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
Avengers Idea Mechanics
|Notable aliases||The Anti-Life, Slayer of All that Breathes|
Squirrel Girl (Doreen Green) is a fictional superheroine appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. 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 communicate with squirrels is surprisingly effective and has allowed her to defeat major supervillains. She joined the Great Lakes Avengers, and later began serving as nanny to Danielle Cage, the daughter of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.
Squirrel Girl's creation arose from Murray wanting to write a lighthearted superhero story as opposed to the often heavily dramatic tales that were the norm in mainstream comics at the time.
- 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-date Winter 1991). 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. Later, she and the renamed "Great Lakes X-Men" appeared in the GLX-Mas Special, a Christmas-themed one-shot.
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.
On October 6, 2014, Marvel announced that Squirrel Girl would be starring in her own series for the first time, titled The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, written by Ryan North and drawn by Erica Henderson. The series' first issue was released on January 7, 2015.
In June 2015, Squirrel Girl was announced as a cast member of the relaunched New Avengers, part of the All-New, All-Different Marvel branding. At the 2015 San Diego Comic Con the following month, it was announced that The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl will also be relaunched, and will include appearances by the cast of New Avengers.
Fictional character biography
Doreen Green, a.k.a. Squirrel Girl, is originally from the Los Angeles, California, area. She is first seen ambushing Iron Man in a forest, hoping to impress the veteran hero and become his sidekick. The 14-year-old introduces herself and her pet squirrel, Monkey Joe, and displays her abilities (all squirrel-themed). After she rescues Iron Man from Doctor Doom with the help of a horde of squirrels, Iron Man states that while she is too young to fight crime, he will put in a good word for her to the Avengers when she is older.
Great Lakes Avengers
Years later, having relocated to New York City, Doreen encounters a Great Lakes Avengers membership drive, and joins that superhero team. In addition to appearing in the team's miniseries, Squirrel Girl introduces each issue, providing an opinion about the contents of the series. Her sidekick Monkey Joe also joins the team and comments upon the series as well. He is later killed by Leather Boy, a rejected GLA member who was disguised as Doctor Doom. Enraged by the death of her friend, Squirrel Girl assembles a squirrel army to help stop the villain Maelstrom. She finds a new squirrel companion during this battle, the only one of her squirrel army who survived. Doreen names her Tippy-Toe. After receiving a subpoena from the Avengers and discovering that they were all mutants, the team decided to rename themselves the Great Lakes X-Men, complete with new costumes.
During the GLX-Mas Special, Squirrel Girl and Tippy-Toe defeat the significant supervillains M.O.D.O.K., Terrax, and Thanos. After defeating M.O.D.O.K., S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Dum Dum Dugan offers to recruit her, explaining that the organization had been watching her for some time. Doreen declines the offer, saying she is happy with the Great Lakes X-Men.
After helping the Thing defeat Bi-Beast, Squirrel Girl was invited to the annual Superheroes Poker Tournament and brought the team with her. In the end, Flatman won the tournament with a straight-flush, beating the Thing's four fours. After being discouraged from using the names X-Men and Defenders by members of those teams present at the tournament, and since Flatman was the champion of the tournament, the team was inspired to rename themselves the Great Lakes Champions, despite protests from former Champions of Los Angeles member Hercules.
During the Civil War crossover storyline, Squirrel Girl and the Great Lakes Champions registered under the Superhuman Registration Act, as revealed when Deadpool mistakenly attempted to apprehend them for violating the Act, only to be defeated and informed that they had already registered. Under the Registration Act, Squirrel Girl remains a member of the again-renamed Great Lakes Initiative.
Squirrel Girl and the GLI, along with Deadpool, are sent on a mission to save Dionysus after he fell from Mount Olympus and was captured by A.I.M., who planned to use his powers to cause mental instability on all the superheroes they consider a threat. After their victory, Squirrel Girl helps Dionysus back to Olympus and to his own bed to sleep it off. (It is later revealed that she is a fan of the superhero team the New Warriors, especially Robbie Baldwin, the hero Speedball, on whom she has a crush, and the two eventually share a kiss.) While seeking to travel back in time to prevent Speedball from becoming the guilt-plagued hero Penance, Squirrel Girl convinces Doctor Doom to let her use a time machine. The device instead takes her into the year 2099, where she encounters an alternate, future version of Speedball, whom she unsuccessfully tries to have return with her to her present day. She also encounters a future version of Mister Immortal who convinces her to kick Deadpool out of the team, which she does after returning to her own time.
During the Secret Invasion storyline, the team confronted a Skrull disguised as Grasshopper, with help from Gravity and Catwalk. They later appeared to welcome Gravity as leader of the team, after he was transferred to Wisconsin by Norman Osborn.
When Luke Cage and Jessica Jones seek a nanny for their daughter, they hire Squirrel Girl. During the Spider-Island storyline, Jessica Jones calls up Squirrel Girl on the status of her daughter, who realizes that Danielle gained spider powers. During the Fear Itself storyline, Squirrel Girl runs to the mansion to pick up Danielle while New York is attacked by the Thule Society. Upon arriving on the mansion, she manages to protect Danielle while fighting Thule Society soldiers, with help from Daredevil, and retreats to the basement to hide.
