Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 Review by Matt
Well that certainly didn't take long! After less than three months since the end of the original series, Ryan North and Erica Henderson are back with an all new Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1! Fans of the original series don't need to worry, though, because this is a direct continuation of the story that has already been established. It's a great jumping on point for new readers, but really, the only reason this is a #1 issue is to fall in line with the rest of Marvel's reboots. (Howard the Duck #1 is sure to treat the soft reboot with the same sort of tongue-in-cheek response.)
So has anything changed? Of course it has. It's been eight months since the incursion point destroyed Earth-616 and created Battleworld. But everything's relatively back to normal now. Besties Doreen Green (Squirrel Girl's secret identity...shhh, don't tell!) and Nancy Whitehead are still in college together, but have moved into an apartment off campus. Squirrel Girl even has a teleporter in her closet that takes her directly to Avengers Island, which ties in nicely to her being on the team in New Avengers. Chipmunk Hunk and Koi Boi, original characters from the first Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series, return as well, establishing a well fleshed out recurring cast. North mines great dialogue and moments from these character's dynamics, grounding the crew in reality, which is something Marvel comics seem to almost always nail. Introduced in this issue, we also get to meet Squirrel Girls' mom, who is exactly how you think she'd be – bubbly, enthusiastic, and proud of her little girl. She even wears a shirt throughout the issue that says “I've squirreled away a place in my heart...for squirrel girl.” Her shirt is a blink-and-miss-it gag, which is exactly one of North's strengths. He packs each book he writes with so many jokes, they're literally falling off the page. Make sure not to miss any of the text located at the bottom of each page, under the panels because there's some real gold there.
We also get a DEEP cut villain that
hasn't been featured in comics in quite a while. Brain Drain was
originally introduced in Invaders
#2 from October 1975 and hasn't been used in comics in years.
Instead of featuring a more recognizable first villain, like Kraven
from the original Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1,
North decides to use a relatively unknown character and rewrite him
for his own purposes. Brain Drain's dialogue is hilarious and I dare
you not to read his dialogue with the voice of Werner Herzog. The
issue ends with Doreen and Nancy repairing Brain Drain with modern
technology and essentially letting him rewrite his own history as a
villain. Instead, he'll now be in class with them, catching up on
the years of history he was never around for.
Despite how you may feel about a book changing numbers or starting a new volume, it's hard to argue with a good story. If you were enjoying Unbeatable Squirrel Girl before, you'll still love it just as much, if not more. North and Henderson are still at the top of their game, producing a book unlike anything else Marvel currently has on the shelf. There's lots of great opportunities for stories and character development that will make Unbeatable Squirrel Girl stick around for a while. Here's to hoping we see this book on shelves for a long time.