Books in the Park

suggestions from the Barbara S. Ponce Public Library at Pinellas Park

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson

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squirrel powerToday’s suggestion is a little nutty. I wouldn’t blame you if you thought a superhero called Squirrel Girl was an April Fool’s spoof or something, and, actually, you wouldn’t be too far from the truth. The incorrigible teenager with squirrel powers was originally introduced as a joke in a ’90s issue of Marvel Super-Heroes, but Squirrel Girl’s creator loved her too much to let her be a one-off. Today she’s an official Marvel superhero with her very own series—even if it is a very quirky, humorous series. Think Deadpool without all the vulgarity.

Doreen Green began growing a huge bushy tail when she was a baby, and many other “squirrely” traits and powers manifested themselves as she grew up. These powers include super speed and strength, razor sharp claws, and, naturally, the ability to communicate with squirrels. What’s a girl with squirrel powers to do? Become the superhero Squirrel Girl, of course.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is written by Ryan North, who is perhaps better known as the author of the mega-popular webcomic Dinosaur Comics. North’s signature brand of delightful, quirky humor is a great match for the lighthearted tone of this comic, and Erica Henderson’s bright and colorful illustrations of our full-figured heroine are absolutely perfect. The comic begins on Doreen’s first day of college, and the reader follows along as she meets her roommate, attends orientation, bumps into a possible love interest, and jumps into action as Squirrel Girl to beat up a series of bad guys.

Squirrel Girl’s personality is different from the mopey superheroes who have tragic pasts and agonize over everything; Doreen is well-adjusted to both social and superhero life with her bubbly optimism and clever resourcefulness. Fans of Marvel Comics will see a lot of familiar faces in the pages of Squirrel Girl, while those new to the comic book scene are introduced to who’s who with some neat narrative tricks. For example, Doreen doesn’t go anywhere without her Deadpool’s Guide to Super Villains card deck, with each card detailing the powers and personality traits of the villains she comes across.

If you like the idea of superheroes but dislike the idea of angst and over-the-top violence, I highly recommend this series.

Check the PPLC Catalog for The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.


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