This issue of Squirrel Girl is the 25th. To celebrate such an event, we learn her origin story, how she once helped the Hulk, and learn more about peanut butter ethics.
The first few panels give us a TL:DR of their relationship leading up to Doreen Green. The comic then cuts to a whole panel is devoted to a baby Doreen Green, aka Squirrel Girl, surrounded by her loving and supportive family.
We are then treated to a few escapades of Squirrel Girl’s life. She impresses her classmates with awesome jumping. Her family has to move away to a school where everyone apparently hates her. She then discovers she can talk to squirrels, saves one from an overeager dog, and is given the chance to improve human peanut butter ethics. It is around this time she also designs her first costume and persona.
Five years later she’s hanging out with her first sidekick Monkey Joe, and reading Nancy Drew, as you do. Then Bruce Banner falls right out of the sky midway with a fight with The Abomination(Which, judging by the name he’s given himself, either has incredible and deep-seeded self-worth issues, or is actually a 12 year old Edgelord.) Squirrel Girl then uses the power of squirrels and general video game aiming skills to stop the Abomination and help hulk in the process. We then cut to her birthday party, where she beats up a party crashing Redskull.
We then get another story, five years later, that only amounts to a teaser for upcoming events. It’s incredibly short, showcasing how Doreen is now the leader of the U.S. Avengers. The world’s in good hands.
This issue of Squirrel Girl was surprisingly tame for a 25th anniversary. I was expecting a bit more, considering Doctor Doom and other villains were on the cover. But overall, it’s a decent story with some clever nods here and there.
The writing in this issue took a bit of warming up to. The pacing at the beginning was rather rushed, going from various moments in her childhood so quickly one could hardly stay connected. How Squirrel Girl treated her powers when she was really young was quite standard for a super hero story. However, once she gets past discovering them, the comic’s enjoyability increases tenfold. The writing for the Hulk section in particular shines by highlighting how both absurd and effective her powers are. It also lays the ground work for her wit with her Nancy Drew reading habits.
Erica Hnderson’s artistry was really on point this issue. Nearly everything worked: the small details like the retro shape of Doreen’s hair when she was fifteen, the effective use of facial expressions in the Up-esque beginning, the soft shapes used in character design, the cute use of the original Squirrel Girl design. It’s was all fabulously done. Another art nod goes out to Rico Renzi, who’s color choice and shading stood out.
Overall this was a very fun adventure that gave us a look int Squirrel Girl’s past. If it were a food, it would be Lox and Cream.
Why does she have an abomination toy? Is the Abomination actually an overly zealous Heel who sells merchandise? Is this how villains are able to support themselves?
It’s amazing how easily Red Skull just crashes Doreen’s party. Fortunately is it’s also very comical.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #16
Writer: Ryan North
Pencils/Inks/Colors: Erica Henderson & Rico Renzi
All images courtesy of Marvel Comics