Squirrel Girl goes back to the 1960s and battles Doctor Doom and then teams up with Howard the Duck.
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Graham: Squirrel Girl heads back to the 60s more than once. We’ll take a look at it as we take a look at Squirrel Girl Vol. 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now.
Announcer: Welcome to the Classy Comics podcast where we search for the best comics in the universe. From Boise Idaho, here is your host Adam Graham.
Graham: This book is a bit longer than most Squirrel Girl books. It collects issues 1 through 6 plus it also collects issue 6 of Howard the Duck where there was a crossover. For those who don’t know, Squirrel Girl is Doreen Green, an Empire State University computer science student with powers like superhuman agility, a prehensile tail and actually the ability to communicate with squirrels. She was created by Will Murray and Steve Ditko with the idea of having her be a lot horrid character back in the 90s and that was fully realized in the unbeatable Squirrel Girl series. Now this is volume 3 because there was actually a previous series of 8 issues that was relaunched because of Secret Wars when Marvel relaunched all of their comics and I have to give props to the creative team of Ryan North and Erica Henderson with the cover which cleverly has the saying, “Only our second number one this year so for”.
The first issue is a pretty basic story. Doreen’s mom comes for a visit and tells embarrassing stories that embarrass her in front of her friend Nancy. However, seemingly out of nowhere, the Hydra villain, Brain Drain appears and attacks but Tippy Toe, Squirrel Girl’s squirrel is able to chew through some wires which frees him from Hydra control and ends up in him enrolling that E.S.U. to study computer science.
This story was a one issue one shot story. It didn’t work for me. It felt like they were trying a little bit too hard and it also felt like there was too much going on in the issue for it to work because you had like a brief intro fight and then you had the meeting with mom and then you had Brain Drain. So, it was really unfocused.
Next up though, is issues 2 through 5, which is a story which begins with Squirrel Girl, out of nowhere, waking up in the 1960s. And this is before the Fantastic Four and Spider-Man emerged. And so she goes ahead, tries to fit into the 1960s but she notices someone who has ear buds in which is not technology that was available back in the 60s and so it turns out there are a lot of E.S.U. computer science students who have ended up back in the 1960s. At the same time, only one person from the modern day remembers that there is a Squirrel Girl and that she’s gone and that’s her friend Nancy. So, Nancy sets out to find someone who can travel back in time after she finds a message from Squirrel Girl. Unfortunately, people who are friends with Squirrel Girl, such as Tony Stark, don’t actually remember that she existed. So, she ends up having to ask for help from Dr. Doom and she explains that it’s possible that Squirrel Girl could meet an earlier version of Doom and end up defeating him and she promises to stop Squirrel Girl from doing that if he’ll only take her back in time.
They arrive in the 1960s but instead of taking everybody back as promised, Doom has another idea. And what I really like about this is they do capture kind of the absurdity of Doom’s attitude in many ways and it’s actually pretty funny. After Nancy checks her time frame on Wikipedia for the timeline of the 20th century, it reveals that Doom actually took over the world in 1962. Doom, says “I’ve won. I’ve already won. No matter what the era, Doom always win and this world shall be run by Doom.” and Nancy says, “We had a deal, Victor.” “You agreed that you would ensure she never attacks me. I never agreed not to attack her.” and this is after he hits her. “You promised you’d bring her back to my own time.” “And Doom will keep his word. She shall return in a coffin and you shall join her.” and she’s pulled out of the way and Nancy says, “I can’t believe, Dr. Doom, a guy who literally has his own country gets out of promises through stupid baby word games” and that is the sort of thing that does happen in the comics and there is a future where Doom rules everything, has his image on everything and that’s got to be straightened out.
I won’t go into all the details because it’s a very intricate plot. Don’t want to spoil it but it does involve a visitor from the 1960s staying there, aging to the present day and then traveling back in time when Doom calls for his Doombots. It’s a really clever fun story. It was just a blast to read every single issue of that.
Now Animal House is a two part crossover in Squirrel Girl number 6 and Howard the Duck number 6 and Howard gets into trouble with Squirrel Girl when he almost kidnaps Nancy’s cat. He is actually looking for another cat and so Howard the Duck and Squirrel Girl join forces and they don’t have long to resolve it because Kraven the Hunter comes along and he is actually behind the kidnapping of the animals and he kidnaps Howard the Duck and he throws Doreen aside and this is after Doreen had gotten him to give up hunting almost everything on earth except 2 very difficult to find a sea monsters but Kraven needs to pay the bills and so he is working for Shannon Sugarbaker, who wants to do a hunt for the ultimate game and has found a clever loophole in the Marvel Universe. That it’s against the law to hunt humans but anthropomorphic animals, there’s not really a law and so she plans to do a hunt with Howard the Duck, with Rocket Raccoon but she also got confused and put Beast on the list of animals that are being hunted. Squirrel Girl breaks in and so she ends up on the list. So, so much for all those carefully carved out exceptions and the first part of the story ends up with Kraven and Squirrel Girl expecting to be in the the hunt along with the anthropomorphic animals and other things that Sugarbaker has gotten mixed up on.
Chip Zdarsky, the regular Howard the Duck writer, writes the next book and the art is by…with Joe Quinones penciling. I actually have to admit that I like Quinones’ art in many ways better then Erica Henderson. His characters look more like real people. Erica Anderson can be OK and her art can have some fun flourishes like the 1960s outfits that were cute but I think that Quinones’ this looks quite a bit better. The story on the other hand, in the second part is really meh. The whole plot of The Dangerous Game wasn’t all that ingenious although they put a little bit of a twist on it, the first part of the story. The second is really bog standard. There’s a fight over who will lead then Shannon Sugarbaker attacks. They fight, they fight…yea and the dialogue’s not all that clever. I also don’t think that the writer really has a good sense of how Squirrel Girl typically sounds. So, this one kind of ends with a dud for me though I thought the first part was pretty good overall. As for this book, I will give this a rating of somewhat classy. The book has an uneven quality to it with some stories being hit and the others being miss but the big feature story is actually just really good and a lot of fun to read. So, I think somewhat classy is appropriate
Alright, that’s all for now. If you have a comment, send it to me email@example.com. Rate us on iTunes and be sure and follow me on Twitter at classycomicsguy. From Boise Idaho, this is your host Adam Graham signing off.