August 24, 2009

Marvel Super-Heroes #8 [1992]

This issue of Marvel's quarterly anthology of the early 1990s closes with the 22-page Iron Man story "The Coming Of Squirrel Girl". Officially the plot, as well as pencils and inks, are credited to Ditko, but apparently credited scripter Will Murray was actually the plotter as well. Never trust those printed credits...

The story features Tony Stark flying in the woods to test some new collision avoidance technology in his armour when he's attacked by a young 14-year-old mutant who wants to be his sidekick, introducing herself as Squirrel Girl.  Despite her enthusiasm and display of powers (including the ability to talk to squirrels), Iron Man isn't interested in taking on a sidekick (though he does try to foist her off on the X-Men or Captain America), but before he can finish making his point they're attacked by Doctor Doom, who takes them prisoner aboard his conveniently low-flying craft.  This opens the door to SG calling on her squirrel friends for a rescue, delivering Doctor Doom one his more embarrassing defeats (and this is a guy who once stumbled in front of his own shrink ray). Somewhat more impressed, Iron Man promises to put in a good word for her with the Avengers after she finishes college.

Actually not too bad a story.  A bit of a throwback, more of a 1960s story than a 1990s one, but for the most part that's a good thing.  And Doctor Doom fighting squirrels as drawn by Ditko?  That's worth the price of admission right there.

This story has become one of the most frequently reprinted of Ditko's later day works for Marvel, appearing in a Great Lakes Avengers collection (SG was a member of the group), MARVEL VISIONARIES - STEVE DITKO and apparently in the upcoming PET AVENGERS CLASSIC collection.

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