Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Power and Squirrel You Know It's True by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

I heard a lot of positive things about these comics - humorous, strong female characters, good stories, etc. and I went ahead and purchased them for the library. I was not disappointed.

In the first collection, Squirrel Power, Squirrel Girl aka Doreen and her best squirrel are moving to college and going "normal" but it's hard to do with new roommates, cute boys, and Galactus on the move. Wait, WHO?? How is she supposed to get to orientation and make friends when she keeps having to save the world?

The fun part about this first collection is that it's, well, fun! Doreen has no angst about her role as squirrel girl and while she can be awkward and socially inept she just picks herself up and keeps on going. She's not lying on her dorm bed moaning about how difficult it is to be her and what a horrible life she has (*cough* Spider-Man *cough*) she's out there living it. She's friendly, chipper, and comes up with unique solutions to problems that can range from talking things out and peaceful resolutions to punching everything in sight because sometimes a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

The second volume, Squirrel You Know It's True didn't grab me quite as much. It makes heavy use of the "perspective" trope I've seen a lot in Batman - that everyone sees Squirrel Girl through their own lens. This rather bores me. However, the interactions with her new friends, both hero and human, are warm and she grows both as a heroine and as a person.

While I put both volumes in teen and they're directed to that audience, there's nothing inappropriate in them for a younger audience. Squirrel Girl has some mild romantic crushes and makes some very definite statements about consent, equality, and feminism, but there are no graphic references to or visuals of sex or violence. Basically, it's a light-hearted romp through superhero land with Squirrel Girl as guide and guardian.

Verdict: This isn't likely to appeal to fans of the more gritty superhero comics, but to kids who like a good story with some comic book action it will be a fun read. Fans will appreciate the many side references as well. I think the audience that it will most instantly appeal to is Lumberjanes fans but right now I only have a couple I have talked into reading those titles. Whether or not it's a necessary purchase depends on your demographic and what they enjoy reading, but it's definitely a fun superhero comic to hand to younger readers and to those who would like to see more girl power in their comics.

Squirrel Power
ISBN: 9780785197027; Published 2015 by Marvel; Purchased for the library

Squirrel You Know It's True
ISBN: 9780785197034; Published 2015 by Marvel; Purchased for the library


CMSavage6 said...

She's not lying on her dorm bed moaning about how difficult it is to be her and what a horrible life she has (*cough* Spider-Man *cough*)- That's exactly what bothers me about Spider-Man! Good review and I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way. Most people I know think he's great. (Which he is, I could just use a little less whining along the way.)

Jennifer said...

Ha, I hate Spider-Man! I like the kids' comics, where he's battling evil guys and making stupid jokes, but anything I deal with whiny teen boys at work, I'm not going to read about them! Squirrel Girl Rules!