Love watching superhero movies? Love reading comic books? Always wanted to read comics and didn’t know where to start? Always wanted a squirrel for a pet?
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has got you covered on every front. Squirrel Girl abounds with confidence, uses unconventional problem solving strategies, and is basically the perfect role model. She celebrates who she is, and doesn’t have an ounce of negative self-talk in her bones. It’s no wonder cosplayers have flocked to her!
Prior to ten months ago I didn’t even know a squirrel-themed super heroine existed. While this comic series is new, apparently she has been making appearances in various Marvel story lines since 1991. My first encounter with Squirrel Girl was unlocking her character in Lego Marvel Superheroes on the Xbox One.
Following the launch of the comic book series, a review by Quirk Books further drove home to me that this was a must read. Here’s an excerpt from that review:
Fun is at the heart of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. It’s the book’s mantra. It drives our character, the story, the mood. A big grin finds its way on my face every time I read issues and on top of that, it’s totally appropriate for younger readers, too.
Not only is it entertaining, the comic books also pass the Scale of Inclusivity, earning a full 15/15 points:
Not offensive to women = 1 pts*
It’s not offensive to anyone! 🙂
Features a woman as the main protagonist and/or supporting character = 2 pts
Doreen Green, aka Squirrel Girl, is the star of the comic book, but she doesn’t work alone. Her companions are a trusty squirrel named Tippy Toe and her stern, but loyal, roommate Nancy.
Passes the Bechdel test = 3 pts
The discussions between Doreen and her roommate, as well as between Squirrel Girl and Tippy Toe, easily help every issue of the series to pass the test.
Artistic and/or Entertaining = 4 pts
Rife with “Awww cool!” moments, these comic books are as light and fun as you can get. Doreen doesn’t shy away from anything, except maybe her crush (but who doesn’t?), and gets all up in the villains’ faces. Except when she sees the villains for who they are: wounded, struggling individuals hiding their hurts with rage. Then she decides to help divert their rage rather than beat them to a pulp. She still beats things to a pulp too though (mostly walls!).
Sprinkled throughout the comics are “Deadpool’s Guide to Supervillain” cards, which Squirrel Girl collects. Naturally, whenever she encounters a new villain she happens to pull the right card out of her handy utility belt, helping to inform the reader of who she is up against in the funniest way possible. These cards are not just comic relief either; they are helpful to those of us not fully immersed in the Marvel universe.
The most mind expanding moments come from Tippy Toe’s description of the squirrel network. Can you imagine if squirrels the world over could communicate? Wise beyond her years, Tippy Toe offers sage advice to Squirrel Girl. She also has her own Twitter account, which is featured at the beginning of every issue.
My favorite issue so far is #4, where Squirrel Girl and Galactus finish their showdown. It was particularly enjoyable for me because when I played the Lego Marvel Superheroes game my favorite characters to play as were, you guessed it, Galactus and Squirrel Girl! Seeing them come together was a lot of fangirl fun 🙂
Above and Beyond General Media = 5 pts
These comics raise the bar for what we should expect from women and girl characters. Doreen’s characterization is empowering. She is going to college and majoring in computer science. She isn’t thin and she loves her body. She is strong. She is intelligent.
Above all else, she is empathetic. It is Doreen’s empathy for the villains that is the most striking elements of the story telling. Using her wit and imagination, she comes up with solutions that will help every body, including the villains themselves. This is a rare outcome, especially with movie versions of comic book superheroes, who lay waste to entire cities (with thousands of invisible casualties) to destroy one bad guy. Not Squirrel Girl! She’ll get down to the real heart of the issue, help the villain, and avoid a massive confrontation to begin with. That is true heroism.
So where can you get your hands on this? It’s easy! My favorite way to buy comic books (if it is available) is to purchase them as volumes. Most volumes contain five issues of a series. An Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Volume 1 edition (feat. issues 1-5) is available to pre-order for $12.96. This is the most cost effective way to get the comic book as a print copy. Here are some other purchasing options:
- Comixology: $3.99 per digital issue
- Marvel Comics: $3.99 per digital issue
- In Store: $3.99 per hard copy
And don’t forget, spending your own money isn’t the only way to support the series. Share the love by recommending the series to your local library to purchase and add to their collection. Thanks for reading this review, and stay tuned for more comic book fun! You can keep up with Squirrel Girl on Twitter and tumblr.
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*This is a category that could get very complicated, very quickly, if we tried to list everything that could be offensive to women. Instead, we use this category as a way of showing our own personal reaction to whatever we are reviewing. All contributors to this site are women and can speak from a woman’s perspective. However, no woman can speak for all women so we do our best to explain our choice one way or the other. We encourage all readers to share their opinions in the comments of every post if they want to express agreement or disagreement with our rankings.