Art by Paul Pelletier
|First appearance||Marvel Super-Heroes vol. 2, #8 (Jan. 1992)|
|Created by||Steve Ditko
|Alter ego||Doreen Green|
|Team affiliations||Great Lakes Avengers
|Notable aliases||Rodent; The Anti-Life, The Destroyer of All That Breathes|
Squirrel Girl, real name Doreen Green, is a fictional character and superheroine in the Marvel Comics Universe. Her first appearance was in Marvel Super-Heroes vol. 2, #8, a.k.a. Marvel Super-Heroes Winter Special (cover-dated Jan. 1992), in a story plotted and drawn by Steve Ditko and scripted by character conceptualizer Will Murray. Her ability to control squirrels is surprisingly effective and has allowed her to defeat major supervillains. She was a member of the Great Lakes Avengers for much of the duration of that group, and later began serving as nanny to Danielle Cage, the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.
- 1 Publication history
- 2 Fictional character biography
- 3 Victories
- 4 Powers, abilities, and equipment
- 5 Squirrels
- 6 Other versions
- 7 In other media
- 8 Reception
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Creation and development
Squirrel Girl was created by writer Will Murray and artist Steve Ditko, making her debut in "The Coming of ... Squirrel Girl" in Marvel Super-Heroes vol. 2, #8, a.k.a. Marvel Super-Heroes Winter Special (cover-dated Jan. 1992). She ambushes the superhero Iron Man, teams up with him, and, after Iron Man is captured, defeats the villainous Doctor Doom. The story also introduces her squirrel sidekick, Monkey Joe.
Murray has since described the character's genesis;
Actually I created Squirrel Girl in script form without any artist input. Tom Morgan was originally going to draw it, but when he dropped out, I requested Ditko and got him. Ditko did a great job in bringing my baby to life. He invented that knuckle spike. It wasn’t in the script. I based Squirrel Girl ironically enough on a long–ago girlfriend who read comics and was into "critters"—wild animals of all types. Coincidentally, she was big Ditko fan. I think I got the idea because I had a bunch of squirrels running around my roof and sometimes coming in through my open bedroom window and inspiration struck.
Squirrel Girl next appeared in Marvel Year-In-Review '92, where she made a one-panel appearance in the self-satirizing book's Marvel 2099 section, where "Squirrel Girl: 2099" was listed as one of "the 2099 books we've pretty much ruled out" as actual future titles. Later, she was slated to join the New Warriors, but writer Fabian Nicieza left Marvel before going through with his plan. In 1997 Fleer-Skybox released cards based on Marvel Superheroes, one of which was a much more mature version of Squirrel Girl.
Following this, she did not appear again for nearly a decade. She was referenced only once in comics during that time: In Deadpool #7, Deadpool's friend/maid/mother-figure/prisoner Blind Al mentions accidentally putting "bleach in with [Deadpool's] Squirrel Girl underoos."
In 2005, comic writer Dan Slott wrote a four-issue miniseries for the superhero team the Great Lakes Avengers. Created in 1989, this team was made up of enthusiastic heroes with bizarre and nearly useless abilities. They had appeared only a handful of times over their 16-year history, serving as comic relief. In commemoration of the team's series, roster changes were made and the Squirrel Girl character was revived and included on the team. The miniseries satirized comic book deaths, and it was announced that a team member would die in every issue. After Squirrel Girl made a fuss to ensure that Monkey Joe would be an official member of the team, he was killed in the third issue.
During 2006's Civil War company-wide story arc, Squirrel Girl and the rest of the team fought Deadpool in Cable & Deadpool #30. In 2007, she and the newly renamed "Great Lakes Initiative" again appeared alongside Deadpool in the Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular one-shot.
In September 2010's release of I Am An Avenger, a five-part Marvel Comics story line, Squirrel Girl appears in the first issue in a story entitled "Welcome Home Squirrel Girl". The premise of the story was simply Squirrel Girl coming home to Manhattan.
Squirrel Girl appeared as a supporting character sporadically in the 2010-2013 New Avengers series, from issue #7 (February 2011) through its final issue #34 (January 2013). She is not a member of the team, but works as a super-powered nanny caring for the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones while at the same time attending New York University.
