Marvel Pick Of The Week – July 1, 2015 [SPOILERS]


Pick Of The Week:

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 7, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

I wanted the pick to go to A-Force this week. That book is an amazing showcase of female powerhouses that builds a solid story on the events of the first issue. It connects to other parts of the Secret Wars crossover. I read all of my other books with the stubborn refusal to like them more than I liked A-Force.

But I loved Unbeatable Squirrel Girl so much. So much. With each subsequent book I pulled from my stack, I thought, “Remember, you like A-Force.” And then I’d catch myself snickering, “Remember when Squirrel Girl’s roommate got to go to Asgard?” And I’d flash back to the scene where Squirrel Girl faces down a table full of angry Avengers and sweetly explains the premise of her book and her supporting cast:

And there have been so many charming comics this year, and it has been a great year for comics, but this issue was such a showcase for a distinctive voice that I couldn’t shake it for the hours I spent hearing the voices of Spider-Man, the Hulk, or even Doctor Doom. So I Picked Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Apt title.

The story is terrific. Last issue, Doreen met Girl Squirrel, a squirrel with superpowers and a cute little outfit, and she didn’t trust her but couldn’t define why. This time, she’s watching fights explode all over New York for minimal causes, such as a diner in Battery Park that’s torn to pieces by the waffles versus pancakes debate (side note: Waffles. Waffles every dang time). Not even the Avengers are immune to the general irritability, and Squirrel Girl takes out five of them in, no lie, “26 seconds.” Thanks to Wikipedia and a phone call to the male and female Thors, Girl Squirrel is exposed as Ratatoskr, a mythological squirrel that runs up and down the world tree Yggdrasil talking trash about everyone. As Thor explains, she’s “the ultimate troll… god-tier smack-talking.” As the Thors and Roommate Nancy head to Asgard to work on a trap, Squirrel Girl, Chipmunk Hunk, and Koi Boi fight the monster but end up losing in a funny-but-sad cliffhanger.

This is a darker story than this book has tried. Previously, our heroine has bounced around in space and stopped bank robbers and been late to class. This time, we’re getting violence and anger aplenty, but it’s perfect for her. Her cheer and loyalty are such key parts of her character that an Internet troll is the ideal foil for her, and the book is able to use this to reinforce the core elements of this woman without feeling repetitive. This is a different character from the sunny Dan Slott version, but she’s a natural extension and demonstrates the best parts of sharing serial narratives. I still love the Secret Wars crossover and most of the tie-ins. I still want everyone to read A-Force. But reading (and re-reading) this book was the best part of my day, and I couldn’t recommend this book any higher.

Honorable Mentions:

Secret Wars 4, because when Strange has told the group of refugee heroes about Battleworld, Starlord can keep his priorities in order. A true hero, that Peter Quill.

Giant-Size Little Marvel: AVX 2, for this adorable scene of Li’l Ghost Rider having a nice dinner at home.

Groot 2, because this page of Groot-ified Avengers fighting Grootlactus and Groot watching in ecstasy is just EVERYTHING. EVERYTHING.

Secret Wars Journal 3, for this amazing subtle costume coloring on Wolverine Noir as he works a case…

…then this very funny exploration of how we might react if we all got Hulk powers. Secret Wars Journal has been a great anthology.

Catch up on previous Picks here!

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