By Taylor Anderson
This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!
On paper, the team-up of Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel makes too much sense for it not to happen. Both heroes are young protagonists. Both are second tier Marvel heroes next to the headliner Avengers. And perhaps most importantly, both of their series are strikingly modern and fun. But just because a team-up makes sense in theory doesn’t mean it will really work in practice. Artistic differences and such often derail the best laid team-up issues. Baring this in mind, does Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel 1 strike gold or strike out?
Thankfully, the answer is that it strikes gold, and really that shouldn’t even be a question given the considerable writing talents of Ryan North and G. Willow Wilson. Both are sharp writers and have a levity about their work that all but guarantees this issue’s success. However, just because a writer is talented doesn’t mean that they’ll be able to successfully co-write an issue with a peer. So why are these two able to do it so well?
There’s a lot to that question, but I think much of it has to do with similar themes each explores in their writing. North loves writing about computers and compromise in Squirrel Girl in just the same way Wilson enjoys writing about modern technology and teens in Ms. Marvel. The two are able to find a happy medium in this issue by featuring a plot that has heavy doses of computer technology and the dangers that come with it. The main driver of this action is the antagonist of the issue, Emulator, who is an inhuman who can summon video game monsters at a whim.
She’s also being manipulated by an unknown person on the internet. In her character we see everything that North and Wilson like writing about. Computers, teen angst, inner conflict, and a feeling of being misunderstood are all embodied in her. With such a character it’s easy for Wilson and North to fill out the issue around this person because it allows them to riff on their favorite themes. Along the way we’re treated to the usual humor and witty dialogue both of these writers are known for and the result is a team-up issue that lives up to its expectations.
The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?