Comic Review: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 by Ryan North
Genre: Superhero, Leading Ladies
Publisher: Marvel Comics (January 7, 2015)
Author Information: Website | Twitter
Tiara’s Rating: 4.5 of 5
Doreen Green, better known to readers as Squirrel Girl, has decided that it’s time for her to stop living in the Avengers’ attic and forge her own identity in the world as a person and a superhero. This starts creating her own theme song, which she’s sure will catch on eventually, and enrolling in Empire State University where she’ll build on her awesome by amassing more knowledge. This also means learning to balance her crime fighting with her new life on the outside.
The readers are given a general overview to Squirrel Girl and her powers through the aforementioned introductory theme song performed by Squirrel Girl herself as she wrecks a group of muggers. This is great for old fans and new readers alike. It doesn’t require that readers be well-versed on her history and gives people who are reading about Squirrel Girl for the first time a quick foundation to build on without being overwhelming.
Initially, when I heard there was going to be a book about Doreen, I was excited and a little apprehensive. I was all in for a book featuring the little known, plucky heroine whose claim to fame is beating some of Marvel’s toughest heroes and villains. Apprehension stemmed from the fact that I was afraid that they might not capture the spirit of what was endearing about Doreen. I set my bar for this book low just in case it did turn out to be a disaster. However, it was far from that.
This turned out to be exactly the kind of book that I’d expect for Squirrel Girl. North’s writing is light, fast-paced, and largely tongue-in-cheek–perfect for a story of this nature. Henderson’s art punctuates the fun vibe by being cartoony, animated, and bright. Squirrel Girl is a “glass half full” kind of girl. This is shown well through her interactions with the world as both Doreen Green and Squirrel Girl. Everything is a learning experience for Doreen, and no matter how the situation may seem, Doreen looks at the it with the thinking that there’s something positive to be gained and learned from it.
As an added bonus, this is a comic I’d be very comfortable with my son and daughter, aged 9 and 5 respectively, reading. It has the kind of youthful appeal that younger readers will appreciate and relate to, but it doesn’t alienate its older readers. It’s not just the fun tone that makes me say that. This book is positive and bubbly, extolling the things that make people different. It doesn’t ridicule eccentricities, but instead has its characters own their quirks and not allow anyone to give them hell for it. It shows that, sometimes, there are different ways of viewing and solving problems that work for everyone if you only take time to asses the situation. It reinforces the idea that first solution might not always be the best solution more so than being the easiest. These are important lessons for kids.
If you’re one of those comic book readers who think all comics should be serious business, this is the last book you should pick up. You can’t help but smile while reading about Doreen’s antics. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl never takes itself seriously, and it does so without insulting its readers. It celebrates quirkiness and asks its readers to join it in this celebration.
I don’t think I know abour Doreen but you made me curious. It sounds so great to have a story about her and I’m glad you had such a great time! I want to try now too.
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Not surprising. She’s one of Marvel’s more obscure heroes while also being one of their most awesome. She’s always a laugh whenever she’s in a book. I’m glad that they’ve tried to give her some exposure. She really is a fun character.
You can find out all about her here: http://t.co/7BQV1EBz2M
I do not mind silly 🙂
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