Squirrel Girl gets a new number one… again??? A character that I didn’t even know existed basically eighteen months ago is now the most popular girl in school- and with people like Erica Henderson and Ryan North at the helm of this girl, there is nothing standing in the way of her going on to become the Marvel Universe prom queen (that’s a thing, right? If not, it probably really should be. Just don’t let Deadpool be king- that’s a whole mess of problems that NOBODY wants.)
I wasn’t sure what to make of this character, OR this series early on- I actually missed out on the first volume of Squirrel Girl from earlier this year (either due to the fact that I just wasn’t interested in the character at first glance, or because I just had WAY too many books on my pull list already, take your pick) but when thing slowed down a few weeks ago, and there were literally NOT A SINGLE new comic, or the beginning of a new arc published for the entire week- save for the True Believers reprint of Squirrel Girl #1, I jumped on it for my weekly “Other Side” Segment for the Weird Science DC Comics Blog guys’ podcast. It was a fun, weird, quirky book that really felt more in line with the (now verboten) “Batgirling” that was happening over at DC, so I thought it was something that could bring in a newer, younger and more predominantly female audience to comics- though, once they actually step foot in a typical local comic shop, they’ll go back to doing whatever they were doing before they thought comics were a good idea…
I think that that first issue and this one have a lot of similarities, mostly because the creative team is the same, and the general goal of a low-accessibility hurdle starting point for a new book was a big part of each story- this one, however, carries a bit more personality with it (and connects Squirrel Girl to her position within the New Avengers- which was another book I was actually pleasantly surprised with… but that’s a story for another time) and still is jam-packed with the humor that I expect from something Ryan North writes. Erica Henderson’s characters are uniquely her own, and this book really does it’s level best to make all of the different characters really FEEL unique as well- which I appreciate.
I liked the inclusion of a bad guy in this issue that was much less “human” and less of a subject for Squirrel Girl’s logic and reason. Brain Drain, a giant robot with a brain in a glass jar for a head (I mean, who didn’t see THAT coming, amirite???) ends up being the focal point for the latter half of the issue- the focus of the first half being Squirrel Girl’s mom and the budding relationship between SG’s college roommate and her mother- which is played for MUCH comedic effect.
The standard fare in a Ryan North book is here as well- with his footnotes at the bottom of every page there to act as a nice bit of punctuation to the silliness of the book, as if to remind the reader that, yes, a real human actually wrote this, and is fully aware of just how ridiculous and over-the-top it all is.
So, overall, I enjoyed this book quite a lot- it was a fun and engaging read, and it brings a bit of diversity to the Squirrel Girl World (try saying that three times fast…) and just really opens up the character and the book once again to a new group of readers who are (hopefully) picking up this book, and then New Avengers, and then Secret Wars (and so on, and so on, and so on- until you get them fully hooked and they’re buying Hulk fists, and tickets to Deadpool’s midnight premier and everything is right with the world).
I think that this book probably doesn’t sit well with people who are only interested in punchfights and capes and cloaks doing more “typical” things, but this book is anything but typical- so if you find yourself categorized as an atypical comics enthusiast, or just someone who wants to try something a bit outside the norm of comicdom- then this may just be right up your alley…