This is a first.
It's the first time a Pull List will feature a review of a comic the same day as it actually hits newstands. Or comic book stores. Or wherever you happen to buy comic books. If you buy physical comic books and don't just read them online.
Anyway, that comic book is Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1. So that's exciting! And then we have some more Squirrel Girl comics, which would be a bit more exciting if they also came out today (which they didn't) and I also hadn't featured Squirrel Girl in the last two Pull Lists (which I did). Oh, well, reviews after the break!
I was beginning to worry there for a moment, but Rocket Raccoon will return in his own comic book series again next year. Stupid awkward Marvel "reboot" thingy.
This will be the second Pull List in a row to feature only Squirrel Girl comics (and also the second Pull List in a row to feature a The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1, because Marvel's doing a thing again). Between her and all the Friendship is Magic comics, this Pull List thing has just become one big, happy ball of positive energy. Except when I throw in a Hack/Slash, an Avengers Arena or a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #4, and things get a little darker.
But, the stories we tell (and the stories we enjoy) influence how we think of the world; it's much easier to believe the world will end in some kind of apocalypse when your favorite TV show is The Walking Dead (a show about the apocalyptic end of the world), even if you don't necessarily believe it will come via zombie plague. It's harder if you watch a show where you have to take a time machine five million years into the future to see the end of the world. So, anyway, if you're looking for a comic book series that might influence you to see the world more positively, basically, stuff with Squirrel Girl helps.
Marvel comics launched two titles early this year featuring slightly obscure, slightly ridiculous and more-than-slightly furry characters; Howard the Duck and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Actually, they will both have two #1 issues by the end of the year (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl's second first issue came out this week, while Howard the Duck returns on November 4). Both have gained mostly positive reviews since their launches, so of course these two characters will appear in each other's books in a crossover next spring.
Not much detail is known at the moment about what these two characters will be doing that will require them to team-up, but Marvel has revealed an advance solicit (that is admittedly less than helpful):
This summer, the two most powerful characters in the Marvel Universe clash! You asked for it ... you demanded it ... and now you'll get it: GALACTUS versus WOLVERINE! Just kidding, the story's actually about Squirrel Girl and Howard the Duck, and instead of fighting they solve problems together. Sorry for making you think Galactus and Wolverine would fight, maybe that should be our next team-up though since it's not a bad idea at all. Wolverine could get some Power Cosmic on her claws to create the Power Clawsmic and Galactus could be all "OH NO YOU DIDN'T". Anyway, in our story Howard and Squirrel Girl fight some dudes and learn some important lessons and Galactus doesn't even show up once, the end.
Every month, in addition to the solicits we'll get to in a minute, Preview runs top 100 bestsellers list; it's a few months behind, so it's a bit confusing, especially when you remember this is the October issue which comes out in September with solicits for December, and the top 100 list is for August. So, anyway, furry comics that made the list for August 2015 include:
- Howard the Human #1 at 87,
- Howard the Duck #5 at 82,
- Guardians of Knowhere #3 at 29 and
- Guardians of Knowhere #2 at 24.
About two comic lists back, there was some confusion about the top 100 bestsellers list Previews also runs, which are also covered in these lists, so from now on we'll try and explain that before just starting up a random list of titles from a month that isn't the actual month being previewed. That would begin this month, but there weren't enough furry titles to make the list to make it worthwhile.
In Norse mythology, the squirrel Ratatoskr (whose name is usually translated as "bore-tooth", and who is sometimes depicted with a unicorn like horn) is the messenger between the serpent at the base of the world tree Yggdrasil, and the eagle living at the top. Neither eagle nor serpent much like each other; Ratatoskr does not help matters, as it is known as a gossip who keeps the two rivals angry with each other. That's pretty much Ratatoskr's role in Norse mythology. The squirrel is a very, very minor character.
Despite its small stature (both literally and figuratively), Ratatoskr has managed to gain an important role in a Marvel comic and become a playable character in a popular video game. And the squirrel's two entrances happened one day apart.
