Comic Book Reviews: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (2015-2018)


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is a character who has been around for a while but only recently began to get her own line of comic books. These comics are simultaneously a parody of superhero comic book conventions and also terrifically entertaining superhero stories.  Squirrel Girl may not always beat the villains in the way you’d expect, but the one thing that’s true is that she’s unbeatable.

Author:   Ryan North (Author), Erica Henderson (Illustrator)
Title:  The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 1: Squirrel Power
Publication Info: Marvel (2015)
Summary/Review:

Doreen Green is a young woman just starting college, studying computer science, making friends, and signing up for clubs.  She also is a superhero with all the powers of a squirrel, the ability to talk with squirrels, and a long bushy tail.  She’s also unbeatable, in that she wins every fight, one way or another.  The premise sounds absurd and predictable but in practice it’s funny as hell and awesome.  Watch as she simultaneously stops a bank robbery with a suit of squirrels while also stopping Galactus from consuming the earth using stolen armor from Iron Man. Doreen is not drawn in the conventionally beautiful way of most women in comics, but is short-haired and curvy, and full of confidence and charm.  I have a little crush on her.

Rating: ****


Author: Ryan North (Author), Erica Henderson (Artist)
TitleThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 2: Squirrel You Know It’s True
Publication Info: Marvel (2015)
Summary/Review:

Squirrel Girl returns and must face Ratatoskr, the Norse God of Squirrels, who has an evil plan for taking over the world.  But she has help in Chipmunk Hunk and Koi Boi, two very familiar-looking superheroes, and her roommate Nancy, who has no powers but is the most sensible person around.  This volume also begins with hostages trapped in the Statue of Liberty telling stories of Squirrel Girl that are hilarious send-ups of classic Marvel superhero stories.
Rating: ****


Author:  Ryan North (Author), Erica Henderson (Illustrator)
TitleThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now
Publication Info: Marvel (2016)
Summary/Review:

Another terrific volume of Squirrel Girl sees our hero thrown back in time to the 1960s with several other Computer Science majors that she has no memory of meeting in class.  Of course, Doreen adapts her fashion to fit in seamlessly in the 1960s as she works to resolve the conundrum.  There’s also a crossover story with Howard the Duck in which Doreen and Howard are captured as part of a menagerie for a villain’s “most dangerous game” fantasy.  As someone who only knows Howard the Duck from the atrocious 1980s movie, I was quite impressed by this story.

Rating: ****


Author: Ryan North (Author), Erica Henderson (Illustrator)
TitleThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 4: I Kissed a Squirrel and I Liked it
Publication Info: Marvel (2016)
Summary/Review:

Some more laugh out loud adventures from the ever resourceful Squirrel Girl and friends.  This includes a “You Are Squirrel Girl” adventure where you can follow flow-charts to make decisions for Squirrel Girl. Then Squirrel Girl tries online dating leading to several unsuccessful dates with superheroes and one superhero truther.  Mole Man pursues Squirrel Girl’s hand in a spot-on parody of those stories where creepy men make grand romantic gestures and are supposed to be taken seriously.  Finally, Squirrel Girl defeats a supervillain in her sleep while using the principles of computer science.

Rating: ****


Author:  Ryan North (Author), Erica Henderson (Illustrator)
TitleThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 5: Like I’m the Only Squirrel in the World
Publication Info: Marvel (2017)
Summary/Review:

Doreen, Nancy, Tippy-Toe, and Doreen’s mom try to go on vacation in a remote cabin in Canada (leading to an endless series of Canada jokes), but are interrupted by Enigmo’s plot to take over the world.  Enigmo has the ability to split into infinite smaller versions of himself, making him hard to beat, but also a number of great sight gags.  Ant-Man plays a part in Squirrel Girl’s plan to save the world.  This book also includes an adventure entirely from the perspective of Nancy’s cat, Mew.  There’s also a 25th anniversary issue with parts of Squirrel Girl’s origin story.

Rating: ****1/2


Author: Ryan North (Author), Erica Henderson (Illustrator)
TitleThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 6: Who Run the World? Squirrels 
Publication Info:  Marvel (2017)
Summary/Review:

Squirrel Girls gains the ability to become a Flying Squirrel, but at a cost.  This time she has to fight Melissa Morbeck, and yet another attempt to take over the world.  There’s also a fun side story starring the new crime fighting trio of Chipmunk Hunk, Koi Boi, and Brain Drain.

Rating: ****


Author: Ryan North (Author), Erica Henderson (Illustrator)
TitleThe Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 7: I’ve Been Waiting For a Squirrel Like You
Publication Info: Marvel (2018)
Summary/Review:

This epic tale sends Doreen and Nancy to the Savage Land (an alien-built, atmosphere-controlled, dinosaur preserve in Antarctica) where they need to use their computer skills to save the Savage Land and work with Doctor Doom’s Latverians.  SPOILER: The villain is Ultron in the form of a robot T-Rex!  The book also includes tributes to the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by numerous comic writers and artists, including bizarrely Garfield’s Jim Davis.

Rating: ****1/2