Fictional character biography
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (December 2011)|
Squirrel Girl is originally from the Los Angeles, California, area. She is first seen ambushing Iron Man in a forest. She hopes to impress the veteran hero, wishing him to take her under his wing as his sidekick. The 14-year-old mutant introduces herself and her pet squirrel, Monkey Joe, and displays her abilities (all squirrel-themed).
Unimpressed, Iron Man declines, when the duo is suddenly attacked by Doctor Doom in a large aircraft. Doom captures Iron Man, and flies over the ocean where he plans to dump Iron Man's body. Underestimating her, Doom ignores Squirrel Girl. She uses her ability to communicate with squirrels through an air vent as the ship passes over a forest. Hundreds of squirrels respond and flood Doom's ship, chewing through the wires and attacking Doom en masse, causing him to exclaim: "Confound these wretched rodents! For every one I fling away, a dozen more vex me!" Iron Man is freed and the duo escape. Despite being impressed with her, Stark states that she is too young to fight crime, but that he will put in a good word for the Avengers when she is older.
Squirrel Girl is next seen years later, having relocated to New York City. While fighting crime in Central Park, she encounters Flatman and Doorman, of the Great Lakes Avengers, on a membership drive. In addition to appearing in the G.L.A. miniseries, Squirrel Girl introduces each issue, providing an opinion about the contents of the series. Her sidekick Monkey Joe is also added to the team,[volume & issue needed] and comments upon the series as well, appearing in a circle at to make smart-alec remarks.
After Monkey Joe is made an official member of the G.L.A., he is killed by an assailant dressed as Dr. Doom. His killer is a rejected member of the G.L.A. named Leather Boy (a leather fetishist). Enraged by the death of her friend, Squirrel Girl assembles a squirrel army and helps stop Maelstrom from destroying the world. Squirrel Girl finds a new squirrel companion during this battle, the only one of her squirrel army who survived. She names her Tippy-Toe.
Squirrel Girl and Tippy-Toe later defeat MODOK, Terrax, and Thanos all by themselves. Uatu, the Earth's Watcher, is on hand to confirm that the Thanos she defeated was the real thing, and not a clone or copy. After MODOK is defeated, Dum Dum Dugan offers her a position at S.H.I.E.L.D., explaining that the organization had been watching her for some time, impressed by her effectiveness in defeating powerful supervillains. Squirrel Girl declines the offer, saying she is happy with the G.L.A. Later, while visiting Central Park she teams up with Ben Grimm (Thing) to take down Bi-Beast, after defeating the villain, he invites Squirrel Girl and the rest of her team to a poker game he had set up later that night.
During the Civil War storyline, Squirrel Girl and the rest of the newly renamed Great Lakes Champions register under the Superhero Registration Act the morning the law is enacted. However, mercenary-for-hire Deadpool, assuming the Champions are un-registered, attacks the team (Deadpool seeks to ingratiate himself with the government by capturing un-registered heroes). Deadpool is bested by Squirrel Girl since he was distracted by her appearance and name.[volume & issue needed]
Squirrel Girl and the again-renamed Great Lakes Initiative team up with Deadpool a few months later to take down AIM agents who have kidnapped a wayward Olympian god and fashioned an inebriation ray that makes all of the superheroes (save Deadpool and the GLI) drunk. After the battle, Deadpool decides to hang around the GLI's new headquarters for a while as a "reserve member."
Squirrel Girl is a huge fan of the New Warriors, especially Robbie "Speedball" Baldwin, on whom she has a crush. While visiting one of his tours promoting his New Warriors show, Squirrel Girl was able to defeat Speedball's nemesis Bug-Eyed Voice, after which Speedball thanked her with a kiss. When the events of Civil War broke out, Squirrel Girl learns of Speedball's transformation into the darker hero codenamed Penance after Deadpool provided her with a copy of Civil War: Front Line #10. Squirrel Girl travels to Thunderbolts Mountain to convince Robbie to lighten up and stop being Penance. Frustrated by his current attitude and unwavering determination to remain as Penance, Squirrel Girl travels to Latveria to use one of Dr. Doom's time machines to travel to the past and prevent Speedball from ever becoming Penance. Wanting to avoid another defeat by her, Doom reluctantly shows her the way to the machine but, instead of transporting her to the past, it instead takes her into the year 2099. There she encounters an alternate version of Speedball, whom she unsuccessfully tries to get to travel back to the past with her, and Mr. Immortal, who tells her that she has an important task to perform in the past: to kick Deadpool out of the Great Lakes Initiative's headquarters.
