Comic Review – The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #47 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“She did it. She ruined my life” Squirrel Girl

One of my earliest reviews was back in 2015 when one of my favourite comic book characters, Squirrel Girl, was given her own series. Ryan North has written a wonderfully fun series, providing a breath of fresh air in modern comic books with what is essentially a silver age comic book character running about the modern-day Marvel world and succeeding. With the announcement by North that this Squirrel Girl will be coming to an end at issue 50, quitting while its ahead as opposed to being cancelled, it felt appropriate for me to revisit as the final arc kicks off.

Cover by Erica Henderson (Marvel)

This comic was bought to us by:

  • Writer – Ryan North
  • Artist – Derek Charm
  • Colour Artist – Rico Renzi
  • Trading Card Artist – Madeline McGrane
  • Letterer – Travis Lanham
  • Cover Artist – Erica Henderson

Issue 47 draws together North’s original cast of characters who have become Doreen Green’s (Squirrel Girl’s) closest, most trusted friends and supporters, and really brings to life North’s take on the character. Fun, smart, capable, and approaches her problems laterally with a real-world computer science-based approach. The tone is light-hearted with fun references to everything from Doreen’s classic battles to existentialist philosophy. North’s own villain Melisa Morbeck has set herself up to be Doreen’s final challenge which she certainly does in an explosive opening. Doreen is faced with an existential threat both socially and facing a full roster of villains with a total power greater than anything she’s faced before (keep in mind she’s taken Thanos and Galactus) which feels wonderfully true to the series and her character. North also frames Doreen’s greatest power as the power of friendship, which would effectively work as the tag-line to this series.

Art by Charm and Renzi (Marvel)

Charm’s art is wonderfully full of life, the combined with the colours Renzi provides gives us a dynamic opening battle and engaging issue which jumps out of the page to drag the reader in. The issue feels like a Saturday morning super hero cartoon we used to watch as kids and is all the better for it. Henderson, the series original artist, returns as the cover artist which is the only right way to do this having provided the defining current look of squirrel girl.

The ending of this series pulls together all that was great about North’s run and serves as a wonderful tribute to his interpretation of Squirrel Girl. I believe this run has done so well this has effectively become the public’s interpretation of Squirrel Girl, taking her from a joke character to a fully engaged super hero.

Final Verdict

As you can tell I have been a huge fan of the series, it’s been one I looked forward to each time its released. While I am a little sad the series is coming to an end quitting while you’re ahead is something that I’m sure most of modern day super hero stories probably won’t manage to do.

Score: 10 Squirrel Scouts out of 10

Comic Book Review – Kingpin #1 (Marvel Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“Because I’m a large man? No, I never made donuts when I was fourteen. I sat at this table most nights and sold narcotics for a man named Pizzolo” – Wilson Fisk

Cover art by Jeff Dekal

Cover art by Jeff Dekal

The Kingpin has been a staple villain throughout my enjoyment of super heroes for my whole life. This started with him as the arch nemesis during Spiderman: The Animated Series, to the current Daredevil run on Netflix. During the modern Daredevil interpretation he’s presented as a surprisingly endearing and complex character, and seeing a new run focusing him in the comics this week I thought I’d pick it up and give it a try. This comic was bought to us by:

  • Writer – Matthew Rosenberg
  • Penciler – Ben Torres
  • Colourist – Jordan Boyd
  • Letterer – VC’s Travis Lanham

The story is from the perspective of Sarah Dewey, a reporter who’s found herself writing boxing profiles. She’s approached by Wesley (those who have seen the Netflix Daredevil will be immediately familiar with him), and finds herself offered a unique opportunity of writing the Kingpin’s biography. The focus of the first issue is Sarah’s conflict in deciding whether or not to take Fisk up on the offer. Unsurprisingly, there are parallels between the Netflix and comic incarnations of Fisk. He’s presented as intelligent, dangerous, a little awkward but surprisingly charming.

Art by Torres & Boyd

Art by Torres & Boyd

A very dark palette is adopted for the colours throughout the issue, changing briefly when we’re first introduced to Fisk. This really emphasises his status as main character to the series, despite the story not being from his perspective. Fisk himself is drawn in a very intimidating physique, with extremities supersized, combined with a cruel smile creating a slightly monstrous appearance. Individual panels are kept clear of clutter with no detail beyond the character themselves during many of the conversations. This helps keep the focus on the character development and plot which will lead the series.

The real question is, can Torres and Boyd draw hands? In an issue like this the focus will be on gesticulation and hands in casual poses much more than clenched fists. Fisk’s stand out as they’re the same size as most character’s heads. Where possible a fair amount of personality is communicated through each character’s gestures, with their mannerisms showing through. 9/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

As the first issue of the series, it takes its time to set up the characters. If you’re hoping for an action packed explosive series it’s unlikely this will be for you. If you’re hoping for an exploration of a classic character, getting into detailed plots of corruption and drama then this absolutely will be for you.

Score: 8.9 Apple Juices out of 10

 

Comic Review – Batman Beyond: Rebirth #1 (DC Comics)

Our pal Kit reviews comics for us! This is one of those reviews.

Warning: minor spoilers.

“From that night forward I was Batman” Terry

Me again, up for another comic book review, and with DC still enjoying the success of their Rebirth relaunch I’ve picked up another first issue to review. This time it’s Batman Beyond: Rebirth, written by Dan Jurgens, art by Ryan Sook, colours from Jeremy Lawson and Tony Aviña and letters from Travis Lanham. I picked Batman Beyond as like many people I watched the cartoons when I was younger. Despite this I hadn’t picked up a copy of the comic books before now.

bb-cover

Cover art by Sook

As with the cartoon the comics are set in Neo-Gotham, the future of the DC Universe. The fluorescent lights illuminate the city, technology has moved on leaps and bounds, but Gotham is still Gotham, crime is of course rampant. The Batman you ask? Well as you’d imagine Bruce is a little long in the tooth for crime fighting, so Terry McGinnis has taken up the cowl.

This first issue is largely an introductory one we get to know Terry and an overview of his back story in becoming the current Batman and his relationship with Bruce. I’ve always been a fan of the way Batman Beyond portrays Bruce as even more jaded and cynical than you could even normally picture the Bat.

We also get introduced to the key supporting players – Commissioner Gordon (Barbara), Terry’s brother Matt and his closest friends. Unlike Bruce and the other traditional Bats such as Dick Grayson, Terry still has a few of his family alive and a close relationship with them.  This gives a whole new spin on the regular Batman persona.

bb-interiors

Art by Sook, Lawson & Lanham

Sook’s art is vibrant and colourful, he is certainly a fan of mixing up the panel layout as well, which creates an action packed, dynamic feel to the comic to support the action. The lettering is well crafted to skilfully lead the read across the page and draw attention to what really matters.

However, though lettering and panels do matter a lot, can Sook draw hands? This is an action-packed issue, as you’d imagine this means character’s hands are rarely still. There’s a lot of punching, grabbing and holding going on. While there is some conversation to the issue hands are often out of shot. They are used well for expression a couple of times, but while I’d have liked to have seen them used this way a little more this probably isn’t the issue to do so with all of the action going on. 8/10 for hand drawing skills!

Final Verdict

My main criticism of this issue is that I saw the last page twist coming a little too early I feel. For a kick off issue it’s a good start, we get to know Terry, who is well developed, and while the enemy isn’t anything too exotic the familiarity of the Jokerz eases the reader into the series.

Score: 8 Corrupt Old Women out of 10