Let me first state the obvious: Squirrel Girl is delightful. It’s quick-witted, thoughtful, diverse, and rife with hilarity. SQ herself is funny, but add in her team of Koi Boy, Chipmunk Hunk, Brain Drain, Mary, and Tippy Toe and you’ve got a barrage of tight dialogue, teamwork and wonderfulness. As ever, the betailed lass finds herself wrapped up in a fight she can’t win by punching her way out. She has been outsmarted and it takes her entire team working together, brains over brawn, to win the day.
I think my favorite part of each issue (besides the darling cosplay pictures included in the letters section) is the single page Adventures of Alfredo the Chicken and the Bear Chef who wants to cook him. Seriously, that sentence alone should sell a book. These aren’t supers, these are actual animals, chasing each other through New York City. Tell me you don’t want to read it now. Ryan North and Erica Henderson make a great team, smartly telling a patently ridiculous story in ways that make everyone care sincerely. I’ve been a fan of both writer and artist for a number of years, including North’s work on the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Shakespeare books To Be or Not to Be and Romeo and/or Juliet.
Ok, now for a bit of real talk. I’m getting old. The opening page of each issue of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl collected here is a collection of texts/instas/whatever between SQ and another hero, friend, squirrel or all three. They are impossible to read with near 40 year-old eyes. The font is tiny. And then at the bottom of each page is something I’m sure is hilarious, but with yellow text on a white background at font size 4, I’m just not able to tell. I know this is a teen comic and that they have Go-Go-Gadget binoculars implanted in their teenage eyeballs, but help an old man out, huh? I want to have the laughs!
Wait, why are you still here? Why aren’t you buying the book? Need more? All right, how about a play on the resurrected Supermen story with Doc Ock replacements Pre-Doc Ock, Doctor Cyberock, Dark Ock, and The Doctopus? The DOCTOPUS! Go! Buy the book that is embracing diversity in the best ways, including a Sikh NYPD officer wearing his uniform turban. It has a brain in a jar on a body having an existential crisis. Go!