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.
While true love generally triumphs in Disney films, be it between a man and a woman or anthropomorphic fox and lady fox, the meet-cute of characters on the other hand can range from wildly romantic to straight up kidnappings. In an attempt to parse the weird world of Disney dating ,and perhaps shed some light on what effect our favorite childhood films have had on our present day relations, The Magpie presents a series analyzing the first dates of some beloved characters. This is Disney First Dates part 1:
The Date: The first date in Aladdin is actually one of the better ones, if you ignore that it’s entirely predicated on lies. On the date Aladdin takes Jasmine on a non-euphemism magic carpet ride as he sings to her about showing her the world, at this point Jasmine believes Aladdin to be prince Ali (fabulous he) and not a plucky street rat. They laugh, they sing, they kiss, it’s all very romantic. Jasmine asks if Aladdin is actually the commoner she saw earlier in the week in the market, he makes a bunch of stuff up and they make out some.
’s a little odd that they’re riding on Aladdin’s carpet, which is alive and can think. It’s like forcing your friend to drive you and your date around town but not say anything or look at you, then standing on their back as you fool around. In fact, with the exception that they’re flying through the air, the entire date is pretty much just the magical arabian version of 1950‘s-style driving up to lookout point for a jibber.
The Message: I suppose from a male point of view the message is to lie and pretend your a big shot in front of women. At the very least this is a pro-lying to women movie, oh and don’t bring Robin Willams along as a wingman in any form.
From Jasmine’s point of view I guess the message is don’t trust your instincts, trust whatever the rich flying man tells you to believe. You can’t really blame her though, he’s got the monkeys.
Beauty and The Beast
The Date: After being kidnapped, imprisoned, and starved by an abusive beast-man Belle agrees to have dinner with him after seeing his wicked awesome wolf-fighting abilities. During the dinner she mostly talks about how she misses her father as a result of being a prisoner, and he changes the subject by doing magic tricks with mirrors, essentially.
After the dinner the Beast reluctantly decides to release her, and gives her a gift. Belle leaves but quickly returns out of love and/or Stockholm Syndrome. It’s a awkward but heartfelt first date, with the elephants in the room being that Belle is there against her will and that he is a eight foot tall hairy monster.
The Message: He’s not bad he’s just misunderstood, forgive and forget abusive relationships, women like hairy guys. There’s a lot of messages in Beauty and the Beast, all of them are terrible and shouldn’t be heeded by anyone. If this is your favorite Disney movie there is a good chance you have emotional problems, or at least a thoroughly dog eared Fifty Shades of Gray trilogy near your bedside.
The Date: Mulan doesn’t feature a traditional first date per sé, but instead it’s more of a sexual tense montage of Mulan and her male superior officer Li Shang growing closer while training for war. In an ever escalating series of challenges Mulan and Li Shang spar while looking at each other intensely. For Mulan it’s a exciting time of breaking out of her gender barriers and also finding love, for Li Shang it is an intensely confusing period in his life.
Since Mulan is under the guise of a man, Li Shang is most likely perpetually questioning whether he’s gay or not. While this is no doubt a time of introspection for Li Shang, it’s not as big of a deal as we may think from a western judeo-christian viewpoint. Homosexuality was actually allowed and even promoted in ancient China, meaning that if anything Li Shang is probably bummed out when it’s revealed that Mulan is actually a woman.
The Message: Love knows no bounds? I don’t know… lie to your gay future husband I guess.