Our pal Kit sometimes write for the site! This is one of those times.
Here you go! Spoilers of course……..
“Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not crazy about super hero stories where everything’s all dark and moody. Personally, I like the ones where good guys fight giant apes on the moon and stuff. Remember those? I do. That was back when comic book worlds were places you wanted to escape to… not from.” – Squirrel Girl
Naturally, this contains spoilers. If you’d prefer to avoid them stop reading this now!
The world presented in superhero comics has often become a very dark place. There have been plenty of rebooted characters who are moved from their light hearted and fun origins to a dark and gritty set up where no one can be happy and everyone is put through hell. Many of these dark reboots of course are excellent and well worth a look (compare the current run on Batman with the old ‘Batman Meets Scooby-Doo DVD I have’) but this means the ridiculous and light hearted side gets left in the dirt. Even the comic relief characters – Deadpool, Harley Quinn etc – are usually on one level deeply tortured or insane.
Enter Ryan North and Erica Henderson’s Squirrel Girl. For those of you who may not know her Squirrel Girl is a mutant from the Marvel universe whose powers include – the proportional strength and agility of a squirrel, small claws, the ability to talk to squirrels, a big fluffy tail, and the inexplicable ability to defeat horribly powerful enemies without breaking a sweat! She’s taken out Wolverine, Deadpool, MODOK, Doctor Doom, Ego the Living Planet and Thanos amongst plenty of others.
As you may imagine this is not a very serious comic. It starts with Squirrel Girl singing her own theme tune whilst beating the snot out of some park muggers (detailing her powers of that of ‘Squirrel and Girl). She then moves out of the Avengers mansion, somehow managing to hide her giant tail into some apparently normal trousers and proceeds to go to college under her secret identity Doreen Green in an attempt to better herself and be the best she can. Naturally her first day doesn’t go entirely smoothly, she has to juggle a moody flat mate, hiding her powers and her side kick being captured!
We get to know her side kick Tippy-Toe in this issue (who of course is a Squirrel) who is ever present alongside Doreen and tries to give her advice in her day to day life. The two of them are able to bounce off each other and have plenty of fun exchanges throughout the comic. Doreen herself feels very kind and genuine, if not entirely sure of what she’s doing or the correct way to go about things (while dressed in costume standing at the entrance of her college and shouting ‘I AM NOT A STUDENT HERE’ just being one example) but she does her best to do good and fight crime wherever she goes.
There is a villain, who by the end of the comic has a change of heart and leaves everyone in peace. I get the impression this will be a ‘villain of the week’ style series with each main plot neatly wrapped up in just the one issue.
The art is simple, colourful and fun, the dialogue is entertaining and ridiculous and the action great if a little nonsensical (she’s able to throw someone in the air long enough to fantasize about drinking a coffee in the distant future). It’s very much a comic where you don’t question things too much, and just go along for the ride.
This really wasn’t a character I ever expected to get her own run and this series launch has to be one of the more surprising ones to come from Marvel. They’ve set it up to be the classic college life/secret identity trope which I’m sure the writers will be able to have a lot of fun with. How will this series fair? It looks like they’re keeping the tone in line with the quote I mentioned at the start of this review and I very much hope to see a battle against werewolves on the moon by the time this is done. I expect the next issue will really live up to this where we’ll get to see Squirrel Girl back to matching up against the most powerful beings Marvel has to offer where the threat level is escalated to about as high as it can go and I look forward to it!
I feel this comic well deserves a rating of 9 Nuts out of 10!