Marvel Pick Of The Week – November 25, 2015 [SPOILERS]


Pick Of The Week:

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 2, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

Gotta be honest, time travel stories are not my favorite tropes in science fiction or comic books. I enjoy the peek at the future or the way we learn more about the characters by changing their environments so drastically, but the paradox and lack thereof just feels silly to me, taking a character with superpowers and making the story even less believable.

I should not have doubted that Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 2 would tell my new favorite time travel story. Ryan North’s balance of humor and creativity delivers – Doreen and her best squirrelfriend, Tippy Toe, wake up in the 1960’s. Tippy Toe tries to prevent a butterfly effect, but Doreen points out, “Am I supposed to stand around and not fight crime? Is my catchphrase ‘Eats nuts, carefully avoids kicking butts?’ Because that honestly sounds like a terrible catchphrase/lifestyle choice.” So she fights the bare minimum of crime and starts to find clues that her classmates have also been brought back, and she tries to find the other displaced students with a newspaper ad suggesting people send her a note if “Twerking Emoji Blog” means anything to them. Meanwhile (does that word even apply? I really hate time travel stories), her roommate Nancy deduces the time-kidnapping bit and scours Wikipedia for temporal manipulators whose codenames aren’t as dumb  as Deathlok or Stryfe (spoilers: it is tough to do so).

This book is having a great time with the creative opportunities allowed by the 1960s, never losing its self-aware humor. For instance, when Doreen tries to blend in by wearing big sunglasses and a protest sign, Tippy Toe dismisses it as “No, you’re a time traveler who’s trying too hard to blend in!” Each page is peppered with jokes, down to silly footnotes, and in a metatextual nod, graffiti behind Squirrel Girl name-checks the writer and artist, along with colorist Rico Renzi and letterer Clayton Cowles. I’m not sure who was responsible for the bit, but this book is obviously a team effort, and readers get to feel a part of this. So far, the second volume of this book is as good as the first has ever been, and I’m betting this trend improves. That is, of course, if she can beat Dr. Doom again.

Honorable Mentions:

All-New Wolverine 2, because the Teen Angel and X-23 relationship has taken a while to grow on me but this panel might have tipped the scale in their favor.

Groot 6, for the final panel of the series, a timely reminder the night before Thanksgiving, and I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.

Moon Girl And Devil Dinosaur 1, because TAYLOR SWIFT WAS ON YANCY STREET? When?? Is she still there? Can I get there? Did Ben Grimm date her? Will there be a runaway pop hit about an ever-lovin’ blue-eyed boy in a rocky relationship? Because I NEED the answers to these questions. More than oxygen.

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