Monday, October 3, 2016

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #12 Review and **SPOILERS**

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

Writer: Ryan North
Artist: Erica Henderson
Color Artist: Rico Renzi
Letterer: Travis Lanham
Cover Price: #3.99
On Sale Date: September 28, 2016


Not only do we get two issues of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl in two weeks (#13 on sale October 5!), but in October we also get the first of what I’m sure will be dozens of original graphic novels featuring Doreen Green: the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe! And it’s done by the regular Squirrel Girl team, Ryan North and Erica Henderson! So it’s basically a hundred percent guaranteed to be just as great as every issue of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, which are all absolutely, positively great if you hadn’t figured it out by now. On one hand, I’m tremendously excited for this graphic novel, but on the other hand I’m like, yo Ryan and Erica, leave some awesome comics for everyone else in the month of October, huh? Though this book was announced some time ago, plenty of time for the other publishers and Marvel itself to take the month off since their books are clearly going to be passed over for multiple copies of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe. They can’t say they weren’t forewarned! Let’s approach this situation like the wise squirrel, however, and realize a nut in the paw is worth two in the bush. Or nut tree. What I’m trying to say is let’s dive into the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #12!

Explain It!

There’s yet another new hero on the streets of Marvel’s New York City, far and away the most superhero-filled urban center in the galaxy: Brain Drain, one-time antagonist and full-time brain in a jar on top of a robot body, reprogrammed to be anti-crime and to wear an awesome pink-and-yellow costume that reads “10 STOP CRIME, 20 GOTO 10” on the front. In the very opening of the issue, he thwarts the bank robbers that Squirrel Girl bested in the first issue of the series, which reflects poorly on the rehabilitative tendencies of our penal system. Being that New York is covered by Brain Drain, as well as like seventy-three other superheroes, Doreen’s roommate and BFF Nancy convinces her to take her mom Maureen’s invitation to a Canadian cabin in the woods (Canadian) for some R & R. That means “rest and relaxation,” it has nothing to do with a railroad.

Doreen, Nancy and Tippy use an Avengers teleporter (that only works one way for some reason) to zap to Northern Ontario to find a restful lakeside cabin…with no electricity! Or wi-fi! Uh, that means no internet! This turns out to be a big problem for Doreen, who looked forward to whiling away her time on social media like all millennials and baby boomers (you’re more alike than different, there should be a Generational Summit!) Nancy, on the other hand, feels this will be a perfect opportunity to bond with Maureen Green and get down with her favorite hobby of knitting, which it really is, to be frank. Meanwhile, back in NYC, some guy with a dumb haircut is caught robbing an electronics store by Brain Drain, who picks him up and prepares to walk him back to the police station. On the way, a cop that looks suspiciously like the guy Brain is carrying says he’ll take over, so Brain relinquishes his prisoner, despite his calculated misgivings. Later, Brain brings the same guy with the dumb haircut to the Department of Justice, having caught him trying to hack into secure government files. The guy at the Dept. of Justice looks exactly like the accused—like, dumb haircut and everything. Later, Brain catches the same guy trying to rob a bank, but when he slaps handcuffs on him the fella splits into two and both of them take off! Something screwy is going on around here!

Which is far better than the quaint cabin in Ontario, where Doreen Green is bored of everything except for complaining about being bored. Her mom Maureen says that she has a little task for her daughter: to investigate the crime of the missing muffin! There were twelve, sealed in a container before they all went for a morning hike, but without any evidence of an intruder or other disturbance, one is missing! This gets Doreen’s mojo rising, which I hope means that it makes her very enthusiastic and isn’t a euphemism for something dirty. Tippy Toe, ever helpful, says that she spied something small and wearing red pants out of the corner of her eye, and by the way squirrels are prey animals so their peripheral vision is like super good. Doreen decides to pick the house up off the ground to peek underneath, and finds an entire village of little people that look exactly like the weird-haired guy Brain Drain has been capturing over and over in New York! They congeal into one regular-sized guy that introduces himself to Doreen as Enigmo—and just then, his face appears on the Jumbotrons in Times Square, announcing that his doppelgangers have been installed at every level of society, and now he’s taking over! Back in Canada, Doreen tries to fight Enigmo, but her drop kick (which was awesome by the way) just breaks him up into a bunch of little Enigmos, that soon overwhelm Doreen, Maureen, and Nancy! Who will rescue our heroic trio? What small-sized superhero from the Marvel Universe could stand a chance against a bunch of tiny Enigmos? Which power would be most useful against a foe that can effectively change his size at will? Ant-Man, the answer is Ant-Man.

Surprise, surprise, another fabulous issue of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! Though technically, Doreen never puts on her Squirrel Girl duds, but we know she’s pretty much always fighting crime no matter what she wears, so that’s a matter of semantics. This issue is full of jokes, facts, and implied musings on the state of today’s tech-obsessed society! But more jokes and facts. Brain Drain’s observations about humanity are hysterical and need to be read to be appreciated. In fact, just read this whole comic book because it will probably increase your IQ, and if you don’t read it I have to assume you are severely depressed. Which is no laughing matter. But one possible cure for depression is reading the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl!

Bits and Pieces:

While Brain Drain holds it down in New York, Doreen, Nancy and Tippy-Toe head up to Canada to hang out with Doreen's mom, only to find themselves facing the most diabolical and mysterious crime in history! Or maybe I'm exaggerating. But it's still a pretty big crime. Actually, the crime isn't so big but its implications are stagger. Okay, maybe "staggering" isn't the right word. The implications are something you might rub your chin while considering and could elicit a "hmm." It's a fun book, and if you're not reading it then you probably don't know what "good" is!


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