She later helps the New Avengers fight the Revengers, H.A.M.M.E.R. and the Dark Avengers. When Luke Cage and Jessica Jones left the team, Squirrel Girl followed them, as she was still Danielle's nanny.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
Doreen later begins her college career at Empire State University, majoring in computer science. Upon arriving, she ends up fighting Kraven the Hunter, who was lashing out at the local squirrels including Tippy Toe, whom he caught and was about to kill. She manages to stop him when she informs him of the existence of sea monsters like Giganto and challenges him to hunt them. Later, she discovers that Galactus is heading to Earth to devour it, and she and Tippy-Toe head to the moon to stop him using Iron Man's armor (which she steals). While on their way to the moon, they end up encountering Whiplash, who mistook Squirrel Girl for Iron Man, and defeat him. She and Tippy-Toe surprisingly befriend Galactus, and afterwards tell him of a planet that could sustain him even better than the Earth. This planet is devoid of intelligent life but rich in nuts. He then sends the two back home, and he leaves the Earth to live another day. When she arrives back home, her roommate Nancy Whitehead tells her that she has figured out she is a superhero, but promises not to tell anyone, the two becoming good friends from all this. Squirrel Girl later defeats Mysterion, who was attacking Liberty Island with an army of robot dinosaurs. Shortly thereafter, while attempting to stop Hippo from robbing a bank, she meets Chipmunk Hunk and Koi Boi, both of whom have the ability to speak to different animals. Nancy reveals their secret identities (Tomas Lara-Perez and Ken Shiga, respectively) to her, since she easily recognized them under their masks. They later encountered a monstrous Asgardian squirrel god, Ratatoskr, who was causing mayhem on the city by trash-talking its citizens during their sleep, but was defeated with help from the male and female Thor and Loki.
Following her defeat of Doctor Doom, an ongoing joke depicts Squirrel Girl repeatedly attaining victory over various villains, some of whom are considered to be 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 two heads, and two noses, and had to use both hands to hold his noses, 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 that the reveal comes from the mind of a clone whose memory had been altered.
Squirrel Girl has also saved the world from Galactus, but she does not technically defeat him (though she tries to harm him when they first meet). Instead, she befriends Galactus and convinces him not to destroy the Earth.
Powers, abilities, and equipment
During Squirrel Girl's 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 superhuman strength and agility, 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, though this attribute has since been retconned by Unbeatable Squirrel Girl writer Ryan North. She is also a superb hand-to-hand combatant capable of taking down Wolverine in a one-to-one no-claws 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 the GLX-Mas Special, she is shown flying a small gyrocopter called a 'Squirrel-A-Gig' and mentions it was a gift from GLA 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 is later 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 this to her 'squirrel-agility'.
In The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, she also temporarily obtains a set of armor based on pieces of Iron Man's modular armor that reshapes to fit her, including her tail. The same series also retcons her status as a mutant, noting that her powers are the result of an unspecified "something" relating to her RNA or DNA, and that she is "medically and legally distinct from being a mutant."
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. Shortly after Squirrel Girl joined the Great Lakes Avengers, Monkey Joe met his demise at the hands of Leather Boy, an ex-G.L.A. member who had been rejected by the team due to his lack of powers, and who dispatched the squirrel while dressed in a variation of Doctor Doom's costume.[volume & issue needed] Monkey Joe's death was part of the series' promise[where?] 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, even proving adept in the use of computers. He 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. Reappearing in the narrator circle, he possessed a halo.
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, with help from Mr. Immortal. 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 Tippy-Toe whipping up acorn smoothies that keep 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 an 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, implying that they were the cause of the feud.
Marvel Universe Vs. The Avengers
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 appears in the third season of the Ultimate Spider-Man series, voiced by Misty Lee. In the episode "Agent Venom", she can be seen as one of the young superheroes that S.H.I.E.L.D. is monitoring. In the episode "The Next Iron Spider", she appears at the beginning defeating Juggernaut with her squirrel army. Her squirrels Tippy-Toe and Monkey Joe also appear. In the episode "S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy", she's seen as a student at the Triskelion's S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy. In the episode "Burrito Run", Squirrel Girl sneaks out after hours for late-night burritos with Spider-Man and Power Man and along the way they must contend with some of Spider-Man's enemies. In the episode "Nightmare on Christmas", she appears in a S.H.I.E.L.D. base hibernating with her squirrels when Spider-Man comes in and asks her where his teammates are.
- Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has expressed interest in directing a Squirrel Girl movie.
- Squirrel Girl is a playable character in the games Marvel Super Hero Squad: Comic Combat, Marvel Super Hero Squad Online, Marvel Heroes, and Lego Marvel Super Heroes, voiced by Tara Strong.
- Squirrel Girl is an unlockable character in Marvel: Avengers Alliance.
Writer Brian Michael Bendis mentioned the popularity that Squirrel Girl has among writers as a factor in the unanimous decision to use her in the role of the nanny in "New Avengers". After announcing the character at the 2010 Comic-con panel, Bendis described the audience's reaction: "[it] was so loud, the applause went on for so long... the place went nuts for a while." He described the applause as comparable to that received by Stan Lee when he entered the room.
Co-creator Will Murray has expressed interest in returning to the character: "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 joked, "I've always wanted to do a Squirrel Girl miniseries or a Squirrel Girl event – 'Squirrel Girl Destroys Your Nuts!'... I haven't been able to sell it yet, but I keep on trying."
UGO Networks listed Squirrel Girl as one of their "Women 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 stated that Squirrel Girl was one of the characters he'd want to see in Marvel vs. Capcom 3 as downloadable content.
IGN has reacted positively to her appearance in the more mainstream New Avengers comic, claiming, "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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