Panelology is a weekly podcast about comics. We talk about current books, what we're looking forward to, and how to get into reading comics in the first place.

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: “Squirrel Power” (Marvel Comics, 2015; #1-4)

Chrrt chut, chikka chit chut.  Chik chik chukka.  Chukka chit chik chrrt.  Chikky chikka chuk, chukka chik chuk; chikka chrrt chit chit chukka chukka chik.  Chrrt chuk.

For those of you who don’t speak squirrel—which is a very efficient language, and the fastest-growing language today*—Squirrel Girl is an absolute delight.  If you’re unfamiliar with the character, Doreen Green is a mutant with the relative strength and agility of a squirrel.  And she can talk to squirrels.  She has also single-handedly defeated Doctor Doom, Deadpool, and Thanos in the past.  (Yes, really; squirrels are resilient.)

North, Henderson, and Renzi’s Unbeatable Squirrel Girl kicks off with Doreen getting ready to move out of Avengers Mansion and start college.  This means living with a secret identity for the first time in her life and navigating roommates and romantic interests as she fights the likes of Kraven, Whiplash, and Galactus.  This sounds goofy; and it is.  This is a book that does not take itself too seriously, about a character who does not take herself too seriously.  Not only is it hilarious, but it is actively anti-cynical.

Cartoony feels like a cheap word to use to describe a comic book, but in the sense that this book looks like it could be a Saturday morning cartoon, I think it is accurate.  The art is comedy-forward, supporting the humor in the book’s writing, and its coloring is bright and upbeat, reinforcing the title’s earnestness.

You know the satisfaction that comes with eating your favorite candy?  That’s how I felt about this book.  It was satisfying and sweet, and I look forward to having more in the future.  Some might find it cloying or be put off by its goofiness, but that goofiness charmed me.  So I say go nuts.

*Among bush-tailed rodents

Collected in

  • Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1: Squirrel Power (#1-4, Marvel Super-Heroes #8)
  • Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Vol. 1 (#1-8, Marvel Super-Heroes #8, GLX-Mas Special #1, The Thing #8, Age of Heroes #3)


Writer: Ryan North | Artist: Erica Henderson | Colorist: Rico Renzi | Letterer: VC’s Clayton Cowles | Assistant Editors: John Moisan, Jake Thomas | Editor: Wil Moss

Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? (DC Comics, 2001; Batman #686, Detective Comics #853)

Invisible Republic: Volume 1 (Image Comics, 2015; #1-5)