If you're looking for light-hearted fun that feels at times like a love-letter to the Marvel universe, all while following a super-powered woman trying to adapt to the real world, then UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL may be up your alley.
What's great about this book is that it speaks to a different type of reader and does so in a successful way. The book isn't for everyone, but it's a great start to bring in new readers to comics who don't find the age old song and dance of hero fights villain to be their particular cup of tea. UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL focuses more on the life of Doreen and not only what it's like being a young woman in college, but it also deals with the idea of trying to fit in so people think you're "normal."
That's a really cool concept this book brings up, throughout the zaniness. The idea that we all think we're different and need to fit in with the real world and our idea of what normal actually is. While these concepts don't appeal as much to someone older like myself, it's a really cool idea to bring to younger readers to reassure them that they're not alone.
I found myself loving the quick little blurbs at the bottom of every page and the jokes throughout the issue. While the book going into the comedy deep end may be one of the things that holds it back a tad, it makes the overall experience a good read.
Erica Henderson's art, along with Rico Renzi's colors, are awesome here. The book has this fantastic and distinctive style to it and it's full of fun and emotion. One of the coolest scenes in the book, from a humor perspective is when Nancy and Doreen check out all the clubs they can join. There's lots of fun little gags here like the Social Justice and Social Injustice club glaring at each other, but my favorite has to be the "We Love B.E.E.S." table with the person behind the table probably explaining what "B.E.E.S." stands for.
At times, this issue feels like it tries way too hard to push humor over content at certain points. Yes, there are times this book is really funny, but all-in-all it gets a little too zany, and while I am a fan of the old GLA Squirrel-Girl and this book is a big departure from that character, I can accept this is how she is now, but there are times where she is just way too chaotic and almost lost within her own story.
With the last issue, we had this great, compact opening story where we got an idea of where this book was headed and this issue feels like a long set-up for the next issue. If we were further down the line, an issue like this would work a bit better, but since we're so new to this world and this version of the character, Doreen getting an Iron Squirrel suit feels very forced into the issue. It gives the book a feeling like it is all over the place.
All-in-all, SQUIRREL-GIRL is a fun and enjoyable book that's not really up my alley, but one that has the potential to bring in a lot of new readers to comics. The book is fun and has a great sense of humor and deals with a lot of things young people struggle with, but in a humorous light. However, the book is still new and the second half of it feels a little rushed to get to the next point and the moments of Doreen as Squirrel-Girl fall a tad flat compared to the first half of the book. Overall, I'd recommend giving this book a try though. It is a lot of fun.