Squirrel Girl has died! Kinda! It’s all a thing! Everyone is sad! Last issue, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’s funeral was being held with many mourning friends and frenemies saying ever so nice things about her. Fortunately, Doreen was in attendance and not dead! Now she works behind the scenes to discover who faked her death and what evil is afoot. When there’s potential for Skrull involvement, all precautions must be taken. Skrulls or robots. Evil robots. But probably Skrulls.
After discovering that the team really is who they say they are through rounds of highly personal questions, Doreen and Nancy need to find out who pretended to be USG and why they would want her to be fake dead. Luckily, the bad guys don’t know her secret identity, so “Doreen” is safe, even if Squirrel Girl isn’t. Nancy reaches out to their main man Tony Stark, letting him know that Squirrel Girl is alive (and disguised as Bass Lass) and they suspect Skrulls to be involved. Tony’s new AI system, DATABUS, records and deletes some very helpful plot points, setting up a Chekov’s Gun situation for Act 3. As always, Ryan North’s dialogue is some of the quickest and cleverest in the Marvel Universe. At no point, no matter the stakes, does he allow the story to overwhelm the pitch-perfect characterization throughout. His version of Tony Stark is the best Tony Stark: witty, a bit snarky, but definitely caring.
After the “Voluble” Avenger (code names rule) messes up the secret code over the phone and doesn’t know that Doreen is really Squirrel Girl, it’s time for a big ol’ fight scene between this Tony Stark wannabe and Squirrel Girl. What is unusual for Marvel, but not for Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is the attempts by Tony Faux to reason with SG. Whether that stops the kicking of butts remains to be seen.
Artist Derek Charm has really come into his own, making Unbeatable Squirrel Girl his comic. While his style is a drastic departure from current cover artist and delightful human being Erica Henderson’s run on the book, the release of the first USG trade under his pencil puts the past fully in the rearview mirror. He also gives us the clearest looks yet at Doreen both stowing and unpacking her tail in her shorts, a feat of physics that boggles the mind. Like, how does no one else notice?
Unbeatable Squirrel Girl remains one of the most enjoyable comics on the shelf, putting diverse characters and non-violent solutions at its forefront, tying them together with love, companionship, and the ability to “Eat Nuts and Kick Butts” as required. There is a lot of well-deserved love going around for North, Charm, and Doreen. Hard same.