Where we last left Squirrel Girl and company, Nancy had been finally rescued thanks to the combined efforts of Squirrel Girl herself, Loki, Tippy Toe and Drax after Squirrel Girl had been conned by space hunks especially one who claimed to be the Silver Surfer himself. However upon confronting the perps, the real Silver Surfer arrives and Squirrel Girl assumed he’s the con artist and it’s up to the others to stop her from making a horrible mistake.
Compared to other Marvel books, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is definitely the most cartoonish of the bunch and that is saying something given superhero books are technically absurd but this is book takes things up to eleven but that’s not a bad thing though.
What the book does well is establishing its sense of humor, it’s kind of like a comic strip except not structured like one, actually I take that back, it’s like a fun webcomic to be more accurate. It is drawn like one, like, it’s just that that’s what it feels like but again, that’s not a slight against it. The book’s writing and art do make it a distinct Marvel book from the rest and reading it, it’s very easy to see why this book has caught on for so many people especially given she’s now going to get a shot being in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the upcoming New Warriors series. While she has gained popularity over the years, the book by Ryan North and Erica Henderson may have been the very book to soar her into popularity full time.
And yes, I am among this book’s fans. There is something endearing about Squirrel Girl in general whether it’d be her optimism or absurd power set where she can take down the most powerful characters in the Marvel universe. And the book really keeps that spirit but also cranks it up to eleven as I mentioned beforehand.
This arc is no exception. She’s taken on Galactus already so she might as well meet the Silver Surfer but if it’s Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, there’s bound to be something absurd to make it all happen. And it’s a hilarious read from here to kingdom come really such as the efforts to stop Squirrel Girl from fighting the Surfer himself to essentially the climax of the issue (this arc isn’t done yet actually).
The jokes do land for the most part, some wouldn’t land quite as much but the book does have an absurd sense of humor that I can get into, kind of like say for a random example, The Pink Panther Strikes Again where both rely on high concept absurdist humor to maximum but great effect. Ryan North has a knack for writing good characterization especially given the friendship between her and Nancy and how to make a joke work. It’s not just the Squirrel Girl show, he knew to include somebody as a counteract to Squirrel Girl herself and Nancy is effective as something of a straight man to the book’s insanity. There are small details like random comments pertaining to anything underneath the pages like “I don’t want to sound too serious but I will go on a limb and say that, yes, friendship is eventually worth it.” As if North had envisioned Ron Howard saying that.
The art style definitely fits the proceedings. Erica Henderson’s art may not be for everyone but I quite like it. Again, it fits the book’s tone. If it’s going to act like a cartoon, then have it look like a cartoon to boot. It’s yet another Marvel book where it feels like the writer and artist are in sync with each other and it’s very effective in that regard. And I do like that the next issue is apparently going to be the punchline to the this entire arc. The space hunks or spacebros as I call them have been caught yes but their punishment still needs to be decided. So I imagine that will be fun.
If you like this book and the Squirrel Girl character in general or just like very cartoonish stuff, this book is for you. If not, I’m sure there’s something else but this book is very endearing, check it out.
Marvel provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review