Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7

Background

The beloved Squirrel Girl (aka "Doreen Green"). She first appeared in Marvel Super-Heroes (Vol. 2) #8 where she defeated Doctor Doom. A bit of harmless, light-hearted fun. A temporary glitch in continuity, never to be repeated...

...what the Don Heck? She has her own series now? And Spider-Man appears?

Story Details

  Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #7
Summary: Spider-Man Appears
Editor: Wil Moss
Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Erica Henderson
Cover Art: Erica Henderson
Colorist: Rico Renzi

Doreen and her pals (whoever they are supposed to be) are all attending the same computer science class when the professor goes rage-crazy and the entire class erupts into riot. It seems like this is a city-wide problem. What on earth could be causing it? Fortunately, one of the characters quickly heads onto Wikipedia identifies the likely cause of the problem as "Ratatoskr".

Rata-what? And who is this friend with the cosmic-level Google-fu? In fact, which one is Squirrel Girl? Who are these other, poorly-drawn people?

I haven't read any of the preceding issues, and so it's not until several pages later that I get formally introduced to Chipmunk Hunk (talks to chipmunks), Koi Boy (talks to fish), and Nancy who is Doreen's roommate and who is unfeasibly good with Wikipedia.

Apparently, Ratatoskr is an Asgardian squirrel who likes to cause trouble. Let's ignore the ridiculous leap of logic which brought them to this conclusion ("People Fighting" => "Asgardian Squirrel") and instead follow the heroes across town (Koi Boy "swims" across Manhattan in an a manner which is both unexplained and inexplicable) to Avengers Headquarters.

There, the front door is open wide and the defenses disabled. Squirrel Girl and company head right up to the main meeting room where they find Spider-Man and various other Avengers sitting around the table squabbling amongst themselves. S.G. introduces herself, but the Avengers leap to attack. Our protagonist has no choice but to summon her squirrel army and defeat the Avengers, leaving them unconscious and scattered on the floor.

Squirrel Girl "borrows" Steve Rogers' mobile and calls Thor, who is having lunch at a diner with New Thor Girl. Well, he was having lunch until riots broke out. Leaving the beaten Avengers, Doreen and her heroes cross town to Battery Park and meet up with the two Thors. After a quick consultation, they agree to split up.

The Asgard champions travel by magical portal to Asgard to attempt to repair the magical bonds which failed and released Ratatoskr. The human heroes remain to try and capture the riot-causing rodent back on Earth. Like everything in this story, that event just "falls into place", as Ratatoskr simply turns up and confronts Squirrel Girl and she and her friends wander though Central Park.

Ratatoskr overwhelms the good guys, and it's a cliff-hanger ending until next month.

General Comments

I'm not sure which is more lazy, the story-telling or the artwork.

It seems that this "hip, sketchy, brightly-colored" style of art is the latest cool fashion in Marvel comics. But for a guy like me, raised on a diet of John Romita (Sr.) I really can't consider this an improvement. This chunky, block-shaded patchwork art just leaves me totally cold.

I give kudos for recognizing real-world body shapes, and giving Squirrel girl a chubby, boyish face and figure. But it's still a badly-drawn, real-world body shape.

As for the story? Well, it kind of matches the art. It also is clumsy, unbelievable, stuttering and poorly-formed.

Overall Rating

I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt and assume that this is all intentional. The unjustified lurches in plot and pacing, the slapdash, half-formed line-art, and the stilted characterizations.

Doubtless the reviews call this "off-beat" and "quirky" and "ground-breaking". Perhaps also "fast-paced", "off-the-wall", and "madcap". Maybe even a "refreshing" is thrown into the mix.

But I call it sloppy and unappealing. One web.