Each week the Split Screens community will focus on one currently-running, new, or groundbreaking comic that you should immediately add to your pull or pick up as soon as possible. After this initial recommendation, we will release new recommendations each Wednesday to coincide with the weekly comic release schedule.
So let’s just get right to our first comic… (And warning, there will be a couple story-arc spoilers)
Yes folks, I am indeed 100% serious with this recommendation. The new Squirrel Girl series is without a doubt one of the best Marvel in recent years (if not one of the best comic series in general). Her squirrely antics scurried there way into my heart and I have no doubt they will yours too…
The character was originally created in 1992 by Steve Ditko and Will Murray who were looking to craft a more lighthearted and humorous character in opposition to the often gritty comics of the 90s. Even early in her career, Miss Doreen Green utilizes her squirrel strength and ability to speak to squirrels to overcome major super-villains in the most amusing ways.
And the legacy of Squirrel Girl burns strongly again with the current series created by writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson. Squirrel Girl possess all of the typically attributes that make-up an excellent superhero comic such as great action, compelling villains (like Dr. Doom and Galactus), well-developed story arcs, and a wonderful cast of dynamic characters.
There is only one quality that tops them all, and that is Squirrel Girl‘s use of compassion and empathy.
The titular heroine is no ordinary heroes by any means. She her squirrel sidekick, Tippy-Toe, and her best friend Nancy resort to “kickin’ butts and eatin’ nuts” only when it is the last possible option. Doreen is never opposed to cooperation and team work either, throwing ego to the wind and creating cleverly coordinated plans to out-maneuver daunting foes like Doom. She fights fiercely for her friends and believes wholeheartedly that they are the biggest source of her strength. And she even advocates for gender neutrality when she can…
Squirrel Girl does whatever possible to spare enemies from her incredible might. She convinces Kraven the Hunter to spar with deep sea leviathans instead of taking out heroes and leads Galactus to a planet full of nuts in order to spare Earth. Each of these silly and whimsical tales is expertly crafted by North and drawn with a near “unbeatable” level of charm and flare by Henderson. North’s story arcs revel in out-of-this-world antics while simultaneously maintaining a sense of the real world. The use of tweet-like blurbs to recap previous stories, the footnotes that give humorous commentary, and the bursts of cultural consciousness capture a hero that is young, vivacious, and yearning for a better world (and having a whole lot of fun along the way). Henderson does a fantastic job of making Squirrel Girl’s lively and animated world come to life with the help of colorist, Rico Renzi.
The creative team is also not afraid to push the bounds of the graphic medium. One of the most recent issues of Squirrel Girl took the choose-your-own-adventure route. North and Henderson craft multiple endings and paths presenting possibly outcomes of her confrontation (or lack there of) with super-villain, Swarm. She even found herself in a crossover with Howard the Duck involving miss cats, insane cosplay fanatics, and a little more Kraven. North and Henderson combined with Chip Zdarsky and Joe Quinones create a blend of wacky, funny, and visually stunning comic book magic.
The once joke character is now an official major player in the current Marvel universe. Miss Green can be found in the newly formed New Avengers series which follows the story of the restructured A.I.M (Advanced Idea Mechanics) owned and operated by Sunspot. Squirrel Girl is also making special appearances in series such as All-New Wolverine, and bringing her own style of adventure to hardened characters who needs it most (seriously, a great issue of Wolverine).
Squirrel Girl is here to stay and I couldn’t be more excited. In a landscape bursting to the brim with multiple Spiderman, Deadpool, Batman, X-Men, Avengers, and Superman series, it is refreshing to see such a bright, empowering, charming, and confident character making her name in the world.
I promise that you will not be disappointed when you pick up this book. Regardless of what comic publisher you prefer, you need to give Squirrel Girl a chance to show you how heartfelt, unbeatable, and absolutely unforgettable she truly is.
Reviews and Impressions:
All images are property of Marvel Comics.