Let's face it: when the general public imagines Marvel churning out major hit movies, or well-beloved comics, the first hero that comes to mind is most definitely not the cute and hilarious Doreen Green (aka Squirrel Girl). In fact, in many circles, she is often disdained as nothing more than a cheap gimmick; appealing to girls who love cute, fuzzy animals, and guys who think she's hot.
Even many of the most ardent Marvel fans, who might love the likes of Ant-Man, Howard the Duck and Ka-Zar the Savage, often disregard her as a joke character or malign her as a Mary Sue. This is due to her uncanny ability to use nothing more than limber, squirrely agility and a few of her namesake rodent friends, to take on (and beat) the likes Thanos, Doctor Doom, Wolverine and Deadpool.
You can just imagine the dismay that such Marvel fans are experiencing, now that Squirrel Girl is now getting her own ongoing comic series. That's right, I'm not lying, I'm not joking, and you're not hallucinating (or maybe you are, but the statement is still totally legit); Ryan North's The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 is slated to debut in January 2015. And I, for one, think it's about time.
You see, most people view the inimitable Doreen Green as little more than a fun and cute cosplay opportunity, or as stated above, a nuisance to the production of otherwise 'serious' comic-book writing. But, as any fan will be more than eager to tell you, Squirrel Girl is far more than that. She's upbeat and fun, always going on huge adventures, and yet incredibly down-to-earth.
Let's start with the most obvious point to her favor: she's very fun as a character concept. A human mutant born with the prehensile tail and proportional abilities of a squirrel. She's constantly being underestimated, and yet proves herself quite formidable time and time again (earning hilariously kick-butt titles like Anti-Life and Slayer of All That Breathes). Not only is she quick and limber like Spider-Man, but she can communicate with squirrels like Ant-Man can with ants.
Despite this, combined with the additional of a permanently visible squirrel tail, she's not depressed and angsty like Hank Pym, nor is she torn between hero life and real-life like Peter Parker. She is perky, peppy, chipper and chatty in every aspect of life, which makes following adventures her all the more fun. She doesn't react to beating a bad guy by gloating...she's excited like she just beat a new level in her favorite video game. I can't help but share her enthusiasm.
On top of her upbeat and optimistic nature, she's always involved in super-big fights. Villains typical to her adventures include the likes of Doctor Doom (who is famous for embarrassing, by overwhelming with a horde of squirrels), MODOK (by reading up on him from a playing card) and even Thanos (whose defeat was confirmed by the late Uatu the Watcher as basically being comic canon).
She's worked alongside Daredevil, Deadpool, Wolverine, the Avengers and more, and never once been left behind as the damsel in distress that needed saving, or that got in the way. In every capacity she's shown up, she's either been an equal part in completing the mission, or even sometimes (as when she's helped out groups of SHIELD agents) the cavalry that her comrades are ever-so-glad to see.
And perhaps best of all, Doreen Green, despite her superhuman abilities and squirrely features, is all too human. Most superheroes we see, after a hard day's work, go back home and start up with plans for the next bad guy, or doing super exercises to stay in tip-top shape, or things of that sort. Not Squirrel Girl. She's no super-genius, no master tactician, no spy, no weapons specialist; all of her knowledge and skill come from plain-out street smarts and common sense.
She's attended college, pined over a boy she liked (New Warriors teammate Speedball) and even worked as nanny for Luke Cage and Jessica Jones' baby daughter, Danielle. Squirrel Girl is within a special class alongside Peter Parker, Miles Morales and Kamala Khan as one of those superheroes whose lives outside of saving the day seem, paradoxically, pretty normal.
Squirrel Girl, when you think about it, is the total awesome-character package: a capable butt-kicker, ready for any number of different settings and situations, with an intriguing and engaging personality. Within the course of a few issues here and there, sure, she might seem like the eternally upbeat girl, who happens to also be good in combat. Though, I'm certain that's just the tip of the iceberg.
There's undoubtedly much more good to unwrap about Squirrel Girl, which we will get to see within the course of her upcoming ongoing comic run. New uses of her powers, but also new team-ups (fingers crossed she'll work alongside Howard the Duck and/or Rocket Raccoon) and new social and emotional dynamics, that will show her to be much more well-rounded as a character.
And who knows? In the next few years, when Squirrel Girl's adventures are in full swing, we might very well get over our 'joke character' aversion. I wouldn't be shocked. Folks may scoff and laugh at the idea now, but if all goes well with Ryan North's attempt, we may well find ourselves clamoring for a Netflix live-action adaptation of his work on an awesome run of The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl.
What do you think? Let us know in the poll and comments below.