The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1
by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Maris Wicks & Rico Renzi
There has been a wonderful resurgence of comics that are just fun. Lately most comic series are aimed at a more mature audience, which isn’t a bad thing, but the art of just a playful read seemed lost. The past few months has shown that there are still fans out there looking for more light-hearted stories. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl debuted her solo series this week, delivering a fresh start to a cult fan-favorite Marvel character.
You don’t see a lot of comics start off with a theme song introduction. Which, when you think about it, is kind of disheartening. Squirrel Girl singing the Squirrel Girl theme song (NOT the Spider-Man theme song) was a pitch perfect way to show readers what kind of story this is. The story this issue of Doreen Green (Squirrel Girl) trying to covertly go to college as a regular student may seem pretty clichéd. However, Ryan North writes it perfectly, so that it just seems familiar in a nostalgic way. Also using a known villain like Kraven in the first issue was a really smart idea and made for a hilarious story. There are even little secret comments written on the bottom of most the pages making for an instant re-read.
Artistically this book is exactly what you would want a Squirrel Girl comic to look like. Erica Henderson’s style really is a huge part of what makes Unbeatable Squirrel Girl work so well on the page. Her paneling makes this entire issue flow effortlessly and she handles facial expressions extremely well. Colors by Rico Renzi were almost cartoon-like, which enhances the bright storytelling of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Even having Maris Wick do the incredible looking “Deadpool’s Guide To Super Villains” trading cards was like having a cherry on top.
Not expecting much going into this, it was surprising how quickly Unbeatable Squirrel Girl had turned me into a fan. This is still a hero comic it just has the right amount of humor and whimsy to make it more appealing to a wider audience. It’s the type of comic that fans both old and young can read and enjoy. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl doesn’t talk down to readers or try to get too heady, it’s just good old-fashioned entertainment.