My Other Book is a Graphic Novel: 2019 in Comics

Superhero

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl vol 9 (Ryan North & Derek Charm & Rico Renzi, Marvel, 2018)

It took me a while to pick up this volume after Henderson left the book–I felt tied up in the union of the two creators and was worried that Charm couldn’t really take her place.
And he doesn’t–but that’s not a bad thing. His pencils (and Renzi’s colors) do a fine job bringing North’s stories to life–in this case largely a tale of redemption. One of the recurring parts of North’s run has been that the villains can be defeated not just with violence but with heart, and Kraven the Hunter is a prime use case. In a world where characters often have to march to the beat of an editor’s drum despite progress they’ve made, can a villain even be redeemed? Read and find out!

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl vol 10 (Ryan North & Derek Charm & Rico Renzi & Naomi Franquiz, Marvel, 2019) 🌟

You tend not to expect a comic to start with the title character attending their own funeral while wearing a fish mask, but North and co. have always had surprising scenarios. This volume largely focuses on an arc around an imposter Squirrel Girl, a trail that ultimately leads to confronting heroes about their prejudices with a thinly-veiled analogue to current day refugee crises. Also its funny, as always.

West Coast Avengers 1: Best Coast (Kelly Thompson & Stefano Caselli & Triona Farrell, Marvel, 2018)

Mmmm that new team smell. I love the idea of a Hawkeye led team of misfits. I’m uncertain how I feel about Gwenpool being included, but the fact that she seems to have lost the strongest of her reality manipulating powers certainly helps to put her more in line with the rest of the team, which includes Kate’s new BF, both Hawkeyes, America and Quentin bloody Quire, who I’ve heard a ton about but hadn’t read yet.

West Coast Avengers 2: City of Evils (Kelly Thompson & Danille Di Nicuolo & Gang Hyuk Lim & Moy R. & Triona Farrell, Marvel, 2019)

The story is still very Hawkeye focused, with most of the new supporting cast(including new heroes) being pulled from the Kate Bishop solo run, but it’s a great romp. The team has a fun dynamic; they’re here, they’re queer, and they can kick some vampire butt. With Squirrel Girl ending this is likely the only Marvel series I’m going to try to keep up with for a bit.

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