Marvel Pick Of The Week – February 8, 2017: Squirrel Girl Can Fly!


Squirrel Girl flies to the top of the stack with relentless cheer and an unfathomable density of jokes. You’ll believe a squirrel can fly.

Pick Of The Week: Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #17, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, and Rico Renzi

I am tempted to scrap this review and just transcribe the best jokes on each page of this week’s Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. But plagiarism is a bad thing. So this is me doing my best to describe this issue without spoiling too many of the jokes.

Doreen Green’s charismatic mix of computer science coursework and animal-communication superheroics takes center stage this time. Charmed by a lecture on professional ethics, she accepts mentorship that includes access to a sweet flight suit. This allows a fight with the Rhino to hit 26,000 feet before Squirrel Girl’s famous sensitivity and negotiation save the day.

Squirrel Girl stories always hit the right action notes. She likes punching. I like that she likes punching. But the draw of the book is North’s exquisite comedic voice. Take the footnote under the new character’s first page:

"Melissa Morbeck! Both her names start with the same letter, so you know she’s a comic book character. If you have a friend whose names all start with the same letter, there is a chance they are a comic book character too. They’ll deny it but we all know the truth, RICO RENZI OF SQUIRREL GIRL COLORIST FAME!!"

This creative team has a distinctive cadence, playfully teasing one another and tweaking punctuation to give the reader a sense of conversation with the book. If plagiarism wasn’t so bad, I’d have a dozen more examples of these jokes, all of which land gracefully.

You need a laugh this week. The world is dark and ugly. But not all of it. Some of it is Squirrel Girl.

Honorable Mentions:

New Life Goal: Colossus’s reaction to having to take out the entire Inhuman Royal Family by himself.

It’s okay, Swain. It’s hard to come up with snappy similes on the fly. You’re adorable.

G. Willow Wilson effortlessly writes the dialogue on diversity America needs to have right now.

Hey, Secret Wars was awesome. But I have to love Jessica for being So. Over. It.

Gerry Conway’s dialogue nails family, and Ryan Stegman’s pencils nail spider movement. This book is a delight.

Obviously, an action sequence like this proves Mark Waid and Chris Samnee are co-writers as much they are a writer-artist team. But look at how Matthew Wilson’s colors tell the story, too. Comics do things no other medium can, and great pages like this make that abundantly clear.