Review — Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl & Ms. Marvel (2018)
Happy 4th of July!
I paid a visit to my local comic book shop on Wednesday (because it was, of course, the wedding of Batman and Catwoman, and the shop was having a party), but also to pick up my weekly comics. One of the (many) comics I subscribe to is The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, so the shop also bestowed upon me this treasure:This is my first exposure to Ms. Marvel (since Carol Danvers is now Captain Marvel), and it was lovely to get to meet her as her Kamala Khan iteration! Let’s be real, Kamala is pretty awesome… a wildly intelligent young Pakistani-American woman with the biggest, brightest smile you’ve ever seen. (Kamala’s introductory comic won a Hugo— how freaking awesome is that?!)
This particular crossover is split right down the middle, with Squirrel Girl beginning the book (writer: Ryan North, art: Irene Strychalski), with Ms. Marvel finishing up the tale (writer: G. Willow Wilson, art: Ramón Bachs). Squirrel Girl’s section is just as hilarious as her usual books– complete with ridiculous fourth-wall-breaking footnotes.
Our story begins with Squirrel Girl (Doreen Green) and Ms. Marvel (Kamala Khan) at coding camp (I know, right?). SG is a teacher and Ms. M is her student– although of course, they don’t know each others’ secret identities yet. Doreen is introducing her ragtag group of friends, a bunch of other inhumans. None of these folks actually feature in the rest of the comic, so I’m not quite sure why they bothered– although some panels are definitely laugh-out-loud funny:
Naturally, as is wont to happen when lots of Inhumans are around, an evil villain has been doing bad things. This time, a horde of giant animals has been attacking a Computer Science class. Except they aren’t regular giant animals: they’re created from video games.
It turns out fresh Inhuman/student/misunderstood teenager Ember (a.k.a. Emulator) is behind the attacks. She can turn video game NPCs into real-life objects using portals! She’s being egged on by an online acquaintance; she’s not sure why or to what end, but she’s going along with it anyway.
The first part of Ember’s mission involves some breaking & entering. Naturally, she’s met halfway through by the self-dubbed Squirrel Marvel, who are a heartbeat away from figuring out each others’ secret identities. But first, they have to stop a giant robot. The usual “hack and slash” approach isn’t working, even with Ms. Marvel at equally-giant size, but Squirrel Girl is pretty sure she can get inside the robot if Ms. Marvel just flings her hard enough. Exhibit A:
Squirrel Girl, aside: “It’s ATTACHED, and it’s FABULOUS, and it COMPRESSES REALLY WELL WHEN I TUCK IT INTO MY PANTS, and we can all talk about it later, but for right now I’ma need you to whip me at the giant robot, okay?”
They do manage to defeat the giant robot, but Squirrel Girl realizes they’re going to need some backup, and casually places a call to America Chavez. Do you know who America Chavez is? She’s MISS AMERICA, and she’s a Latina lesbian, and just like everyone else in this book, is a BAMF. (You’re going to have to Google that one if you don’t already know.) Ms. Marvel is appropriately starstruck by this phone call (I mean, hell, so am I), but it’s not long before Emulator is back with a giant phoenix in the second half of the book.
Midway through chicken-phoenix destruction, Ms. Marvel is joined by her friend Dante (a.k.a. Inferno– ha ha, get it?) who helps Kamala realize that they’re not just giant animals from RPG games: they’re ACTUALLY FROM the games. Therefore, whatever their in-game weakness is will be the same thing that can defeat them now! Case in point: the phoenix takes 10 extra damage per second in water, so Kamala throws it in the fountain.
Miss America joins the fracas just in time to help defeat a giant dragon, but our cliffhanger leaves our heroes in a dark hallway, surrounded by zombies…
What will happen next?! I don’t know, but I’m sure as hell excited to find out!
Next issue: Marvel Rising – Ms. Marvel & Squirrel Girl #1, on sale August 1st
Drop by your local comic book store and pick it up! And if they don’t have it, ask them if they can get it (they totally will, and they’ll love you for it)! Supporting your local comic book stores is an amazing thing to do for your community– it’s so nice to have a nerd haven where you know no one will ever look at you funny for geeking out over something you love. Also, the more support we can get for not only our female characters but for their alternate-universe diverse counterparts, the better.
If Google isn’t returning any shops for your area, try this handy shop locator tool from Diamond Comics.