The comic world has seen its fair share of drama, whether it be the continued discrimination of mutants or the narcissistic melancholy that drives a billionaire playboy to wear a bat suit. Shit can get pretty heavy in both the DC and Marvel universes. But sometimes creators realize the need for a more light-hearted approach towards the art of cartoon escapism can be both refreshing and entertaining, which is exactly why, in 1992, Squirrel Girl was created by Will Murray.
Inspired by an ex-girlfriend’s love of wild rodents and a mob of squirrels that would enter his bedroom window on occasion (lesson not learned), Murray premiered his carefree brand of comic delight in “The Coming of… Squirrel Girl,” Marvel Superheroes vol. 2 no. 8 to what would initially be a lack of fanfare. But the heroine still persists to this day in Marvel comics, which begs the question, what exactly can Squirrel Girl do?
The answer is pretty much everything you’ve already thought of. Her official biography goes as such: a mutant girl of 14 years of age AKA Doreen Green hailing from Los Angeles, California, who possesses a prehensile tail 3-4 feet long, buck-teeth, sharp claws, and an unhealthy infatuation with Marvel’s sexiest superhero, Iron Man (any objection to this statement is unequivocally dismissed). Naturally, she needs not telepathy but can also communicate with squirrels by speaking their native language, an impressive feat no doubt given the limited sounds of the language.
She has squirrel agility and squirrel sense, she can bite through a tree of wood faster than a woodchuck, has retractable knuckle spikes thanks to the creative liberty of artist Steve Ditko, and her lips reportedly taste like hazelnuts. If you aren’t all about Squirrel Girl already, I can guarantee you will be by the end of the next paragraph. Warning: spoilers ahead.
In her debut, Squirrel Girl tracks down Iron Man in an adolescent thrust of naivety, believing he will take her on as his sidekick and bed maiden. Logically finding him the forest, she puts on an impressive show as she goes through each one of her abilities, which resoundingly do not impress the playboy genius, because I mean, squirrels? But as happenstance happens, Iron Man is captured by the nefarious Dr. Doom, who also denounces Squirrel Girl’s abilities thus not giving a shit to leave her furry hands freed – a mistake he would come to rue moments later when flying over the ocean with them in his jumbo jet, Squirrel Girl calls upon her rodent brethren through a vent to attack the super villain with everything they’ve got. Thanks to comic book magic, hundreds of squirrels somehow board the aircraft, chewing through the wires and annoying the absolute pants off of Dr. Doom. “Confound these wretched rodents!” Dr. Doom curses. “For every one I fling, a dozen more vex me!” in what has to be the greatest reaction to a squirrel ambush against an armoured man of all time.
Unfortunately for Squirrel Girl, she would not get to taste from the fountain so, so many women before her did, nor Tony taste her Nutella-infused lips, insisting that maybe when she was older, and had some minor dental work done, he could think of some things to do with that tail she had never even dreamed of.
Crushed, Squirrel Girl took a decade long hiatus, wherein she fell into perpetual adolescence, but grew absolutely gigantic breasts.
Returning in 2005, Squirrel Girl retained the childish allure so connoted by her name but with the brazen curves of a woman of a far superior age. She had unexplainably moved to New York, where she took it upon herself to keep Central Park free of baddies. So impressed with her cleanup was the team of Great Lakes Avengers, who recruited her and her trusty side-kick, a companion squirrel by the name of Monkey Joe. In a histrionically and completely fantastic twist, Monkey Joe is murdered by a rejected member of the GLA called “Leather Boy,” who was understandably denied access because he has no powers and just a leather fetish. Poor, poor Monkey Joe.
Now a part-time nanny in addition to her duties as a member of the GLA (now called the Great Lakes Champions), Squirrel Girl and her new sidekick “Tippy Toe” are nothing to balk at in the superhero universe. Despite her namesake and aptly named “nut sack” utility belt, Squirrel Girl is the black sheep of Marvel characters, who has defeated not only Dr. Doom, but also Thanos, Deadpool and even Wolverine in hand-to-hand combat, chalking up victories as a result of her squirrel mutation and cunning. All of this makes clear why she is such a beloved and often underrated superhero amongst fans, with her 2010 announcement to be included in the New Avengers met with applause and cheers of such gusto, the Comic-con panel rivaled the reaction to if Stan Lee walked into the room.
Listed as one of UGO Networks’ totally not sexist “Women We’re Ashamed to be Attracted To” polls, Squirrel Girl may find herself the object of affection of more than just Iron Man in the near future. Furries, you’re welcome.