This year’s second first issue of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is a piece of post-human propaganda aimed to make its readers accept folks from all walks of life. Spoilers ahead, kind of. The quality of this comic is not something merely revealing the plot can spoil.
Shockingly, the issue’s villain is unable to defeat the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. Brain Drain is an Invaders leftover, a WWII second stringer, a brain in a jar atop a robot. And he has some of the most delightful lines I’ve ever had the pleasure to come across in a Marvel comic.
Doreen and Nancy come to realize (they are computer science majors, after all) that Brain Drain’s emotional disturbance/naughty behavior is a product of bad robot wiring and not the mind within. With the right support- and a heart willing to empathize- Werner can overcome and “function typically.”
This is people-first thinking. Seeing emotional disturbance not as a fault in the individual but a product of society failing to meet the individual’s needs. Squirrel Girl is showing us by example that being an animal-person or a person without a body or any other characteristic of an individual cannot be used to define/marginalize them.
Are you defined by your gender, ethnicity, religion, age, sexual orientation, or other trait? No! So how can we define others by a characteristic?
Villains can go to school. Girls can be superheroes.
So, if you have a child and you want them to grow up judging others not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, this is the comic book they should be reading. Some wise soul said Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is “what comics should be,” and I for one must agree with me.