In many ways, “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl” #3 is part of a very standard superhero comic. We have a protagonist who’s heading off to college, meeting new people and fighting super-villains along the way. What makes “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl” #3 stand out, though, is the veneer of ridiculousness with which Ryan North, Erica Henderson and Rico Renzi cover the comic. It’s the silliness that makes the comic stand out and, considering their protagonist is Squirrel Girl, that’s a good thing.
Most of “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl” #3 involves Squirrel Girl going up against first Iron Man foe Whiplash and then a group of random bank robbers. Neither one of them sounds particularly exciting on their own, but North’s script makes them both wonderfully ridiculous. These are battles where Squirrel Girl makes usage of all of the squirrels in the surrounding area to defeat the bad guys and, if you think this is bizarre, you have no idea just how much so it quickly becomes.
There’s more to the strange, different tone of “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl” #3 than just the protagonist commanding squirrels to help her out in all sorts of slightly disturbing ways, though. The best part of this comic is easily where North has Squirrel Girl’s new roommate Nancy start lecturing the bank robbers in their old-school, outdated, cliche methods and dress code. It’s a fun twist on a stereotypical situation and it helps continue to establish Nancy as an interesting character. I’ve enjoyed her strong-willed manner throughout the first two issues, and here she takes it to a new level. Sure, she’s one of the people trapped in the bank (and thus giving us both a viewpoint character and also a stake in the matter) but her verbal takedown of the bad guys is quite entertaining, something worth seeing even before Squirrel Girl makes an appearance.
Henderson’s art is cute, with clean and simple character designs that bounce and swarm around the pages. I like that Squirrel Girl looks like a real person (well, one with squirrel ears and a tail when in her superhero form), one who’s of average build and form. Henderson handles the silly parts of “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl” #3 with aplomb, too; having Squirrel Girl shouting for her (stolen) Iron Man armor to come down while Whiplash is being swarmed by squirrels is pretty funny. Add in some iconic, flat colors by Renzi and it completes the appeal.
“The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl” #3 is deliberately silly but it knows exactly what it’s aiming for. It’s not setting the world on fire but it doesn’t need to, either; it’s Squirrel Girl, after all. North, Henderson and Renzi have just the right attitude to make this kind of comic succeed.