New Avengers #15

A comic review article by: Shawn Hill
That cover is alternately hilarious and horrifying. You really fear that this is going to be a torture issue for poor Squirrel Girl, and then Baby Danielle is going to have to manifest her hybrid Skrull powers to save herself, and it's all just going to go south way too fast… but Bendis surprises by taking things in a very different direction.

This issue is formulaic, in that it does what nearly every issue of New Avengers Volume 2 has done: start off funny, then things get real, then the heroes swing into action. But it's a good iteration of that formula, and in Squirrel Girl Bendis has found a gift of a character who keeps on giving, apparently. Also, believe it or not, Deodato takes the clown makeup, the furry arms, and the seven feet of bushy tail… and makes her look lithe and sexy. She's the Crimson Fox jumping around the buildings of New York -- and I mean back when Bart Sears could draw!

However, I'm getting a little tired of the talking head/interview motif framing the recent issues. We get it, Bendis likes awkward dialogue. It's like he's cast each issue with New York method actors, but don't we get enough of that on the Law & Order franchise? And who's doing all this interviewing? Does every issue have to be a mockumentary? That said, Squirrel Girl's confessions are amusingly personalized, and you've got to love how Doreen is a one-woman booster squad for the Great Lakes Avengers. Which really were a team, you guys!

The conflagration on the cover comes from Doreen happening to run into the Nazi storm troopers in exoskeletons from the Fear Itself crossover after saving a girl from a rape gang. You would not think this would go well, and it doesn't… for them. As our feral heroine showed at the beginning of the issue (when sparring with Wolverine -- yes, really) there's more to her than meets the eye. Deodato's always impressive realism makes sure that we do see it, however, and his tongue is almost never in his cheek about it.

Doreen's mission is to get home to protect the child so that Luke and Jessica can go do their jobs and avenge, and let's just say, throughout the issue, that she earns Jessica's respect and Luke's astonishment, acquitting herself admirably. Deodato is on his game, peppering the city with Nazis equal to Immonen's versions, giving Ms. Marvel very bored body language at Wolverine's sparring matches (boys!) and, well … I can't even describe the en masse squirrel attacks, but the last thing they are is funny.

This is a pretty small slice of the big picture of Fear Itself, but it's a well-told human interest story. And I don't really think Baby Danielle is a Skrull, by the way. Mostly.

Shawn Hill knows two things: comics and art history. Find his art at

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