I've probably made it fairly clear in past Pull Lists, but just in case I haven't, Squirrel Girl is my favorite superhero. For those of you unfamiliar with the character, Doreen Green is a Marvel mutant with the ability to talk to squirrels, as well as squirrel like agility, plus a squirrel tail. Together with her squirrel sidekick, Tippy Toe, she fights crime as Squirrel Girl. Very well. At risk of sounding like a hipster, I liked Squirrel Girl before Squirrel Girl was cool. Of course, Squirrel Girl is cool because she is not cool (which also sounds super hipster-y), but my love for the character is not ironic.
I like her because she is a genuine superhero; she both has superpowers and acts heroically, but more importantly, she also likes being a superhero. She has fun being a superhero. If she doesn't take, say, an encounter with Doctor Doom seriously, it's not because she herself sees the ridiculousness of the situation. She doesn't see fights with supervillains as something to worry about; she's a superhero. She is supposed to fight supervillains; and she wants to fight supervillains. On a meta-level (and though she doesn't quite go to, say, Deadpool's textual awareness level, like most "humorous" Marvel characters, she has her medium aware moments), she believes that she will win any fight with a supervillain because she is a superhero, and superheroes always win in the superhero stories she reads; therefore, by choosing to be a superhero, she chooses to win. It is not "realistic" that she should, say, beat Doctor Doom with squirrels, but, seeing as how she isn't real, reality does not concern her.
This is why she is such a divisive character; a certain sort of comic book fan believes that comic book superheroes can only be taken seriously if it is presented "realistically." This viewpoint has been the default comic book fan view for decades now, to the point where a character who regularly and unequivocally wins fights with supervillains, and doesn't angst about it, stands out like a sore thumb, and is therefore a breath of fresh air, especially if your personal preference (like mine) is Guardians of the Galaxy over Watchmen. This is not to say a comic book that deals with the consequences of superheroics is bad; it's to say that a comic book that deals with the consequences of superheroics isn't automatically good. And comic books that don't aren't automatically bad. Or for that matter, that "realism" and "explores consequences" are mutually exclusive.
So, anyway, Squirrel Girl has her own comic book now, and it's awesome. Here's a review of the first three issues.
Furry comics making the top 100 list for February 2015 include:
- The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2 at 87,
- Rocket Raccoon #8 at 45 and
- Guardians of the Galaxy #24 at 45.
Furry comics making the best-sellers list for the month of January 2015 include:
Not long after making his return to movies in the after credits gag from Guardians of the Galaxy after an infamous 1986 outing, Howard the Duck will gain his first ongoing comic since 1979 (not counting a mostly official two issue continuation of the series in 1986 in conjunction with the movie). He's appeared in various mini-series since that time, with many guest spots and cameos (Marvel writer Brian Michael Bendis has claimed never to have typed the words "Howard the Duck" despite the character appearing in the background of multiple series by him), and he was one of the non-zombie leads in the Marvel Zombies 5 mini-series, but this is first ongoing since the seventies.
One of Marvel’s most unusual super heroes (and that’s saying a lot!) is getting her own full-color series this January. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl follows the adventures of, who else, Squirrel Girl — perhaps the world’s most upbeat superhero. And with her accomplishments, who wouldn’t be? With the help of her squirrel-like powers and her trusty squirrel sidekick, Tiptoe, she’s taken on and defeated some of the Marvel Universe’s biggest and baddest super-villains. From Entertainment Weekly: “In Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, writer Ryan North [Adventure Time] and artist Erica Henderson [Quantum & Woody] take on the lighthearted superheroine whose mutant gene gives her an endearing cocktail of squirrel-related superpowers. When the comic book begins, she’s starting college—but in no time at all, Squirrel Girl is defending Earth from threats most cosmic.” Check out the interview with Ryan North over at Comic Book Resources.
crossaffliction, what are you doing? You can't post all those @$#%ing Newsbytes.