Epistolary Irreverence in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 26

by Drew Baumgartner

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 26

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

The provenance of epistolary texts are always weird. Actually, it’s probably less weird than traditional narratives, where we might somehow be privy to the private thoughts of the protagonist or even the perspective of an omniscient narrator, but epistolary texts necessarily draw our attention to the weirdness in a way that more traditional narratives don’t. Because we’re reading documents composed within the diegesis of the epistolary narrative, the ostensible writer of those documents are a character, even as the actual writer attempts to become invisible. That tension, between our hyperawareness of the fictional author, and purported obliviousness of the actual author, puts epistolary narratives in this weird netherworld of headspace, embracing the self-awareness of postmodernism in an attempt to produce an entirely un-self-aware story. It’s a concept that already folds in on itself, but writer Ryan North adds a few more wrinkles, confusing the notion of self-awareness enough that the confusion starts to be to point. Continue reading

Doreen Inspires Good Once Again in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 25

by Taylor Anderson

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

There are some superheroes who are more good than others. Superman and Captain America are your prototypical heroes who have the reputations for always doing the “right thing.” Other heroes are more nebulous when it comes to how they carry out their heroing. The Punisher, for example kills people, and while Batman isn’t that extreme, he operates in the shadows in more ways than one. If you had to peg Doreen Green into one of these two pigeonholes, she would definitely fall in the former, and while that predictability risks being boring, with The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, it never is. Continue reading

Dinosaur Ultron Embraces Evil in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 24

by Spencer Irwin

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Dinosaur Ultron is a terrific villain, partially because it’s just so cool to see Ultron as a dinosaur, partially because artist Erica Henderson has come up with a design for him that’s equal parts menacing and adorable and because colorist Rico Renzi mines his red glowing highlights for some particularly effective scares, and partially because Ryan North has found a genuinely funny and unique voice for him. What seems most notable to me about Dinosaur Ultron, though, is that he came upon his hatred of all organic life independently of the original Ultron’s programming; if both versions of the AI came to the same conclusion despite wildly different lives and circumstances, did they ever really have a chance to be anything different? Could he still be? Continue reading

Discussion and Respect at the Center of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 23

by Ryan Mogge

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 23 ends with Doreen in the clutches of a robotic Tyrannosaurus Rex, but the most important plot points involve discussion. It’s not quite My Dinner with Andre. We also get an explanation of the problem in the Savage Lands, a couple of montages, and the aforementioned robot T-Rex. Even so, the most important moments happen as Nancy talks it out with Stefan and then talks out that conversation with Doreen. Ryan North and Erica Henderson elevate these conversations by applying real caring between the characters and creating visual interest during these conversations. Continue reading

Making the Set Up a Joy in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 22

by Ryan Mogge

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, proceed at your own risk!

When you need to get a group of characters to a strange location in order for a story to begin, the first act can be a slog. A savvy reader knows that all is not likely what it seems. Therefore, when a character gets a letter from an uncle they never met or when our heroes win a vague contest which offers a trip to a mysterious place as a prize, it can feel like a stall before the real story begins. Ryan North and Erica Henderson are able to avoid those pitfalls in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 22 by capitalizing on humanity’s love for dinosaurs. Continue reading

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 20

Today, Drew and Taylor are discussing The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 20, originally released May 17th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

The truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.

Winston Churchill

Drew: We like to think that the truth in an unstoppable force, that its discovery is inevitable. It’s a comforting thought, and may very well be true over the long-run, but heaven knows it can be effectively obfuscated in the short term. This is exactly what Doreen finds herself up against in the depressingly timely Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 20, as Melissa Morbeck attempts to frame her for her own crimes. Ryan North and Erica Henderson pack the issue with enough parallels to the 2016 election to make the familiarity sting, but manage to keep it just as packed with jokes, maintaining their distinctive levity, even as things look their bleakest.

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 16


Today, Drew and Taylor are discussing The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 16, originally released January 11th, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Drew: Part of Marvel’s brand is using vague, subjectively defined adjectives in the titles of their comics. Words like “Amazing,” “Astonishing,” or “Totally Awesome” don’t hold any absolute value, so ultimately don’t really mean anything. “Unbeatable” is different. “Unbeatable” is absolute. What’s “Totally Awesome” today may not be tomorrow (and vice versa), but whether a thing can or cannot be beaten is timeless in its objectivity. In this way, Squirrel Girl’s defining quality stretches across time, meaning we’ll always be able to recognize her, whether we’re looking into the past or the future. That idea is at the heart of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 16, an anniversary issue that reminds us that, whatever life throws at Doreen Green, she can always beat it. Continue reading

U.S.Avengers 1


Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing U.S.Avengers 1, originally released January 4, 2017. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Patrick: There are more flavors of Avengers out there than there are flavors of ice cream at Baskin Robbins.

That’s not an entirely true observation. Baskin Robbins always carries 31 flavors, and even at it’s most, Marvel only publishes 5 or 6 Avengers series at one time. But I’m too in-love with the ice cream metaphor to let it go, so stay with me. Like Baskin Robbins, U.S.Avengers is an exercise in indulgences, cramming in as much fun, color, and sugar as humanly possible. This cartoonish excess is also unapologetically American, leaning in to everything that even remotely expresses that cultural identity. Continue reading

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 15


Today, Taylor and Spencer are discussing The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 15, originally released December 14th, 2016. As always, this article contains SPOILERS.

Taylor: Looking back at Matt Fraction and David Aja’s run on Hawkeye, it’s hard to pick out a single, best issue. But press any comic reader hard enough and they’ll probably say that #11, the famous “Pizza Dog” issue, stands apart as particularly good. If you haven’t read it, the premise of the issue is fairly simple: what’s a day in the life of Clint’s dog, Lucky, like? It turns out that question is far more complex than it would seem, as Fraction and Aja use revelatory methods to show what it’s like to experience the world from the point of view of a dog. Taking it’s queues from this modern classic, Squirrel Girl 15 aka the Unbeatable Mew shows us what it’s like to experience the world not from the point of view of a hound, but from man’s other best friend, a cat.

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Marvel Round-Up: Comics Released 4/27/16

marvel roundup28

We try to stay up on what’s going on at Marvel, but we can’t always dig deep into every issue. The solution? Our weekly round-up of titles coming out of Marvel Comics. Today, we’re discussing Avengers Standoff: Assault on Pleasant Hill Omega 1, All-New Wolverine 7, Amazing Spider-Man 11, Daredevil 6, Ms. Marvel 6, Old Man Logan 5, Patsy Walker A.K.A. Hellcat 5, Spider-Woman 6, Ultimates 6, and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 7.

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