the line. Squirrel Girl is an amazing read, and this issue shows off the character remarkably. While the art style initially turned me off, I can appreciate that its cartoonish proportions accurately suit this book.
-Good pacing and set-up for our heroin’s secret identity
-Cutesy art that fits well with the tone of the book
-A fun and lovable character, represented well in her first solo book
-Art style is unconventional and may turn some viewers off
P.S. I cant resist it, i need to add this joke in.