Home Comic Books [Comic Book Review] MARVEL RISING: SQUIRREL GIRL/MS. MARVEL #1 from Marvel Comics

[Comic Book Review] MARVEL RISING: SQUIRREL GIRL/MS. MARVEL #1 from Marvel Comics

by Christian Kern
Marvel Rising - Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel
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PopCultHQ received an advance review copy of MARVEL RISING: SQUIRREL GIRL/MS. MARVEL #1 from Marvel Comics. Available July 4th, 2018, the creative team for this series features writing from Ryan North, G. Willow Wilson, and Devin Grayson, art from Irene Strychalski and Ramón F. Bachs, colors by Rachelle Rosenberg, and lettering from Clayton Cowles.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s review of…

Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel (2018) #1

Cover by Gurihiru
Gamer girl Ember Quade has a secret — a power that lets her bring video games to life! But when her creations attract the attention of super heroes SQUIRREL GIRL and MS. MARVEL, the stakes hit a whole new level. Just what is Ember after? And can Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel prevent her pixelated projects from wreaking epic destruction? The next generation of heroes take the universe by storm in the third installment of MARVEL RISING!

PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1

So I sat down Monday night with a cup of tea and I read Marvel Rising – Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel #1. NOW…anyone who knows me also knows my hatred for both Squirell Girl and the current Ms. Marvel, although I can take Kamala Khan’s Ms. Marvel in small doses. I went into this with a clear head and all bias set aside.

Squirrel Who?

Squirrel Girl, whom (I can’t believe I am writing this) has taken down both Thanos and Doctor Doom. (No, really, honest. Those things happened.) She just might be considered one of the dangerous women in the Marvel Universe.

Wait… didn’t Ms. Marvel become Captain Marvel?

When Carol Danvers went to assume the mantle of Captain Marvel, teenage Inhuman Kamala Khan took on the mantle for her own. Being Inhuman is about as Kree as she gets to the legacy of which she is named after. She has proven herself to be a team player and fight for what’s right, even if she herself is a huge fangirl of superheroes in the Marvel Universe. Even once stopping in mid-combat for a selfie with Wolverine.

Writing:

Now, I understand that the writing and storytelling is very basic and targeted at a much younger age. However, there seems to be a gimmick in the writing here. Ryan North is writing for Squirrel Girl and G. Willow Wilson is writing for Ms. Marvel. They have some assistance writing with Devin Grayson. I imagine the two writers write the dialoge of their actual characters and Grayson adds in everything else. It’s interesting to say the least.

I can see Marvel trying to reach a younger audience, but it also feels as if they are talking down to the audience they are trying to reach. The two (Squirrel Girl & Ms. Marvel) really come across as the Laverne & Shirley of superheroes in this story. Even the friends of Squirrel Girl remind me of characters such as Lenny and Squiggy.

The plot sees the girls going up against a female villain, Emulator, who can bring game creatures to life. I want to say she can emulate game characters, but she brings no one special to life. Just all archetypes, such as a giant gorilla and a huge bird. These could be from almost any video game, so take your pick.

Then I about lost it when Inferno is randomly attacked by a pack of squirrels as Squirrel Girl calls them off, “Squirrel Scouts! Naughty! Down!” I am fast to remember why I despise this character so much, although it’s quickly snuffed by Ms. Marvel and Inferno fighting a huge, red fire-breathing dragon. That was sort of interesting.

America Chavez shows up to lend a helping hand too. This is where I sort of have an issue with the story. Marvel has this habit of trying to make characters a thing, who have no business being a thing. America Chavez, or America, is one of them. A character who has found some fandom of her own in team books, and seems to work well in team books, but her only real purpose here is to scold the kids as if she’s some seasoned  and experienced superhero on her own. America is just as new to all this as the rest of them. Hell, Squirrel Girl has been around longer than Chavez has and Colleen is still treated like she’s a kid. Meanwhile, America has only been around since 2011. Just perplexes me, you would think Squirrel Girl would be the seasoned leader-type.

The story, which is part two, ends on a cliffhanger to be continued in Marvel Rising: Ms. Marvel/Squirrel Girl #1 (on sale August 1st), and then concluded in Marvel Rising: Omega #1 (on sale September 5th).

Art:

On the surface, the art just always brings these stories with these characters down. I simply cannot take the artwork seriously. It was what ruined Hellcat’s latest series and what was a pain about Squirrel Girl, and sometimes Ms. Marvel. For myself, artwork is important. Usually I am one not to condemn artwork as I like to claim, but this artwork simply destracts from any seriousness of the story and that, I feel, is my problem. It’s one thing that story is written for a younger audience, the art could be a bit better. It’s almost like both Irene Strychalski and Ramón Bachs are trying to capture the feel of the old DC Diniverse animation from the Batman Adventures comics. Also, yeah same as the writing, the characters are drawn by different artists; Irene Strychalski draws Squirrel Girl and Ramon Bachs draws Ms. Marvel. It’s an interesting take.

PopCultHQ’s Overall Assessment:

I tried. I tried to be impartial and I just couldn’t, but I can honestly walk away from this by saying something nice. I’m glad this comic exists and I’ll tell you why! As a collector and a dealer, I’m 40 years old and I noticed that comic books have grown up with my generation. There was a time when I felt uncomfortable selling a current issue of Amazing Spider-Man to a parent for their six-year old. THAT was the Spider-Man flagship title, if any title should be for all-ages, it should be that book! I never agreed with Marvel creating a line of books for just children with stories which stood outside of mainstream canon, simply because comics felt “too cool for school.” At least with Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel you’re getting nice, clean family-oriented stock which still happens inside the Marvel Universe. So ladies, my hat does indeed go off to you both for keeping the fun in the comics!

PopCultHQ’s Rating:

3.5 Out of 5 Stars

PopCultHQ Rating - 3.5 Stars

PopCultHQ Rating – 3.5 Stars

Why so high for a book I didn’t enjoy? Because I’m not the target reader, that’s why. Books like this, they’re aimed a much younger generation. They’re written wholesome and fun. You never doubt the heroes are going to lose AND, most of all, they are canon in the Marvel Universe. That has always been important to me. So I would feel comfortable letting my youngest sit down, peruse these books, and not once have to ask what’s up or inquire for the sake of knowing what my kids are reading. Because I feel they are in good hands with the likes of Squirrel Girl and Ms. Marvel.

Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel (2018) #1 can be purchased on comiXology
and at your LCS and online retailers beginning Wednesday, July 4th!

Comixology button


Be sure to follow the creative team!

Writer – Ryan North

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Writer – G. Willow Wilson

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Writer – Devin Grayson

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Artist – Irene Strychalski

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Artist – Ramón F. Bachs

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Colorist – Rachelle Rosenberg

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Letterer – Clayton Cowles

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Publisher – Marvel Comics

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