The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl
Publication information
Publisher Marvel Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date Vol. 1: January–August 2015
Vol. 2: October 2015
No. of issues Vol. 1: 8
Vol. 2: 23
Creative team
Created by Ryan North
Erica Henderson
Written by Ryan North
Artist(s) Erica Henderson
Colorist(s) Rico Renzi

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is an ongoing American comic book series published by Marvel Comics. The solo series initially debuted in January 2015 and ran for 8 issues, and was rebooted in October 2015 as part of Marvel's All-New, All-Different Marvel branding. The initial and reboot series are written by Ryan North with art by Erica Henderson, based on the Squirrel Girl character created by Will Murray and Steve Ditko. Critics have praised its comedy as well as the empowering portrayal of Squirrel Girl.

Publication History[edit]

Marvel registered a trademark for Squirrel Girl in July 2014, leading to speculation that the character would appear in a future film or television series, such as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Jessica Jones.[1][2] In October, Entertainment Weekly revealed that Squirrel Girl would star in a solo series by writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson.[3] Entertainment Weekly called it a "quietly bold move for Marvel", publishing "a female-centric comic that’s intended to appeal equally to canon-heads and newcomers".[3]

Starting in May 2015, the Secret Wars crossover storyline affected a number of Marvel comics and character. Marvel announced in June 2015 that, after Secret Wars was complete, they would reboot their entire line as part of a All-New, All-Different Marvel rebranding.[4] Though The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl was not part of the Secret Wars storyline, the series was set to be rebooted with Squirrel Girl joining an Avengers team.[5] Marvel later named this team the Avengers Idea Mechanics.[6]

Plot[edit]

Volume 1[edit]

Doreen Green, known as Squirrel Girl, is a human superhero with the proportional strength and speed of a squirrel, as well as the ability to speak with squirrels, like her sidekick, Tippy-Toe. While originally introduced as a mutant, she was later retconned to be "medically and legally distinct from being a mutant."[7] She can also command an army of squirrels, which she typically uses to overwhelm her foes. As The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl begins, Squirrel Girl has left her home in the Avengers mansion to major in computer science at Empire State University. While moving into her dormitory, she fights the villain Kraven the Hunter and convinces him to go after more dangerous prey. Later issues had Squirrel Girl facing Whiplash and Galactus.[8] A romantic interest named Tomas is introduced, who later turns out to also be a hero named "Chipmunk Hunk" and also has animal-based powers. [9] During a battle with Ratatoskr, Squirrel Girl teams up with Thor (Jane Foster), Odinson and Loki to defeat the Asgardian demon.[10]

Volume 2[edit]

Nancy and Doreen move off campus into an apartment. During a lunch with her mom, Brain Drain attacks them, but it turns out there was a malfunction that they were able to fix and make him kind. They then dress him in human clothes and enroll him in Computer Science classes to allow him to upgrade his old WWII tech.[11] The next morning Doreen is teleported into the 60's. Nobody remembers Doreen except for Nancy. She finds a secret message from the past, so Nancy begins exploring ways to go into the past. She then meets Doctor Doom (from 1991 who was just defeated by Squirrel Girl and Iron Man in Marvel Super-Heroes Winter Special).[12] Nancy tricks Doom to travel into the past and rescue Squirrel Girl. In the past, Doreen found several other ECU students also stuck in the past and creates a support group. Doom and Nancy meet them, but then Doom reveals he plans on killing Squirrel Girl and all the other super heroes before they gain any of their powers. Nancy iPhone, which still shows the future, verifies on Wikipedia that Doom controls the future.[13] The students track down Doom to Central Park and then teleports before them another student, Cory, and an elderly Doreen Green.[14] It turns out Cory received a teleportation device from a crazy aunt, and since his Computer Science classes graded on a curve he teleported all the smarter students into the past. Nancy the adjusts the teleporter to go back randomly over the last several weeks and teleports Doreen multiple times, creating a Time Loop with dozens of Squirrel Girls, that all overwhelm Doctor Doom, not unlike his initial encounter Marvel Super-Heroes Winter Special, but with dozens of Squirrel Girls instead of Squirrels. Doom surrenders and returns all the Squirrel Girls to the correct time lines, except for the elderly Squirrel Girl, so life out her time and becomes Cody's crazy aunt, created a Time Paradox.[15]

The next day Doreen notices somebody trying to catnap Nancy's cat, Mew. It was actually Howard the Duck investigating a missing cat case. Kraven then appears and abducts Howard. Doreen follows him to a billionaire madwoman named Shannon Sugarbaker, who is obsessed with cosplay. She has abducted human-like creatures, like Beast, Rocket Raccoon, the missing cat built into a cyborg, and a Squirrel that was fused with Wolverine's DNA and adamantium claws and was going to release them in a high stakes hunt.[16] Kraven and Doreen join them, but Sharon has a superpowered Cosplay outfit with Angel's wings, Iron Man's repulsors, Hulk fists, and Thor's hammer. Doreen and Howard sneak back into the mansion and Howard finds his own superpowered costume and rescues the other abductees. Howard is glad that he closed his case and Kraven learns humility after being hunted for the first time. He vows to only hunt hunters in the future. [17]

