Monday, 1 June 2015

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3 - Marvel Comics

Purportedly the ‘Winner of’s Nuts About That Booty Award’, at least according to its cover, Issue Three of “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl” actually proves to be something of a diverting read, despite the “Marvel Worldwide” title slipping to 88th position in the Diamond Comic Distributors sales chart for March 2015. Indeed this somewhat 'controversial' twenty-two page book even contains a couple of laugh out moments within Ryan North’s narrative, most notably when long-time Iron Man foe Whiplash cuts in half Doreen’s preciously rare “collectible” information card on Galactus.

For the most part however, the Canadian author’s storyline is disappointingly saturated with little more than repetitive fatuous humour, some of which, such as the titular character shielding her secret identity from her room-mate by forming an all-encompassing suit of living squirrels, are excruciatingly cheesy. Whilst others, like Green overcoming Ivan Vanko by ordering her furry companions to crawl inside his mouth or flagging down Galactus’ Star Sphere with a gigantic robot hand, are downright nauseating.

The actual logic to this magazine’s plot is also a little nonsensical. Having bested Whiplash and used her numerous rodent friends to perform “Maneuver Chestnut Epsilon” in order to incapacitate him, the mutant hero has to decide between flying to the Earth’s rescue by visiting the Moon or foiling a nearby bank robbery. Perhaps unsurprisingly Squirrel Girl decides to accomplish both. But instead of sending her buck-toothed cohorts to rescue her roommate at the depository so she can hasten into outer-space, Doreen instead accompanies her squirrels, promptly meaning that despite her best intentions “there’s no way… [she]… can make it to the moon in time…”

Possibly even more baffling though is North’s solution to Green’s predicament. As the former computer programmer simply has her jet to the top of the Avengers Tower in her damaged ‘Iron Squirrel’ armour and steal a multi-limbed “orbital” space suit. If such Stark technology already existed to propel both Doreen and Tippy-Toe to the Moon why didn’t Squirrel Girl simply purloin that in the first place; especially when it only takes her a single panel to pinch it?

Erica Henderson’s artwork could just as easily be dismissed as this comic’s tediously dire writing. But the female animator’s panels depicting the “unlikely hero” leaping from tree to tree as Whiplash slowly cuts down the forest around them, is wonderfully drawn with plenty of energy and dynamic action. Sadly there is a noticeable drop in quality once the penciller starts to draw the bank robbery though, with Doreen’s friend Nancy figure appearing especially awkward-looking and one-dimensional.

The Rhode Island School of Design graduate’s inability to consistently illustrate squirrels with any sort of identifiable detail, of which this comic understandably contains a lot of, also detracts from some potentially memorable scenes, such as the aforementioned living squirrel suit. Which towards the end of the story appears to bear more resemblance to a grey misshapen Clayface than a 'cacophony of chipmonks' cousins.'
The variant cover art of "THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL" No. 3 by Gurihiru


  1. Whenever I see you reviewing this comic I get struck down with a bad case of dyslexia and think it is called The UNBEARABLE Squirrel Girl! Hmm, I wonder why?

    1. Thanks Bryan :-) I really wanted this title to be a winner. But sadly its just not my cup of tea. However I've stuck with it for the first four issues as it features one of my all-time favourite villains Galactus... so the next review will be my last one... unless another creative team take over this book and then I might give it another try.