Every once in a while, a comic comes along that you simply must recommend to everyone you meet. A few years ago, it was Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, which is still a fantastic read. This year, it’s “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl”. For those of you who don’t know, Squirrel Girl started off as a jokey, light-hearted character. In her first official comic appearance, she encounters Tony Stark in a forest, and they just happen to find Dr Doom flying over the area in an airship. As any good heroes do, Iron man goes to stop him, and Squirrel Girl tags along, and ends up saving the day when she calls all the squirrels in the area to chew the wiring in Doom’s ship, forcing him to retreat.
Which pretty much sums up her up as a character. She’s often portrayed as a joke character because she has the secondary mutation of being able to defeat A-list villains, mostly off-panel. Her first power is that she’s basically a human squirrel. It didn’t help that she was part of the Great Lake Avengers, a team that nobody likes, and are often presented as comic relief. But all that has changed with Unbeatable squirrel girl.
You see, while the character of squirrel girl is often considered lame, she is in fact a wholly unique character. She’s doesn’t have the typical body type of female super heros, which is refreshing in this day and age. The book is relatable, with S.G. going to college for the first time and having to juggle hero work and school work, making this the 10th time or so Marvel have gone back to the Peter Parker well of plot devices. And more importantly, the book is practically all ages.
Now yes, to some, this is a dirty world. It’s basically saying this comic is for kids, but you miss the point. Comic books have always been directed at kids, and while the market has changed, not every book has to be about some angst ridden hero trying to do the right thing in a world that hates and fears him. S.G. brings back the days of any thing can happen comic books, were one minute, S.G is fighting whiplash in Central Park, and then stopping a bank robbery in suit of squirrel armor.
It’s what comic books should be. It’s a fun, exciting adventure for all ages, about a girl who doesn’t need to punch and kick to solve every problem she encounters and what the comic industry desperately needed. It contains the important message that we should at least try to talk about our problems, instead of just trying to either punch, kick or smash them away. Not only that but also one of the funniest books I’ve read. The issue she fights against Galactus was literally one of the funniest things I’ve ever read, and played into conceptions of the character. Issue 5 had people telling made up stories about Squirrel Girl, tongue firmly in cheek and set to various time periods. I still chuckle about the “confidential battle’ line.
It’s not for every one, but it is some thing you should check out. It’s one of the most refreshing books on the market and a treat to read. Buy it so your nieces or daughters have some thing to read when they come over. Now if they could drop the price to 2,99 it’ll be a perfect title.