Wednesday, 29 July 2015

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4 - Marvel Comics

Ranked fifth on the list of “Top 100 Comic Book Villains” by “Imagine Games Network” in 2009, Jack Kirby’s Galactus has proved to be one of the New York artist’s most memorable co-creations ever since the devourer of worlds made his first appearance way back in March 1966. Sadly however it is hard to believe that the one-time explorer from the planet Taa would have enjoyed such enduring popularity if the character had been as badly misrepresented during one of his early appearances as the Silver Age demi-god is by Ryan North in Issue Four of “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl”.

Indeed in many ways it is hard to imagine a less flattering portrayal of so well-liked and powerful an inhabitant of the Marvel Universe, especially when the Canadian writer begins this magazine by having the cosmically-charged super-being supposedly text any followers of his (web)site “Hey guess what I’m coming to Earth to devour the entire plant and nobody knows because I put my ship in a stealth field.”

Admittedly humour such as Galactus eventually sparing the Earth in favour of consuming a planet “covered in nuts and trees and more nuts” or appearing as little more than a purple-costumed giant squirrel in Tippy-Toe’s eyes, may not have been too out of place within the pages of “Marvel Comics” satiric comic book series “Not Brand Echh”. But this Modern Age twenty-page periodical, whilst supposedly a waggishly witty and somewhat zany read, is not a Sixties parody of its Publisher’s superheroes.

Dishearteningly the “occasional songwriter” also depicts Doreen Green in a similarly disenchanting manner by making the human mutant behave every bit as loutishly as Erica Henderson draws her. In fact the “New Avengers” affiliate is initially shown as being little more than an ineffective bruiser, as she pathetically attempts to defeat ‘The Hunger That Does Not Cease’ by punching one of his feet; “We’re here to kick butts and eat nuts… and you can’t eat nuts in space.”

Sadly it is therefore only towards the end of North’s rather lack-lustre narrative, having spent the better part of the story depicting the antagonists disconcertingly discussing “linguistics”, that the light-hearted quick-thinking Squirrel Girl as envisaged by Will Murray, finally makes an ‘appearance’… And then her disappointingly facetious plan is simply to offer Ashta an alternative “celestial body suffused with” nuts, having located the planet using “a giant Galactus-sized ancient janky retro keyboard?!”
Writer: Ryan North, Artist: Erica Henderson, and Color Artist: Rico Renzi

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