For all of the goofy Saturday morning cartoon-ish stylings of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl so far, Ryan North has managed to keep the series from feeling juvenile. I feel like I say this in every review, but it’s a difficult balance to make a comic (or any entertainment media) appeal to kids and teens without it only appealing to kids and teens. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3 takes a small step back in this regard with this month’s issue, but it still mostly delivers on a fun lead up to the conflict with Galactus.
To begin, if you were hoping for that big Galactus showdown to happen this issue, you will be disappointed. Doreen Green once again gets caught up with petty crimes and criminals on her way to the moon to fight the devourer of worlds, but this time she’s caught up in a villain a little more intimidating than Kraven the Hunter.
While wearing her newly “acquired” Iron Squirrel suit on her way to the moon, Squirrel Girl gets a whiplash – both the injury to her neck and an encounter with the arch-nemesis of Iron Man, Whiplash. Squirrel Girls takes a bit of a dark turn with the Whiplash fight, as the villain is determined to kill Doreen even though she’s not actually Iron Man just so he can hurt Iron Man one way or another. Tame by most book’s standards, but he doesn’t have the usual back and forth with Doreen that other villains have had so far, it’s just about killing her do damage to Tony. In typical Squirrel Girl fashion, the bad guy is dealt with, with ease, complete with snappy comebacks and crazy squirrel-inspired acrobatics from Doreen. It’s just more one-sided in terms of the quips than it has been in previous issues.
The fight also takes a bizarre turn when Squirrel Girl’s method of dealing with Whiplash is to call upon her squirrel army to shove themselves into his mouth. It does put a fun twist on the squirrel/electricity match up, as Doreen reminds Whiplash that squirrels can run on power lines and, in effect, render his main weapon useless. So just like that, squirrels lodged into his mouth and ready to go, Squirrel Girl is free to make her way to the moon – at least until she runs into the book’s next subplot about her university’s bank being robbed.
There isn’t much effort put into a transition between the two, as one of Doreen’s squirrels just comes up and flat out tells that the robbery is occurring. Some kind of buffer would have been nice, but it works well enough to get the story where it needs to go.
A few of the jokes in Squirrel Girl #3 don’t quite hit for me, like the persistent falafel joke that relies on nothing more than the fact that falafels are “lol so random,” but everything in the bank robbing scene just works. Doreen’s roommate is extra sassy, even while being held hostage, and Squirrel Girl assembling a suit of squirrels do her fighting while she slips out to head off to the moon is funny and fits well within her powers. The entire bank robbing sequence is the epitome of Squirrel Girl‘s cartoon style, as it lacks any real stakes or tension, it’s just meant to be a fun vehicle for Doreen and her roommate to mess with baddies.
Art in Squirrel Girl #3 is right on par with the rest of the series to this point. The style is still simple, with some weird faces, and a lot of humorous flourishes in background objects. One thing in particular I liked is how it shows Doreen inside her “squirrel suit” looking similar to Tony Stark when he is in the Iron Man suit.
This first arc of Squirrel Girl going to the moon to fight Galactus comes to and end next month, and I’m excited for it. Not only excited to see how she actually handles fighting the devourer of worlds, but to see what adventures Doreen will be going on next.