Marvel Pick Of The Week – February 24, 2016 [SPOILERS]


Pick Of The Week:

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 5, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, with colors by Rico Renzi

Squirrel Girl was one of my favorite comics in the months leading up to Secret Wars, running neck and neck with Nick Spencer’s Ant-Man, and the creative has returned from their summer break with the same humor and heroics readers have come to expect. For the past few issues, Doreen and several of her computer science classmates have found themselves in the 1960s, and her attempt to use Doctor Doom’s infamous time travel technology has only served to pull her roommate Nancy into the gang’s peril. At the end of the last issue, a young man appeared with a Doombot, and when the ‘bot removed its mask, it turned out to be an older version of Squirrel Girl in disguise.

When I made issue 2 my pick of the week, I made no small matter of my general lack of enthusiasm for time travel stories but said I had been won over by Ryan North’s obvious understanding of the science and convention behind this trope but also the humor to tell a story unimpeded by these rules. The end of the adventure is even more fun, twisting the use of time travel in a novel way that leads to a scene evoking the way Squirrel Girl beat Doctor Doom the first time.

The reason this works is that North and Henderson have made Doreen into an implacable charmer. She was funny and sweet under Dan Slott’s Great Lakes Avengers scripting, but her attitude under the current team has a different, “kicks-butts-eats-nuts” appeal. This is a woman who meets her future self, and rather than wring hands about the things they can’t tell each other, they become immediate best friends, sharing jokes and high-fiving when they spit out the same pun. Future Doreen bemoans that in her timeline, she has had to rename herself “The Barely Beatable Squirrel Girl, I Only Lost That One Time,” and our Doreen understands that a name like that is awful enough to risk a paradox. Squirrel Girl has been confident, and I love that Henderson draws her with a thicker body type than most women in spandex, but it’s one thing to say she likes herself and another to say that if she met another version of herself, she would be best friends. I want that for every young girl I know. Heck, I want that for every person I know.

Fall in love with Squirrel Girl. Fall in love with her now. You’re already late.

Honorable Mentions:

Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat 3, because bedbugs are gross and guys who can control bedbugs are gross and fighting those guys is gross and Patsy is not afraid to say so.

Spider-Man 2099 7, because the new lesbian Inhuman walks a line between blasphemy and a pretty solid theology. I want her to hang out with Adam Warlock’s feminine good side from Infinity Crusade.

All-New All-Different Avengers 6, because the Avengers and the X-Men are both terrific, but I like when Tony picks a side.

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Check out previous Picks here!