The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is the one that prompted this topic. I kept seeing it in the comic shop and didn’t give it much thought. But as I saw more of the covers, it reminded me of The Sensational She-Hulk from the late 1980s, such as this one where She-Hulk is carrying the writer of the comic off because his ego’s getting too big. I still have those. They are amongst the few that I decided to keep from back then.
The two issues I got were pretty interesting. They have a lot of meta humor and the current series include two other pretty nice touches. The first is that the first page is screencaps of Twitter messages between SG and other superheroes like Tony Stark, Hulk, etc., as well as a hashtag list that seems to indicate the subect of the issue, though the most recent one included #voteloki, which is a separate series about Loki running for the President of the US. The second item is the running commentary at the bottom of most of the pages, which is from either SG, one of her friends or sometimes the writers.
It prompted me to get some more issues and somehow wound up with two numbered as #8. Then I found out that when Marvel renumbered all of their series last year, TUSG lampshaded it by announcing “Only our second #1 so far this year”.
The “Unbeatable” in the comic title is accurate, but there seems to be a lot of hand waving in her battles, which adds to the charm of the series. Whether it’s by her own squirrel-like abilities, getting help from whatever squirrels are nearby, or simply using logic and reason to diffuse a situation, she hasn’t lost yet. You may be Doctor Doom or MODOK, but you get a bunch of those furry critters crawling over you or gnawing through your circuits, and you’re gonna end up discombobulated and defeated.
But even when that happens, she remains on pretty good terms with everyone. Case in point, she needed to borrow a time machine, so she asked Doctor Doom. His reaction was pretty much, “Meh, doesn’t interfere with what I’m doing, so why not?”
Backstory on the character:
Doreen Green is not a mutant, but she developed squirrel characteristics not long after she was born like a prehensile tail (she stuffs it in her pants and kind of enjoys the fact it gives her the appearance of a bigger derrière) and a few other squirrel-like physical characteristics, able to talk to squirrels, and an overall attitude of being awesome.
She wanted to be Iron Man’s side-kick when she was 14, but he advised her to go to college and try again then. She teamed up with the Great Lakes
Avengers, Defenders, Champions, or whatever they’re called this year, but decided to leave after realizing she was overshadowing all of them. Think Mystery Men, and just about as effective.
She back in New York now and has a few friends that help her out. She somehow got ahold of Deadpool’s stat cards on heroes and villains, so that’s the first thing she or her friends consult when they meet someone new.
Neither Doreen or her friend Nancy Whitehead are classical beauties. You definitely see the squirrel in Doreen, especially around her mouth, and her current appearance is drawn quite differently than how she first looked back in 1991. I picked up the Volume 1 trade paperback that shows those early days and it’s an improvement. But it’s also striking how much the overall comic book art has progressed in the last 25 years.
This is one I will be reading for quite a while.