Welcome to The Pull List, a weekly column where we check out a first isssue of a new series and tell you whether or not to follow the comic based only on that. This week saw the release of a new ongoing Marvel series that I’ve been excited about since I first read about it. That’s right: Unbeatable Squirrel Girl!
For those who don’t know me, I need to explain that I am an unabashed fan of Ryan North. Perhaps best known for his webcomic Dinosaur Comics, North has also been the scribe on the Adventure Time comic, as well as his own series from Boom! entitled The Midas Flesh. All of these are legitimately some of the funniest and best written comics I’ve read in a while.
Needless to say I was stoked when it was annoucned he’d be penning a new Marvel series and was even more excited when I found out it would be centering on Squirrel Girl. For those unfamiliar, Squirrel Girl has always been a bit of a throwaway, joke character. Said to have the proportional strength and speed of a squirrel, as well as the ability to communicate with said creatures.
In the past she’s been known to take on and defeat villains such as Thanos, Galactus, and other big bads. Squirrel Girl herself has often been the set-up to the joke, with her victory against insurmountable odds being the punchline. North aims to do something quite a bit more involved with the character, though, if this first issue is any indication.
Squirrel Girl herself, AKA Doreen Green, is moving out of her current abode (secretly living inside the Avengers’ attic) and is going to college to study Computer Sciences. Obviously, as wacky as she is, Doreen is nothing if not a real person. Aside from her superpowers and crime fighting, she feels like someone you or I might actually know.
That’s not to say the comic isn’t still hilarious, though. The issue opens with her singing her own theme song, to the tune of the Spider-Man theme song, and features an amazing encounter with Kraven the Hunter. Also keep an eye out for North’s signature “hidden text” at the bottom of every page – half of my laughs came from these.
The art is also phenomenal, with Erica Henderson pulling pencil duties and Rico Renzi doing the colors. Appropriately cartoonish when necessary, and more grounded when it needs to be, the art grounds the story and action of the issue, while at the same time helping to bring it all to life right before the reader’s eyes.
If this first issue is any indication, we are in for a real treat, and I will be sining the praises of the unbeatable Squirrel Girl for some time to come. It’s not often that a major comics publisher like Marvel takes a chance with something so bizarre, and it really works here.