What Came Before
The eight-issue original comic book series, collected as two graphic novels: Vol.1 and Vol.2.
Once More, With Feelings
Vol.3 of the graphic novel collects the first six issues of the rebooted tuSG, logically enough issues 1 through 6, followed by issue six of the likewise-rebooted Howard the Duck. Yes, really. I was skeptical too, but it's all going to be OK.
The reboot of all of Marvel's comic book titles in 2015 following the second Secret Wars reset the Marvel continuity. Our heroine is, apparently, now a member of the 'New Avengers' along with other young heroes. This does not factor into the collected comics in any meaningful way. Despite the appearance of her New Avengers teammates including Songbird, Wiccan, and Hulkling on the cover, they do not appear inside. Instead we get a one-and-done story where Doreen overcomes and rehabilitates another D-list villain. The issue has enough references to the first series of tuSG to reassure us that nothing important was lost in the very soft reboot. Mostly I can tell things are different only because Doreen's roommate Nancy has changed her hair. We then get a multi-issue arc versus Doctor Doom, who took his first defeat by Squirrel Girl very badly and thus Doom wants revenge. He's like that. Writer Ryan North does a great job of capturing Doctor Doom's portentous third-person declamations while at the same time having him say absurd things...
You will respect Doom's personal space!
... and say things that sound like death metal band names. These are then dutifully called out as such in the running Flyspeck 3 bottom of page commentary that also appears in the stand-alone graphic novel(1). Strangely, in the heat of battle Doom switches to first-person. I don't know if that's a mistake or not, I only caught it on second read-through, not a big deal. Perhaps "Doom does this" and "Doom does that" becomes as tedious for the writer as it is for the reader.
I wrote that, turned a few pages, and discovered an illustration of Doctor Doom as a baby. The tiny note beneath it reveals he's been reading "Baby's First Guide to Speaking in the Third Person; Not All the Time; But Enough That People Know it's Kinda Your Thing." My faith in Ryan's attention to detail is duly restored, not to mention that he somehow reached through the page to 'gotcha' me.
Yes, of course Baby Doom can read.
Anyway, Doom's Victory is Assured! Or so it seems, until Squirrel Girl turns the tables, but then Doom escapes, and then another confrontation follows, and so on, until finally an amusing variation on their first battle takes place(2). The Doom story arc is tied up satisfactorily and so another graphic novel comes to an end....
Or not. There still remains a two-issue crossover with Howard the Duck. My prior knowledge of Howard the Duck is the existence of a terrible theatrical miscalculation of the same name by the Great Flanneled One. But the two issues are co-written by the creative teams of each comic, and it works pretty well. The story still feels like tuSG, including a return of a villain from the first series, Kraven the Hunter, in a new role. Both writers even join the bottom-of-page conversation! Even the strangeness of having the art in the Howard the Duck half be more 'realistic' than Erica Henderson's style isn't off-putting.
So, once again we have great storytelling, gentle and loving poking of fun at the most serious characters in the Marvel stable, science trivia (both computer and other), wonderful art, and actual character development for the fringe players of the Marvel world. It's another solid win from the tuSG team.
Squirrel Girl will return in the unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol. 4, I Kissed a Squirrel and I Liked It
Borrowed it from the library.
- the unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe
- All this more than justifies the inclusion of the original story as a backer in Volume 1.