Welcome to the first Heralding of Heroines! This will be an ongoing project where I showcase different ongoing heroines, and maybe even some not currently on-screen in comics, and talk about their additions to the comic world! For this edition of Heralding of Heroines, we will be discussing one of my personal favorite heroines, Doreen Green aka Squirrel Girl.
Out of Marvel’s heroines, the reason I choose to focus on Doreen Green today is that we see her in a whole new art style with the new cross-over team up event Marvel Rising. The artwork is absolutely breathtaking, and most fans would say that it is exactly what they want from a Squirrel Girl comic. However, that’s not what you get. Squirrel Girl is a feel-good comic full of zany adventures that you never know what you will get. People overlook her because of the art, so they end up missing out on the key reasons why she is such an amazing hero. Doreen is a heroine for ALL ages, not just teens, not just adults, anyone. Anyone can enjoy her, and honestly, I think everyone should give her a chance. There’s been a lot of talk from uncertain fans about her art being off-putting. There are fans that do not enjoy how her art isn’t always the classic “perfect” lines, and it’s messy. Squirrel Girl isn’t exactly new.
She actually first showed up in comics in 1991. Her only goal as a 14 year old with mutant powers was to impress Iron Man. She actually donned an entire squirrel suit to impress Iron Man, but the effort failed in an epic fashion. She did, however, end up impressing him in the end when Dr Doom attacked, and she saved his life. She fought hard against Dr Doom with her original squirrel sidekick, Monkey Joe, which shocked both Dr Doom and Iron Man. Doreen disappeared from comics for a whole decade after 1992, but she gained a massive following.
Monkey Joe was actually killed in a massive battle against Leather Boy, and it was at the end of that battle that Doreen befriended her beloved squirrel Tippy-Toe. Doreen longed to be a hero, but she turned down a position as Agent with SHIELD in favor of working with GLA. Her partnership with GLA did not last long either, as she felt she was holding them back.
Squirrel Girl saw the beginning of her own comic adventures with Tippy-Toe in 2015 written by the impressive Ryan North (Adventure Time, Original Sins) and drawn by Erica Henderson (Bravest Warriors). She has rapidly stolen the hearts of fans with her adventures taking down impressive bad guys while simultaneously attempting to live as normal a life as a woman with squirrel powers can live. Not all fans have enjoyed her, however, and that’s alright. No one superhero will be a perfect fit to encompass an ever-changing fan base.
TMS (The Mary Sue): One of the critiques I’ve heard about Doreen Green’s character is that she’s a ‘one trick squirrel’ and only used to defeat seemingly undefeatable foes with her fuzzy army of DOOM. The list includes big hitters like (deep breath) Doctor Doom, Mandarin, Giganto, MODOK, Thanos, Terrax, Bug-Eyed Voice, Bi-Beast, Deadpool, Fin Fang Foom, Baron Mordo, Korvac, Ego the Living Planet and Wolverine. Personally, I hope we still see some of that but how do you intend to make Squirrel Girl a more rounded character?
North: Haha, yeah, she’s a super hero! She’s OBVIOUSLY not going to lose all the time. But when people take that and say “oh she’s a one-trick squirrel” (great phrase, by the way!) it sort of makes you think – wait, how so? Spider-Man doesn’t go along losing all the time. We don’t go see Avengers movies to watch them lose again and again and again. Super heroes win because they’re really good (“super,” if you will) heroes, and that’s what Doreen is! So I don’t see the fact that she’s really awesome at beating up bad guys to be any sort of limitation on her character.
(See full interview here.)
As you can see, Squirrel Girl isn’t the first hero to take on impossible foes. Nor is she the last. For what she receives a lot of flack for, aka taking down impressive bad guys, there are countless heroes that never really lose. They don’t get the same backlash that she does. Fans speculate that she receives a lot more scrutiny for her talents at escaping a lot of dangerous situations because, well, she’s taken down some of the biggest bads in Marvel history. She faced off against GALACTUS and won without a huge struggle. The now 20 year old has earned a lot of respect among the superheroes, but it seems some comic readers are a bit behind in that aspect.
Squirrel Girl has an array of powers that allow her to continue to top her enemies and go on the nuttiest of adventures. Her abilities include superhuman agility, senses, and strength along with a prehensile tail, razor-sharp claws, retractable knuckle spikes, and an uncanny ability to communicate with squirrels. Personally, I adore Squirrel Girl. I love how easy-going her comics are. There hasn’t been a single issue that has failed to make me smile.
Squirrel Girl makes for a very unique addition to the marvel universe in that no one else is quite like her. I love it. I love seeing her grow as a heroine and as a person. Did you know that Squirrel Girl has cards that teach her about the foes she faces? Deadpool gave her a handy dandy card set that tells her all about the enemies!
That’s about all for this Heralding of Heroines. I chose Squirrel Girl as the central focus of this edition of Heralding of Heroines because I feel like she is grossly undersold as a character due to people not always enjoying the artwork that suits her so well. Not to mention, she’s just really cool. How often can you say that there’s a hero that started off because of a failed attempt to impress IRON MAN? Now she’s everywhere, and the attention is just wonderful. If you aren’t sure about the art style she has right now, check out her new team-up crossover in Marvel Rising! This is from Marvel Rising #0, and Doreen looks beautiful. I love you, Squirrel Girl!