Good news for fans of writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson’s beloved run on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: the quirky creators have been cooking up something new, this time for Penguin Random House’s YA imprint Penguin Teen. It’s a “dystopian fantasy” graphic novel called Danger and Other Unknown Risks, and it’s set for an April 4th, 2023 release.
AHHH I CAN FINALLY ANNOUNCE THE DYSTOPIAN FANTASY BOOK THAT @ryanqnorth AND I HAVE BEEN WORKING ON WITH @penguinteen. It comes out 4/4/2023 but it’s available for preorder NOW. As of this minute!https://t.co/glPgYFXmeU pic.twitter.com/Jt7fDmysFR
— Erica Henderson (@EricaFails) July 5, 2022
The synopsis reads:
“A twisty, spellbinding adventure about a girl and her dog who want to save the world, Danger and Other Unknown Risks is the highly anticipated YA graphic novel debut from Eisner Award-winning and New York Times bestselling creators Ryan North and Erica Henderson.
“I’m gonna tell you a story, and I’m gonna ask that you let me finish before you say anything.
“Here’s the deal—on midnight of January 1st, 2000, the world ended. But it wasn’t technology that killed it: It was magic. Now, years later, the Earth has transformed. Magic works (sort of). People are happy (sort of). But this new world isn’t stable, and unless Marguerite de Pruitt and her canine pal, Daisy, do something about it, it’ll tilt into deadly chaos. Good thing they’ve been training their whole lives for this and are destined to succeed.
“Or so they think. Ryan North and Erica Henderson, the bestselling masterminds behind Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, serve up a graphic novel that is equally laugh-out-loud adventure and emotional gut punch. A story about the search for truth, chosen family, and rebirth, the journey of Marguerite and Daisy seeks to ask one vital question: How far are you willing to go to save the world?”
The Danger announcement must be a welcome surprise for fans of North and Henderson, who quickly developed a devoted following after the first issue of Marvel’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl was released in January of 2015. Marked by big-hearted storytelling, a distinctively exuberant art style, and an all-ages-friendly yet witty and at times even irreverent sense of humor, it was an “unbeatable” run in the sense that it will be a difficult one for future Squirrel Girl writers and artists to follow (the character was created in 1991 by writer Will Murray and artist Steve Ditko).
Henderson departed from the series in 2018 after drawing interiors for 37 issues (as well as the original graphic novel The Unbeatable Squirrel Beats Up the Marvel Universe) as artist Derek Charm stepped in, although she continued drawing covers until the 50th and final issue in 2019. Since then, Henderson’s projects have included the miniseries Assassin Nation with writer Kyle Starks and the graphic novel Dracula Motherf*cker with writer Alex Di Campi.
North’s output following the end of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl includes the prose How to Take Over the World: Practical Schemes and Scientific Solutions for the Aspiring Supervillain, comics like the graphic novel adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut‘s Slaughterhouse-Five with artist Albert Monteys, and even the podcast Squirrel Girl: The Unbeatable Radio Show.
[Editor’s Note: And North is writing the upcoming Star Trek: Lower Decks comic adaptation! —Ensign A.J. Kaplan.]
As the synopsis for Danger and Other Unknown Risks promises “equally laugh-out-loud adventure and emotional gut punch,” it sounds like fans of North and Henderson are about to get more of what they love from the duo. Look for it on shelves in April 2023, and preorder now if you’re so inclined.