Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1

Score Technician: Nick Enquist

Much like the pilot episode of any new TV show, the first issue of any new comic book series has a lot of work to do. A strong issue one introduces strong plot lines, new characters, and new situations for the reader to want to buy issue number two. Recently, Marvel debuted a new series starring Squirrel Girl. That’s right, the unbeatable superhero that has comically taken down everyone from Deadpool to Thanos now has her own series. While the college freshman superhero’s new series certainly adds more diversity to the Marvel roster, one should remember that variety does not always equal quality.  How does Squirrel Girl hold up? The nanobots are diving in to find out.
  • Cover of the book showing Squirrel Girl imagining herself as a member of an evil clone Avengers cursed with creepy pedophile smiles.  = -4pts.
  • Open on Doreen Green (Squirrel Girl) singing her version of the Spider-Man theme song that’s all about her. = -3pts (For super narcissism.)
  • Squirrel Girl beats up a white street gang in Central Park who are mugging a black man. = +2pts.
  • Squirrel Girl and her sidekick squirrel (Tippy-Toe) go back to move out of the Avenger’s Mansion into college. = -6pts. (The attic she moves out of is ten times bigger than the broom closet she moves into. Also, it’s free rent in NYC. What the hell is wrong with her? The least she could have done is get Iron-Man to help with the moving costs.)
  • Squirrel Girl hides her tail in her pants making it into a, “conspicuously large and conspicuously awesome butt.” Proving that white girls obsessing over bigger butts fad has become an epidemic. Are you happy Megan Trainor?!? = -5pts
  • Squirrel Girl acts adorkable around a new guy on campus and has a debate with her squirrel pal about whether or not it’s okay to get strangers to carry boxes for them when she can easily carry them herself… And feminism keeps on marching. = -3pts.
  • Doreen meets her new roommate, Nancy Whitehead, who gives her the college greeting every roommate should give: Don’t do these things and you won’t piss her off. = +4pts
  • Nancy has a cat named Mew in the dorm, which is against the rules, but “obeying an unjust law is itself unjust.” Let’s hope that defense works after one of your allergic floor mates ends up in the hospital. = -3pts (For taking the wrong lessons from Martin Luther King's, Letter from a Birmingham Jail.)
  • Suddenly Kraven swoops into campus!... For no reason really. = -6pts
  • Deadpool’s unofficial villain card gives Squirrel Girl an advantage in fighting Kraven the Hunter! = +4pts
  • Seriously, why is one of Spider-Man's villains on a college campus? Didn't he graduate, like, a decade ago? This literally makes no sense. = -4pts
  • Squirrel Girl vs Kraven is actually more boring than it should be. Especially when he's defeated by her pointing out that he could go hunt bigger and more dangerous prey. Anti-climax to the max! = -5pts
  • Doreen Green brings back her squirrel to live with her at the dorm. Good God how many lawsuits are going to come out of this dorm room? = -4pts.
  • End the issue with coming of Galactus. Proving once and for all, when a Marvel writer doesn’t know how to add drama, all they have to do is add a Galactus. = -7pts.
  • The sad realization sets in that She-Hulk and Fantastic Four were canceled for this. = -20pts
Total score = -60pts

This comic is just bad. At a story telling level, events just happen without any real flow or narrative structure. The main character is uninteresting and downright unlikeable at times. The art fluctuates from fluid artistic movement to the bizarre. Erica Henderson seems to have a really hard time with faces, as some of the characters just look creepy, including Squirrel Girl herself. Much of it is hard to get through, and for some reason someone thought it was a good idea to put jokes at the bottom of each page in tiny bright yellow print against a white background. Take that, losers who are also colorblind! The whole comic is a mess.

The book's biggest crime is that it’s boring. It’s an unfunny superhero book about a character that is portrayed as damn near perfect, and always thinks of herself as such. This probably comes from the title, Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! We see the wink there, but it’s hard to create good drama out of a character if she’s unbeatable. Her only flaw seems appears to be awkwardness. However, if we look at her as a deranged, narcissistic, homeless lady who dresses up as a squirrel and fights crime then things become mildly interesting.

We would avoid this book. Instead, here is a list of better books featuring kickass female superheros:
  • Batgirl (both Gail Simone’s run and Cameron Stewart’s current run)
  • Batwoman (Greg Rucka’s run)
  • Birds of Prey (Gail Simone again)
  • World’s Finest (Huntress/Powergirl run)
  • Wonder Woman (Gail Simone, George Perez, and Brian Azzarello’s run.)
  • Captain Marvel (Current Run)
  • Ms. Marvel (Current Run)
  • She-Hulk (Recently Canceled for Squirrel Girl.)
  • Spider-Gwen
  • X-Men (2013 run that has an entire female cast.)
  • Bee and Puppycat (Both the comic and the show.)

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