During the Heroic Age following Norman Osborn's time as Director of H.A.M.M.E.R. as seen in the Dark Reign storyline, Squirrel Girl fights and defeats Fin Fang Foom. Afterwards, wondering why the rest of her team had not helped her in the fight, she comes to the realization that the again-renamed Great Lakes Avengers had the potential to be a great team, but are instead simply relying on her to defeat any villain that comes along. As a result, she decides to leave the team and set out on her own, so that she would not continue to "hold them back".
When Luke Cage and Jessica Jones are looking for a nanny for their daughter, they eventually settle on Squirrel Girl, after interviewing several less-than-promising candidates. When Wolverine notices her in the mansion, the two reveal that they have some sort of prior relationship. This relationship apparently ended with them promising never to see each other again. She states that she hopes they "can be professional" concerning her new job. Emma Frost later delves into the mind of Wolverine and comes across various women whom he had once lusted for, one of them being Squirrel Girl.
During the Fear Itself storyline, Squirrel Girl ends up having to protect Danielle from the attacking Thule Society soldiers. After dodging the various attacks the enemies bestowed on her and the infant, Squirrel Girl is able to get herself and the baby to safety, soon after the mansion goes into lockdown mode sealing the entrances. When dozens of soldiers approach the mansion nearing the location of the two, Daredevil jumps in and defeats them all, before they could open fire. He subsequently leads Squirrel Girl and Dani to a panic room that was located within the mansion that he was able to sense.
Squirrel Girl later appears in the Spider-Island story arc where Dani Cage (like most of the population of New York) attains powers like Spider-Man's and humorously wraps her to the roof in web. Doreen is last seen leaving the New Avengers with Luke Cage and his family, with Cage contemplating reforming Heroes for Hire.
Following her defeat of Doctor Doom, an ongoing joke depicts Squirrel Girl repeatedly attaining victory over various villains, some of whom are considerably more powerful than she is. Typically, these victories occur off-panel, though some, like her battles with Deadpool, MODOK, and Wolverine, are shown. Her victories often result from her opponent's overconfidence, weakness from an earlier fight, or creative use of her powers. For example, her defeat of Bi-Beast: While visiting squirrel friends in Central Park, Squirrel Girl came across the Thing fighting Bi-Beast. She told the squirrels to retrieve the smelliest garbage they could find and place it around the combatants, resulting in everyone having to hold their noses. Bi-Beast had to use both hands to hold his nose, leaving himself defenseless, allowing the Thing to knock him out.
Squirrel Girl's defeat of Thanos is an ambiguous one. Uatu, the Watcher, was present at the battle and claimed Squirrel Girl defeated the genuine Thanos and not a clone or copy. Thanos has since claimed he has perfected a means of creating clones of himself that could fool even "the most cosmic of beings." Adding to the ambiguity is the fact the reveal comes from the mind of a clone whose memory had been altered.
Powers, abilities, and equipment
Squirrel Girl is a mutant, and evinces a variety of mutations which align with the squirrel theme. During her first encounter with Iron Man, she provided a detailed demonstration of her powers and abilities: a furry, prehensile tail roughly 3–4 feet in length; sizable buck teeth, which are strong enough to chew through wood; and enhanced agility and strength, enabling her to jump between trees with ease. Her fingers have sharp claws on them, assisting her with climbing, and she possesses retractable "knuckle spikes" roughly 2-3 inches in length on each hand. Most importantly, she is capable of communicating with and understanding squirrels. Squirrel Girl does not communicate with squirrels telepathically, instead she has an understanding of their language, and the ability to speak it. Squirrels have also been depicted as understanding her when she speaks in English.
Later appearances have revealed additional abilities possessed by Squirrel Girl including heightened reflexes (which she dubs as 'squirrel agility') and vision (her eyes have been seen to glow red in low-light situations) and she has also at times displayed an enhanced sense of smell. Squirrel Girl has also revealed that her lips taste like hazelnuts. She is also a superb hand-to-hand combatant capable of taking down Wolverine in a one-to-one fight.
