Squirrel Girl Comments on the History of Squirrel Girl
By Steffi Feldman
Sprint through the hero’s past with analysis from Ryan North!
What wild adventure will Doreen Green, Nancy Whitehead, Tippy-Toe, and the rest of the UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL gang go on in issue #31? The answer is obvious: Doreen and Nancy get blasted into hypertime and fight crime at super speed, of course! On April 11, writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson tell the tale in UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #31!
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, A.K.A. Doreen Green, has had an action-packed history dating back to the early ‘90s, but she’s evolved significantly since then. We asked Ryan North to provide some commentary on the proceedings, but he suggested we go right to the super source herself! So let’s dive in!
One doesn’t just go throwing around the title “Unbeatable” without reason; Doreen Green has beaten the likes of Galactus, Thanos, Ultron, and more!
Squirrel Girl: Hey everyone, it’s me—Squirrel Girl! I hacked into this website (it was a simple SQL injection exploit, COME ON PEOPLE, it’s not 1997 anymore) and am using my incredible hacker powers for good—by adding some commentary to this as we go!
But her long and impressive history starts with her debut takedown: Doctor Doom.
Squirrel Girl: Hah! It sure does!
In her first ever appearance, Doreen Green (then a young super hero hopeful) came to Iron Man in an attempt to impress him with her powers. At first, Tony Stark was incredulous about her powers and persona, but it didn’t take long for Doreen to win the hero over after she rescued him from Doctor Doom by siccing an army of squirrels after the notorious villain.
Squirrel Girl: To be fair, this was just my first takedown published in illustrated comic documentary format. I’d actually defeated the Abomination before then. And it’s not even the first time I took down Doctor Doom, if you’re being strictly chronological! I’VE traveled through time to beat him up in the ’60s. IT WAS AMAZING.
In these early days, Squirrel Girl had a furry, prehensile tail, buck teeth strong enough to chew through wood, superhuman strength and agility, the ability to speak to and understand squirrels, and sharply clawed fingers with retractable “knuckle spikes”!
Squirrel Girl: Those knuckle spikes came in handy when defeating Ultron, because bone doesn’t conduct electricity! A useful property when you’re fighting a robot. Other than that they have not been THAT useful, because, um—I don’t really go around stabbing people all the time?
Later, as Squirrel Girl teamed up with the Great Lakes Avengers, she started flying a gyrocopter called a “Squirrel-A-Gig” (which was a holiday gift from her teammate Big Bertha). Doreen first used the machine to infiltrate Doctor Doom’s castle!
Squirrel Girl: The best part was Doom just sighed and pointed me towards where I wanted to go, because he didn’t want to get into a fight with me. IT WAS THE RIGHT CALL, MY DUDE.
Doreen’s personality and powers were best established and honed in THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL after the series launched in 2015. The greatest revelation in this title is best explored in the first arc—which acts as a kind of thesis statement for the rest of the series—when Doreen Green is tasked with stopping Galactus from eating the Earth. Does she punch him into submission? Does she try to destroy him? No, Doreen realizes that wouldn’t work and, instead, converses with the cosmic being, convincing him to leave her home planet alone.
Squirrel Girl: Galactus isn’t such a bad guy! Take away his hunger and he’s just a chill pal. It’s not his fault he’s so enormous! If he were tinier a handful of nuts could satisfy him, but at his scale one’s appetites also get larger. Took a full PLANET of nuts, actually!
Doreen is notable for using her compassion as one of her greatest tools—and for using butt-kicking as a last resort. Sometimes people can forget that being a super hero isn’t always about flashy super powers! She might not necessarily have the craziest abilities on the scene, but the strongest weapons in the fight to eradicate evil can often be a good heart, a strong mind, and one or two close friends!
Squirrel Girl: Aw, this was a great article! Now I feel bad about hacking in to add commentary to it, but on the plus side, YOU get slightly more words to read, so I suppose it all worked out in the end! Eat nuts and kick butts, everyone!
Read THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #31, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, tomorrow—April 11!