Reception[edit]

Issue #1 was published on January 7, 2015 to positive reviews. The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl was praised for its comedy, and the character of Squirrel Girl was seen as empowering for being likable, smart, and having an average appearance unlike that of typical superheroes.[18][19] The Guardian in particular applauded the cartoon-like artwork by Erica Henderson as unique in Marvel's publications.[20] IGN regarded the series as "one of the best new debuts of recent memory".[18] Reviews of issue #2 were positive, with PopMatters calling it a "breath of fresh air: funny, charming, quirky, strong, brave, unbeatable".[8] Comic Book Resources write that issue #1 of the reboot was "silly as ever" and "consistently fun".[21] [3] Entertainment Weekly has said that Squirrel Girl will soon be "defending Earth from threats most cosmic".[3]. The series was nominated for an Eisner Award in both 2016 and 2017, winning in 2017 as the "Best Publication for Teens".[22]

Collected editions[edit]

The series has been collected into trade paperbacks:

Title Material collected Publication date ISBN
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 1: Squirrel Power
(128 pages)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 1, #1–5 & Marvel Super-Heroes #8 1 September 2015 (SC) 9780785197027
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 2: Squirrel You Know It's True
(112 pages)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 1, #6–8, GLX-Mas Special #1 (first story), The Thing #8 (pages 1–8), Age of Heroes #3 (Squirrel Girl story) 8 December 2015 (SC) 9781302483012
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 3: Squirrel, You Really Got Me Now
(128 pages)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2, #1–6 & Howard the Duck Vol. 6, Issue #6 14 June 2016 (SC) 9781302486334
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 4: I Kissed a Squirrel and I Liked it
(120 pages)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2, #7–11 6 December 2016 (SC) 9780785196273
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 5: Like I'm the Only Squirrel in the World
(112 pages)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2, #12–16 4 April 2017 (SC) 9781302903282
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 6: Who Run the World? Squirrels
(136 pages)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2, #17–22 10 October 2017 (SC) 9781302906641
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Volume 7: I've Been Waiting For a Squirrel Like You
(128 pages)
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2, #22-26, A YEAR OF MARVELS 4 (Tippy Toe story) 13 March 2018 9781302906658

Graphic novels[edit]

Squirrel Girl has also been featured in a graphic novel written by The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl's creative team released as an independent story.

Title Pages Publication date ISBN
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe 120 pages October 2016 (HC) 9781302903039

Novels[edit]

Squirrel Girl has also been featured in two middle grade novels.

Title Author Publication date ISBN
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World Shannon Hale & Dean Hale February 7, 2017 9781484781548
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious Shannon Hale & Dean Hale March 6, 2018 978-1368011266

References[edit]

  1. ^ Barsanti, Sam (31 July 2014). "Marvel might be doing something with Squirrel Girl, proving that no superhero is too small". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Johnston, Rich (30 July 2014). "Marvel Trademarks Squirrel Girl – Cartoon, TV Or Film Appearance On The Way?". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d Franich, Darren (6 October 2014). "Student becomes superhero: See images from Marvel's 'Unbeatable Squirrel Girl'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  4. ^ Dickey, Josh (3 June 2015). "Marvel Comics' reboot will bring all-new characters, No. 1s across the board". Mashable. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  5. ^ Polo, Susana (1 July 2015). "Marvel Comics Officially Reveals 45 Titles That Will Start After Secret Wars". Polygon. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  6. ^ Sandoval, Gerardo (18 September 2015). "Welcome to Avengers Idea Mechanics With New Avengers". Marvel Comics. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  7. ^ North, Ryan (2015). Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2 #1. 
  8. ^ a b Reece, Gregory L. (10 February 2015). "I'm Nuts for Squirrel Girl: "The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #2"". PopMatters. Retrieved 26 April 2015. 
  9. ^ The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol #5
  10. ^ The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 1 #8
  11. ^ The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2 #1
  12. ^ The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2 #3
  13. ^ The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2 #3
  14. ^ The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2 #4
  15. ^ The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2 #5
  16. ^ The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Vol 2 #6
  17. ^ Howard the Duck Vol 6 Issue 6
  18. ^ a b Lake, Jeff (7 January 2015). "The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1 Review: This Squirrel is Nuts". IGN. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  19. ^ Diaz, Eric (8 January 2015). "Review: Marvel Comics' The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1". Nerdist. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  20. ^ Virtue, Graeme (10 January 2015). "Lady Killer, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, COPRA: the month in comics". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 February 2015. 
  21. ^ McElhatton, Greg (27 October 2015). "The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 
  22. ^ "Here Are the Winners of the 2017 Eisner Awards". 22 July 2017. 

External links[edit]