Squirrel Girl carries a utility belt comprising multiple pouches that contain nuts to give as snacks to her squirrel friends. These are known humorously as her "nut sacks". It was originally unknown whether the black markings around her eyes are the result of her mutation, or cosmetically applied to enhance her squirrel-themed appearance (though they did not appear to smear when she's crying). In New Avengers Annual #1, she is shown in casual clothes lacking these markings.
Squirrel Girl is also shown carrying a full set of 'Iron Man Vs. Series battle cards', which she uses to show Dum Dum Dugan how she knows him (she mentions Dugan has a 'defense stat of 8'; her own is 6, although the rating system is left unclear). After MODOK is pointed out to her, she consults the supervillain's own card to confirm his abilities. The printing on the two cards shown (Dugan's and MODOK's) is actually gibberish.
In GLX-Mas Special, she is shown flying a small gyrocopter called a 'Squirrel-A-Gig' and mentions it was a gift from GLI teammate Big Bertha. This reappears in Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular, used as a way of infiltrating Doctor Doom's castle. The first version was a standard gyrocopter, while it later is shown as a more stylized superhero helicopter (including squirrel-styled bodywork). Squirrel Girl is shown as being able to fly the craft expertly, including through the anti-aircraft defenses surrounding Castle Doom, crediting her ability to her 'squirrel-agility'.
Squirrel Girl is always accompanied by one or more squirrels. Two of these, Monkey Joe and later his successor Tippy-Toe, have been her constant companion. At her insistence, they have each been accepted as a full member of the Great Lakes Avengers.
In addition to Monkey Joe and Tippy-Toe, Squirrel Girl named several other squirrels in Great Lakes Avengers #4. Slippy Pete, Mr. Freckle, and Nutso are presumed dead; they were sucked into the singularity created by Maelstrom.
Monkey Joe appeared in Squirrel Girl's original appearance in Marvel Super-Heroes Special vol. 2 #8, and all four issues of the Great Lakes Avengers miniseries.
The trade paperback of the Great Lakes Avengers miniseries contains a dedication to the memory of Monkey Joe: "Monkey Joe 1992-2005. He loved nuts. He will be missed."
Alongside Squirrel Girl, Monkey Joe helped her to defeat Doctor Doom. Following this notable achievement, the duo disappeared for some time. In 2005, Squirrel Girl and Monkey Joe emerged from obscurity and joined the Great Lakes Avengers during the miniseries written by Dan Slott. Shortly after they joined, Monkey Joe met his demise, apparently at the hands of Doctor Doom. However, it was revealed that Leather Boy, an ex-G.L.A. member who had been rejected by the team due to his lack of powers, dispatched the squirrel while dressed in a variation of Doctor Doom's costume. Monkey Joe's death was part of the series' promise that a member of the G.L.A. would die in each issue of the miniseries, in a parody of comic book deaths.
Monkey Joe was smarter than an average squirrel; he even proved adept in the use of computers. Monkey Joe served as the sardonic commentator on the Great Lakes Avengers miniseries, appearing alongside the story titles holding signs with humorous, (often sarcastic), remarks on the events. After his death, the narrator circle showed a deceased Monkey Joe, complete with flies circling the corpse. Re-appearing in the narrator circle, he possessed a halo.
When Doorman visited the after-life, he met Monkey Joe, who was playing cards with the rest of the fallen G.L.A. members.
After the death of Monkey Joe, Squirrel Girl found a new companion, a female squirrel whom she named Tippy-Toe and provided with a pink bow. Tippy-Toe replicates Monkey Joe's role as Squirrel Girl's sidekick almost exactly. Though apparently less intelligent than Monkey Joe, Tippy-Toe may in fact be smarter than she lets on and has proved her worth in short order.
A member of the squirrel army summoned by Squirrel Girl to join the fight against Maelstrom and Batroc's Brigade, Tippy-Toe was the only squirrel Doreen was able to save from Maelstrom's Cosmic Crunch device. Squirrel Girl also briefly considered the name Monkey Joe 2 for her.
