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.
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.
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 →
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 →
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.
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.
Today, Patrick and Taylor are discussing Howard the Duck 6, originally released April 20th, 2016.
“Chip, it was fun to help you out and write some little words beneath your comic about a talking duck who is mad at things.”
-Ryan North, alt text
Patrick: Even though I end up reading an awful lot of them, I tend to balk at the idea of superhero crossovers. Like, I kind of resent the idea that I’d be more attracted to a story if it has both Daredevil and Spider-Man in it. Superheroes, or any combination thereof, do not make a comic book special – the creators do. Rare is the crossover event that successfully melds the stories the creators tell as well as the worlds those stories take place in. Howard the Duck 6, a.k.a. The 2016 Squirrel Girl / Howard the Duck “Animal House” Crossover Part Two: Fight or Fight or Flightfight!, finds a way to do just that, finding a happy home at the intersection Ryan North’s goofy optimism and Chip Zdarsky’s even-goofier pessimism. Continue reading →
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 Daredevil 5, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur 5, and Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 6.
Today, Spencer and Taylor are discussing The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 5, originally released February 24th, 2016.
Spencer: I grew up on shonen anime, so “the power of friendship” has been a beloved trope in my life for as long as I can remember. It’s nice, then, to find an American comic so willing to embrace the idea; the power of friendship is so engrained into The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl‘s DNA that sometimes that friendship even comes in the form of Squirrel Girl’s time-displaced counterparts! Yeah, this issue is a zany romp full of complicated time travel shenanigans, but its heart beats with the same moral that has come to define this series: that victory is achieved, not through violence, but by reaching out to, and learning from, others. Continue reading →
Today, Spencer and Taylor are discussing The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl 4, originally released January 27th, 2016.
Spencer: What does it mean to be “unbeatable?” When Squirrel Girl was mainly a joke character, it meant that she could take down any opponent in combat, albeit always off-panel. While Ryan North and Erica Henderson’s take on Doreen still has extraordinary physical prowess, her victories under their pens have instead come from a place of compassion, understanding, and compromise; Squirrel Girl’s “unbeatable” because she always finds a way to appeal to and appease the humanity of any opponent she faces. It makes sense, then, that Doctor Doom is the first enemy to truly flummox Doreen. How is she supposed to defeat someone with no humanity to appeal to? Continue reading →
Today, Drew and Patrick are discussing Starbrand and Nightmask 1, originally released December 16th, 2015.
Drew: You’ll often hear comic book fans complain about superheroes being overpowered — that they’re simply too powerful for a villain to pose a credible threat. I’d actually argue that it isn’t a problem with the actual power-levels of the characters, but rather with the precedents set by the threats they face. There’s no reason Superman can’t get a kitten out of a tree, but when he’s otherwise occupied with fighting off planetary invasions, his street-level attentions seem like small potatoes. Unlike Superman, Starbrand and Nightmask were designed (or revived, as the case may be) specifically to fend off those planet-wide threats, putting the street-level conundrum at the center of their character descriptions, which makes the “Starbrand and Nightmask go to college” premise of Starbrand and Nightmask 1 particularly head-scratching. Continue reading →