Friday, November 25, 2016

the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl OGN - Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe

Ever since I first read an issue of the Great Lakes Avengers (a group of very D-List superheroes who wanted to be Avengers but just couldn't make it), I fell in love with Squirrel Girl.  She was a quirkly little girl with the powers of a squirrel - not only could she communicate with squirrels, but she had increased strength and a super-strong sense of justice and simply doing right.

"Eating nuts and kicking butts" is what she does!

the Unbeatable Squirrel Girls Beats Up the Marvel Universe is Marvel Comics' first original graphic novel featuring the brazen young superhero.  In the story, Squirrel Girl helps Tony Stark (a/k/a Iron Man) fend off a bunch of goons from the High Evolutionary who are trying to recover some technology that Stark sole from their boss.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), Squirrel Girl gets trapped inside the tech during the fight and when she comes out, everyone is shocked to see she has been duplicated - there are now TWO Squirrel Girls!  Thus begins a fun-filled romp through the Marvel Universe as the twin Squirrel Girl takes it upon herself to take over the world to allow squirrels to become the dominant species.  In so doing, she faces off against one hero after another and manages through ingenuity and the help of her squirrel friends to defeat them all.

All except the real, one and only true, Squirrel Girl and her friends, Koi Boy and Chipmunk Hunk (yeah, don't ask - you have to read this ongoing series to understand about those two).  Oh, and the non-powered Nancy Whitehead and Tippy-Toe the Squirrel, as well.

The writing is just as enjoyable as Marvel's regular monthly series starring Squirrel Girl, but sadly, so is the art.  I am not really understanding Marvel's decision to use artists with a rather - unique, to say it politely - art style for their lighter titles.  Silver Surfer.  Patsy Walker, Hellcat.  And the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.  All three of these books remain on the lighter side of storytelling, with humor thrown into the mix, and they are just plain fun to read.  Yet, with all three, artists were chosen who are definitely off the mainstream path, with cartoony images that make the characters seem very two-dimensional and not realistic at all.  (And true, that may just be my taste that I like my comics drawn in a more realistic style so that the people actually look like people and not cartoon characters, but when Squirrel Girl is consistently drawn so that she appears to be a chunky boy rather than an actual girl, it detracts from my reading of the story and lessens my enjoyment of the comic.)

But, as I said, the writing is solid and the story has more laugh-out-loud moments that keep me reading the monthly title.  I always find it amusing that the other heroes in the Marvel Universe never take Squirrel Girl too seriously (almost as if they simply tolerate her presence with a nicety that says "go play superhero while the big boys handle the real threat), yet it is usually Squirrel Girl that ends up saving the day in the end (at least, in her own title she does).  As long as the writing stays as strong as this, then I'm all for the fun-loving Squirrel Girl (a great example is the opening sequence in this original graphic novel, where Squirrel Girl has to fix a train track before the high speed train hits it and derails - a true heroic save but in a way only Squirrel Girl could do it, with a bit of a nod to the first Christopher Reeve Superman film).

Wonder what Squirrel Girl would do if she faced the DC Universe....?  Hmm, graphic novel number two, perhaps?

RATING:  8 Deadpool's Guide to Super Villains cards out of 10 for giving this underrated comic character a bigger story in a format that can truly spotlight her greatness!

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