Tippy-Toe accompanied and assisted Squirrel Girl in defeating MODOK and Thanos (she scratched MODOK's face, then entered his exo-chair and disabled it). Squirrel Girl left Tippy-Toe behind when she went to fight Terrax, and the squirrel was targeted by Deathurge, who sought vengeance for being stranded on Earth and trapped in squirrel form. However, Tippy-Toe managed to trick Deathurge and defeat him. During the Civil War story arc Tippy-Toe joined the Great Lakes Champions in siding with Iron Man's pro-Superhuman Registration group.
Tippy-Toe is able to understand her teammate's comments, complaining when Doorman discounts her as a viable teammate for a mission. She has also been seen using tools that a squirrel wouldn't normally be able to use such as being able to wield a screwdriver and operate a blender which Mr. Immortal complains to Squirrel Girl about due Tippy-Toe whipping up acorn smoothies that keeps compromising the machine.
A zombified Squirrel Girl along with her 'Squirrel-A-Gig' make an appearance in Marvel Zombies: Evil Evolution. The severed zombified head of Mr. Fantastic comments, "There's a zombie Squirrel Girl? Now that's scary!"
Avengers vs. X-Men
Squirrel Girl makes a non-canon appearance in a bonus story of Avengers vs. X-Men: Versus #6. Here she is depicted competing against Pixie in a game resembling Heroclix where the toys are based on various superheroes. Thing walks in, stopping the game to reveal that the figurines actually belong to the Puppet Master and are made out of his Mind Control Clay. The next day, Squirrel Girl and Pixie read in the Daily Bugle that the clash between the Avengers and X-Men has occurred and have been mirroring the results from their game, jokingly implying that they were the cause of the feud.
In other media
- Squirrel Girl made a brief appearance (in a modified costume) in the 2006 Fantastic Four cartoon series episode titled "The Cure." In the episode, the Thing had been "cured" of his condition, and the team was holding auditions for potential replacements (including Flatman, Texas Twister, Captain Ultra, and eventual winner She-Hulk). Squirrel Girl's audition consisted of her sliding into the center of the audition area and shouting, "Ta-da!", with her squirrels both accompanying her and swarming the table at which the Fantastic Four were sitting. She was immediately rejected.
- Squirrel Girl is a playable character in the game Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat, voiced by Tara Strong.
- Squirrel Girl is a playable character on Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, voiced again by Tara Strong.
- Squirrel Girl is a playable character in Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced again by Tara Strong.
- Squirrel Girl is one of the collectible miniatures in the Captain America Heroclix set which was released in July 2011.
- An official Squirrel Girl trading card, showing a much more mature version of the character and drawn by Joe Quesada, was released by Fleer-Skybox in 1997.
- The official "Marvel Universe Trading Card Game" also included a Squirrel Girl card.
Writer Brian Michael Bendis has mentioned the popularity Squirrel Girl has between other writers and the unanimous decision to have her as the role of the nanny in "New Avengers". After announcing the character's role at the 2010 Comic-con panel, Bendis described the audience's reaction citing "...[it] was so loud, the applause went on for so long... the place went nuts for a while". He went on to describe the applause as comparable to Stan Lee walking into the room.
Co-creator Will Murray has shown interest in returning to the character citing "...I’ve been thinking of pitching Marvel a Squirrel Girl project. She’s defeated most of the major Marvel super villains. It’s time she met her match in The Ultimate Pistachio". Marvel's previous editor in chief Joe Quesada has also shown the same interest jokingly saying "I've always wanted to do a Squirrel Girl miniseries or a Squirrel Girl event – "Squirrel Girl Destroys Your Nuts!" [laughs] I haven't been able to sell it in yet, but I keep on trying".
UGO Networks listed Squirrel Girl as one their "Woman We're Ashamed to Be Attracted To" and put Squirrel Girl as one of the more questionable D-list superheroes that they still loved anyway. GameZone's Ben PerLee has cited that Squirrel Girl was one of the characters he'd want to see in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as downloadable content.
IGN has shown a positive reaction to her appearance in the more mainstream "New Avengers" comic citing "...issue  goes a long way towards painting her as a more fleshed out human being with real desires. Bendis hasn't quite found a truly unique voice for her yet, but regardless, it's nice to see her offering something more than comic relief."
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