If someone had told us years ago that Squirrel Girl would have an award-winning, best-selling comic, we probably would have laughed in their face. But as The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl approaches its 50th issue (eight issues of volume one plus 42 issues of volume two), it remains one of the most consistently delightful superhero comics on stands. Each month, writer Ryan North, artist Derek Charm, colorist Rico Renzi, and letterer Travis Lanham find new ways to blend bombastic superhero action with touching character moments, nonstop jokes, and a healthy dose of computer science, delivering a comic that is playful, educational, and full of heart. It’s one of the crowning jewels of Marvel’s line-up, satisfying die-hard fans with its celebration of continuity while introducing younger readers to the sprawl of the Marvel universe.
This exclusive preview of next week’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #40 has the creative team delving into a key moment of Marvel’s past as it reveals the backstory of Squirrel Girl’s latest foe: a mutant Skrull seeking refuge on Earth. G’illian was rejected by her peers for her abilities, and sought to escape her country’s militaristic culture by making a new home for herself on Earth. These pages offer a bit of political commentary as North draws comparisons between the Skrulls and imperialist countries on Earth, with Charm’s animated artwork quickly establishing how G’illian’s uncertainty and insecurity set her apart from her aggressive Skrull comrades. Renzi’s coloring makes the linework pop on the page, particularly in the two-page spread showing the Avengers fighting an army of Skrulls during the Kree-Skrull War, an image brimming with chaotic energy. The creative team on this series gels incredibly well, and that strong sense of collaboration is a major reason why The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has thrived over the past three years.