Monday, November 21, 2016
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #14 Review and **SPOILERS** - Marvel Monday
You’re My Best Galileo
Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Erica Henderson
Color Artist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham with VC’s Clayton Cowles
Cover Artist: Erica Henderson
Cover Price: $3.99
On Sale Date: November 16, 2016
**NON SPOILERS AND SCORE AT THE BOTTOM**
Here’s something you might now know, especially if you didn’t read this issue of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: there are no credits on the opening page! This is something this comic book, and indeed most Marvel comic books do as a matter of course, with their character origins and reflections and whatnot. But this time, just the indicia, along with the usual pseudo-Twitter recap of last issue! So I am just guessing at what I think probably is the correct creative team on this comic book, because it’s the usual creative team and at least Ryan North refers to himself once or twice in the issue. But am I positive that Rico Renzi colored it? Nope! That’s what makes this so exciting! I’m sure you can’t wait to dive into my review of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #14! Well go ahead!
Doreen, Doreen’s mom, Scott Lang, Nancy Whitehead, the Brain, and Tippy-Toe have all made it to Southern Canada, where they can finally get cell phone reception, and they bump into the world-dominating self-replicating Enigmo—except this isn’t the world-dominating version with a nose scar that I could barely tell was there most of the time, but a good version of Enigmo, one who split off from the fascist Enigmo and learned about humanity’s compassion. Now he desperately wants to appeal to the scarred Enigmo and steer them away from their decidedly evil and unnervingly successful plan. Good Enigmo tells them that the smaller bits they split into the dumber they are, which can be used against the evil variant. So that’s when they come up with the Heist of the Century, as mandated whenever Scott Lang is in a comic book: a tiny Good Enigmo will go to an Evil Enigmo and tell them that Squirrel Girl has a way to beat them and wants the showdown to happen in Toronto. Once there, the smaller Evil Enigmos will be absorbed by the Good Enigmo, and eventually the majority is turned and democracy reigns. What a heist!
Squirrel Girl rightfully feels cheated of a real Oceans 11 style adventure, but she is assuaged by Scott’s suggestion that she tutor Good Enigmo in the finer points of diplomacy, which by the way is something Squirrel Girl is very good at. I mean she even got Galactus not to eat a planet one time, and yes that planet happened to be Earth but it could have been any planet, and that’s why Squirrel Girl is a hero! Anyway, like all of Scott Lang’s plan, this one goes tits up instantly, first when the Good Enigmo finds he can no longer merge with the Evil Enigmos, and raises the Evil Enigmos suspicions further when all he can do is promote Squirrel Girl’s Canadian get-together. They decide to descend upon Toronto not in drips and drabs, but as an overwhelming force that quickly, uh, overwhelms the resistance. During the fray, Doreen’s mom asks Scott how he can grow all giant without breaking a limb, and he says some typically comic book scientific explanation, but this gives Nancy an idea of how they can defeat Enigmo! Galileo’s Square-Cube Law!
There a flashback to Nancy and Doreen’s Physics class, where their illustrative professor explains that, per heliocentric model of the universe-promoting scientist Galileo, as things get bigger, their surface area increases but the volume within is cubed. So, for instance, if you grew ten times larger, your muscles would expand 100 times, but would have to carry 1000 times more weight. This is literally the example from the comic book so I know it’s sound. And it makes sense. So without fancy comic book science in the mix, anything that expands greatly will be crushed under its own mass. With that in mind, Squirrel Girl rounds up the team and grabs a Canadian Iron Man toy from a souvenir shop (there are a bunch of Canadian versions of Marvel action figures, it’s really cute) and then Scott Lang makes it grow super big. This entices the Evil Enigmos to combine and form the biggest kaiju Enigmo of all, which immediately breaks his own ankle and falls to the ground, forcibly combining with Good Enigmo and becoming a helpful person, because of course that was going to happen.
And what’s this? The book’s credits are on the second-to-last page of the issue! All that smack talk in the introduction, and here I am eating humble pie. Well, I’ll fix the credits but I’m not changing the intro. That’s my right as an American. There’s also a final page not unlike the end to Animal House, where we see how everyone ended up after this world-wide threat was forestalled, and I can say the endings were pretty good. And it was a decent issue, except that some of the art looked really rushed and sloppy—sloppier than Erica Henderson’s usual sketchy style. I can only assume she was working overtime on the graphic novel (Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe, in stores now!) but that didn’t make those panels any more pleasant to look at it. Still, the physics lesson was pretty boss, and while there weren’t a lot of hilarious moments within the narrative, Ryan North’s commentary at the bottom of each page was pretty funny. I dunno, you could do worse. Next issue is all about Nancy Whitehead’s cat Mew, which I look forward to because I am a sucker for cats.
Bits and Pieces:
I didn't read every other Marvel comic book that came out this week, but I assume that this is the premier one in terms of teaching a concise physics lesson and also featuring the Ant-Van. It's pretty good in terms of a Squirrel Girl story, but some of the sloppy and sparse artwork did take away from it. It was a pretty good conclusion to this arc, and you learn a little bit about Canada, too. That's worth a few bucks.