Just a few weeks ago, I began a five part series on traditionally lame characters and why they actually are pretty cool. Today, I bring to you the fourth character: Squirrel Girl. Yes, the one with a furry tail and rodent telepathy. Just because she looks lame on the outside doesn't mean that she's lame on the inside...in this case though, that's actually the truth. Doreen Green is pretty lame. But that lameness is what actually makes her cool. So in a hipster sort of way, I present my case for why Squirrel Girl is amazing.
Squirrel Girl is one of the few comic book characters today that hasn't been tainted by some dark tragedy and that makes her more light-hearted than most. She's still young, barely in college, so much like a young Peter Parker, Doreen brings a sparkle (yes, I just said sparkle) to the comic books she inhabits. She was meant to be more true to life, instead of the super-model (no pun intended) superheroines that we all know and objectify.
Even though she's fun-loving, Green is still a responsible teen. She is pretty much the nanny of the Avengers, and often cares for Luke and Jessica Cage's daughter. She's proven herself to be tough in combat, even at a young age. The fact of the matter is that she's not to be taken seriously, but she is by no means a 'joke' character. The concept of Squirrel Girl is ridiculous, but her emotions and her personality are completely real and relevant. She's sweet and nerdy and intelligent all at the same time, and even if she's weird, you can't help but like that.
Doreen is a mutant with squirrel characteristics. This gives her a tail much like a squirrel's, knuckle spikes that retract, and claws on each finger. She's able to communicate with squirrels and other rodents, and her teeth are razor sharp, much like her animal counterparts. Thanks to the mutant physiology, Squirrel Girl can jump several stories and has enhanced stamina and speed. Somehow, she also is a master of martial arts, able to best the likes of Deadpool at one point.
What really sets Squirrel Girl apart from other heroes is a writing gag that I refer to as 'The Inspector Clouseau Effect'. Much like the bumbling detective from the Pink Panther films, the tougher an opponent or obstacle, the more likely Squirrel Girl is to somehow beat it. Her first appearance was in Marvel Super-Heroes #8 where she defeated Doctor Doom. Not a Doom-bot, but the real deal. She's since gone on to defeat Fing Fang Foom, Thanos, M.O.D.O.K. and Wolverine. How? I don't know. She even gained the respect of Galactus for her...well...whatever power it is she has. Basically, the universe is on her side. There pretty much is no limit to who she can and can't beat.
Okay, so yes, she's lame...but it's the cool kind that even though she's completely bizarre, you can't help but like her. As a person, she's very normal for a teenager, despite the four foot tail. As a hero, she's got similar powers (minus the healing and adamantium) to Wolverine, and can be just as feisty. When all is said and done, Squirrel Girl is a character you want to cheer for, and that can bring a smile to your face. And in a world of Punishers and Daredevils, maybe that's not such a bad thing.
Oh, and did I mention that she's literally UNBEATABLE? I mean, if that doesn't count for something, I don't know what will.