Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Book-A-Day 2018 #353: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 6: Who Run the World? Squirrels by North & Henderson

Some people read The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for the girl power, the body positivity, the overall positivity, the young-readers friendliness, the focus on computer science, or the kooky take on the Marvel Universe. Not me, though.

(Other people may read it because they are crushing hard on Koi Boi, obsessed with Eric Henderson's art, or totally in love with writer Ryan North's bottom-of-the-page notes. But those aren't what does it for me, either.)

No, I'm all about Brain Drain. Give me an existential brain-in-a-vat-in-a-robot-body, teetering on the edge of total nihilism and trying to live in the modern world, and I'm happy.

This sixth book of Doreen Green's adventures, titled (not all that compactly) The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 6: Who Run the World? Squirrels, has a whole bunch of Brain Drain in it, and so I like it very much. I trust the creators will take this to heart and choose in future to exclusively please this one random Internet dude who gets these books two years later from the library, instead of listening to everyone else who they are actually trying to reach and who pay money up front. [1]

(How did we get to volume six? Good question -- check out volumes one, two, three, four, five and the hardcover OGN.)

The five issues reprinted here (#s 17-21 of the ongoing series) include, as has been the norm for the last few volumes, one big epic story (four issues) and then a smaller story (the last issue). The big story is fun and all, with a new villain who has a nefarious plot and a very sneaky way of getting around Doreen's defenses. But it's the same kind of thing as most SG stories: new threat seems unstoppable, but then she stops it.

No, the single issue is where it's at, with a concentrated dose of Brain Drain action. While SG is off visiting her evil twin in the Negative Zone (see the OGN if that sentence makes no sense), Koi Boi and Chipmunk Hunk and my man Brain Drain have to stop crime in Manhattan single-handedly. [2] They do succeed in the end, of course, but along the way we get great moments like this:
I would be firmer, for my part: I won't apologize for my cool dude protocols at all.

This collection is obvious pretty deep into Squirrel Girl-dom; no one should start here. But the series is still doing the stuff it does well, and even if you're way outside of the target audience (girls 5-15, I guess, particularly those with an interest in science) it is quite swell and a lot of fun. I am still surprised Marvel allows North and Henderson to be in the MU but not of it, but I suppose I shouldn't be looking gift horses in the mouth, should I? They could ruin this in a second any time they feel like it, and probably will, eventually.

But it's here for now: enjoy it.

[1] This argument is used straight-faced by a lot of other white guys on the 'net, so why shouldn't it work for me, too?

[2] Because even though there's a Marvel Universe, with Spider-Man and several Avengers teams and the Fantastic Four and Doctor Strange and Daredevil and several dozen other heroes in the same place, in any specific comic all of the crime is the responsibility of the title hero, to foil directly or delegate said foiling as she sees fit.

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