REVIEW: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #12 – “Brain Draining the Big Apple”

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #12

Writter: Ryan North

Penciller: Erica Henderson

Colorist: Rico Renzi

Leterrer: Travis Lanham

Release Date: 9/28/16

Price: $3.99

SQUIRREL GIRL

Don’t you fret New York City – with a gang on the loose Brain Drain is here to help! Wait what? Yup, while our heroine Squirrel Girl and her best pal Nancy are on a Canadian vacay, Brain Drain is New York’s hero of the week.

Plot

Brain Drain, a brain in a jar in the body of a robot, is protecting New York City from crime. On the other end stands our heroine, Doreen, reluctantly going on a Canadian camping trip with her BFF Nancy. The trip turns out to be boring as HECK when Doreen learns there’s no electricity or Internet. All the while Brain Drain continues to arrest the same criminal over and over again in NYC. This criminal turns out to be a new villain – Enigmo, with the power to split off into multiple versions of himself! Uh-oh.

Story

North brings back a a short lived but much loved character in Brain Drain. North gives Brain such wonderful dialogue that quickly turns him into a sure to be fan favorite. The power of North’s dialogue shines with Brain – a NYC bystander asks if he is a hero in which Brain responds saying “Even when I cannot see my own potential, I still struggle to realize it. So yes.” Taking a popular trend in comics with robots – North creates one who manages to show humanity in a fun but still slightly mocking way.

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On the other side of the world lays Doreen, Nancy and Doreen’s mother, Maureen. North puts Doreen out of her comfort zone for once – no butts to kick and complete isolation. It was a different side to Doreen for sure, yet she was still her loveable self. Doreen’s increasing boredom creates an almost fun anxiety in readers, patiently waiting to see what’ll happen in boring old Canada land.

It was a less action packed issue than most comics sure, but Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #12 remains a fun read and a good kick off to a new adventure for Doreen.

Art

Yet again, Henderson’s amazing art shines through. One of the best uses of art in issue #12 is the hilarious facial expressions Henderson highlights. Doreen, the voice of a hyperactive squirrel, somehow manages to speak loudest with her face. 
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Henderson is able to take North’s dialogue and amplify it with the way she draws Doreen. Her boredom and anger with the camping trip, her Mother and the lack of electricity is easy to read. Henderson is also able to create facial expressions for Brain Drain – somehow taking a brain in a jar and making him human.

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Readers can laugh at his misplaced mask all the while seeing that he somehow truly cares about his job as new NYC superhero. Henderson is a rare breed in the comic world – someone who cares more about the way characters appear than the world around them. Henderson knows that if the characters are highlighted, everything else will follow.

Verdict

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl continues to deliver – issue #12 is no different than the rest of this incredible run. All the while it remains funny, heart warming and utterly unique. North took Doreen out of her comfort zone, introduced a freaky new villain and kept Brain Drain as hilarious as ever. A must buy if you’re into Doreen’s adventures and all things FUN!

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