For those uninitiated, Doreen Green is just your average computer science major university student that has had trouble balancing work, school, and social life. She's pluckly, a member of numerous selective clubs, and has "milk shake" that brings all the boys to the yard. Her extra-curricular activities do tend to get in the way though. She has to protect the earth from threats such as Galactus, Dr. Doom, and giant mutated tree lobsters. You may know her better as:
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
Doreen has had little time for anything other than class and crime fighting. Having a life outside of work and school is hard: especially when it comes to dating. So, Doreen tried to combine her love interest and work like so many of us non superhero types have done. Now she has learned the lesson that combining love and co-workers and friendships is rarely a good thing.
Her crime fighting partner Chipmunk Hunk (Thomas) has been Doreen’s not so secret crush for about a year now. Her fear of showing any kind of romantic interest has pushed Thomas into seeking other potential partnerships through the dating world. A flummoxed and desperate Squirrel Girl seeks the help of her compatriots to help her most terrifying en-devour: dating while in love with someone else.
This is harder for superhero types, especially for those who are as mind meltingly hot as Doreen (read the above statement about her "milk shake"). She doesn’t want to date people who want to date heroes. She also doesn’t want to date people that can’t understand that she needs to mysteriously leave in a moment’s notice. They also have to like squirrels. And be down with the fact that she has a tail.
After striking out with the likes of Johnny Storm, Boomerang, and a series of squirrel hating punks, she might have a chance with Brad who had the username “HawkJock” Now with a username like that, Doreen is completely justified into thinking that this guy is a secret hero. She is constantly on him about revealing his identity to her and even flashes Brad her totally dope squirrel tail which he mistakes for an outfit.
But Brad turns out to be an Alex Jones type nutjob. He’s a “super hero truther” and feels the need to educate The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl on why superheroes don’t really exist and why they are all a government plot. A plot to something or other the something because… “get woke sheeple.” Doreen offers to introduce him to Thor (whose gender seems to set Brad off on a conspiracy theory tangent), but is interupeted by Mole Man invading the surface world. He’s out for revenge against Squirrel Girl and will stop at nothing to hurt her: even kidnapping her looser of a date who thinks this is all a government false flag operation.
Squirrel Girl is understandably confused by this, after a quick wardrobe change, she looks to her ever helpful Deadpool trading cards for information on Mole Man and why he could possibly want to attack her. Despite his use of apt German slang (weisenheimer - saucy or boisterous woman), she still has no clue why he is after her. So he has to explain her actions to her; this results in the greatest page of backstory in all of comic history.
After this diatribe, Mole Man is ready to lay down the fisticuffs, but has to give Squirrel Girl a brief syntax and vocabulary lesson before proceeding with the fight. Squirrel Girl, who seems more confused than ever by the situation, doesn't fight him like most superheroes (Americans) would do. Instead she does what all polite and well mannered people (Canadians) do: apologize.
Mole Man is taken aback by this display of unfettered honesty and understanding. Squirrel Girl understands Mole Man's legitimate complaints about the surface world. That the disagreements between the two worlds are ones of ignorance and apathy, which Squirrel Girl would like to help rectify. She offers to ask Thor if she could fling some of the nuclear waste that has been seeping into Mole Man's domain into the sun. Mole Man agrees, but he doesn't quite know what to do with Brad.
However, Mole Man has but one more request. You see, very few people understand him. Few people have ever tried to relate to him. Squirrel Girl has given this pimply faced, awkward hermit more attention than any girl ever has. Plus her tail is super sexy. So Mole Man does what any social pariah would do: he proposes to her.
Doreen talks to Mole Man. Tells him that things cant work between them. She is busy with school. Busy being a hero. There are no trees or squirrels underground. She leaves him quickly to ponder her words. Later when Central Park is being pulled underground, she rushes to the scene with her friends to find that Mole Man has decided to make an underground paradise for her. She tries to talk him out of it, but Mole Man, who is not used to being dumped, responds how any megalomaniac would: attacks her friends. She beats up a few moleoids before Mole Man reconsiders and leaves heart broken after Doreen tells him his true love is out there. However, one day later, Mole Man again resorts to sinking the worlds landmarks in order to force Squirrel Girl into being his Mole Ma'am. Doreen promises to kick his butt to the moon... in next months book.
If you aren't familiar with the amazing comedic chops of Ryan North, you are doing yourself a disservice. The writing is at one time self-effacing and the next brash. In one moment it is poignant and the next it is hilarious. Mainly, it is intelligent throughout: from the smarmy footnotes to the pieces of surreptitious edification of the reader. Mr. North captures so fundamentally the angst of dating and unrequited love, the reader only notices that fantastical nature of the story as an after thought.
Erica Henderson's art is equally as charming as it is North's writing. From large, city sized fight scenes, to ethereally detailed backstory panels, to heart string pulling character moments: She nails it all. It shows a breadth and depth that few can muster. With a flexibility to display even what some may consider banal with flourish and ease, Henderson has the reader feeling every emotion that plays across the eponymous Squirrel Girls face.
This is an excellent series that just keeps getting better. The North-Henderson duo brings much needed levity to an overly dark Marvel Universe. Thus I dub these two comics with the highest grade one can give without falling into sports metaphors.
Rating: 10/10 Delicious Acorns