Comic Book: Squirrel Girl

"Maybe it's just me, but I'm not crazy about super hero stories where everything's all dark and moody. Personally, I like the ones where good guys fight giant apes on the moon and stuff. Remember those? I do. That was back when comic book worlds were places you wanted to escape to... not from."

Doreen Green is the mutant known as Squirrel Girl — or, depending on who you ask, either The Anti-Life or The Slayer Of All That Breathes. Believe it or not, she is Marvel Comics' most powerful hero.

Doreen's (official) powers are enhanced strength, speed, agility, and reflexes, as well as the ability to leap several stories. She possesses small razor sharp claws in place of fingernails, and she's able to use small retractable knuckle spikes. She can communicate with squirrels, which she uses to attack and/or distract her enemies (as well as breaking the fourth wall). She also has a semi-prehensile tail (which she can use to cuddle herself with). Oh, and her lips taste like hazelnuts.

According to her official Marvel powergrid, all of Doreen's stats are through the roof, at the same level as the Living Tribunal.

Squirrel Girl first appeared in a one-shot story in 1992 in Anthology Comic Marvel Super-Heroes Special #8 (Winter, 1991); after explaining her powers to Iron Man, she showed her invincibility by defeating both Iron Man and Doctor Doom. The story was written by Will Murray and drawn by Marvel Comics legend Steve freakin' Ditko. Since the art and plot had a Silver Age touch that didn't take itself seriously, and it was published in the Dark Age that marked The Nineties, the story was notable for how out of place it felt.

Few people actually read the story when it first came out, but after scans of the comic were posted on the Internet, Squirrel Girl slowly became an Internet meme. The fact that Doctor Doom was defeated in such a ridiculous manner, combined with the fact that it was one of the few Doom losses that was never retconned as being Actually a Doombot due to the obscurity and ridiculousness of the story, allowed Squirrel Girl to become a popular Memetic Badass in Internet fight threads — despite having only appeared once in a story that virtually no one had read. She became an Ascended Meme in 2005, when Dan Slott put her on the Great Lakes Avengers in the Great Lakes Avengers: Misassembled mini-series.

Doreen didn't do anything of real importance during said mini-series other than being cute (and a Na´ve Newcomer) — in fact, she faced a low point in her superheroine career by being strangled by a E-List Mook (fortunately, that was just a clever Plan on her part). It wasn't until her next appearance in the GLX-Mas Special that her most defining trait became known: in that special, she defeated M.O.D.O.K., Terrax, and even Thanos himself, while evidence was presented that proved she had already defeated Giganto and Mandarin. Her next appearances, all in various other comics, strengthened her status as an invincible hero by having her defeat Deadpool ("you evil, evil man!"), Bi-Beast, and Pluto. This culminated in the Deadpool/GLI Summer Fun Spectacular, where Doctor Doom was shown as being completely afraid to confront her, even after she infiltrated Latveria on her own.

After working with the Great Lakes Avengers for a while, Squirrel Girl came to the conclusion that she was actually holding them back from becoming a great team (because they sat around while she defeated the likes of Fin Fang Foom), so in Marvel's Age of Heroes #3, she announced that she was officially leaving the GLA and striking out on her own.

A short two-page item in I Am An Avenger #1 showed Doreen arriving back in New York City, and (as of New Avengers #7) she is an official Avenger by virtue of being hired as the nanny for Luke Cage's and Jessica Jones' baby girl, Danielle. Since Danielle's been the target of supervillain kidnapping, demonic possession, and other threats in the past, someone like Squirrel Girl was probably necessary to protect the toddler.

Squirrel Girl is best characterized as being a Silver Age character being completely out of place in modern comics; she will frequently break the fourth wall to mention this. The fact that she frequently wins against more powerful enemies using ridiculous means can also be seen as a throwback to the Silver Age.

She has shown up ever increasingly in Marvel's online games.

Despite at first it seeming that she had faded into the background in the main Marvel Universe, she's managed to earn a series of her own: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, debuting in January 2015. The series follows Doreen at university after leaving her job as nanny, and the cosmic menaces she confronts.

Doreen is not to be confused with fellow squirrel girls Grace "Shade Tail" Sciuridae, Makoto Nanaya, or Aquerna note .

This heroine provides examples of:

  • And This Is for...: Squirrel Girl's letting her squirrels defeat a mook for Monkey Joe. (He couldn't care less.)
  • Animal-Person: Squirrel Girl is exactly that (i.e. the squirrel equivalent of a Cat Girl).
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing
  • Armed with Canon: In her first appearance, Squirrel Girl defeated Doctor Doom. Another writer showed Doom explaining that it was actually a Doombot. Yet, in GLX-Mas, we are told that she really did defeat Doctor Doom (we are also presented with a new picture, thus hinting that she has defeated Doctor Doom at least twice). And to really hammer in the point, in Deadpool/GLI, Squirrel Girl invades Latveria by herself, and Doctor Doom is afraid to even think about challenging her (with an accommodating statement by Tippy-Toe that since her first victory against Doctor Doom was written in by Steve Ditko, it's fully canon — "So deal with it, fanboy.")
    Deadpool: Oh c'mon, those stories can't actually count in continuity!
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: While the evil, evil man fought Daredevil, he warned him about the walking nukes such as the Iron Mans, the Thors, and the Squirrel Girls. And then when he fought Cable, he warned him about the psychos such as himself, Doctor Doom and Squirrel Girl. Inverted, since Squirrel Girl really is that dangerous, but averted in that she's a superhero and she rarely causes any sort of collateral damage.
  • Ascended Meme: Squirrel Girl's original one-shot appearance became a meme in Internet forums, which led to her becoming a permanent recurring character in the Marvel universe as part of the Great Lakes Avengers.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: She's perfectly capable of delivering cans of ass-whooping like this, as Wolverine can attest. And that's without getting to the animal empathy thing (Wolvie's reasonably wary of the army of squirrels she summons when he manages to get her in an armlock).
  • Badass Adorable: She's positively cute (and positively hot in Mike Deodato's New Avengers run), can talk to squirrels, and can kick more ass than all of Marvel's other heroes combined.
  • Badass Boast: While saying goodbye to Iron Man:
    I don't need luck. I eat nuts.
  • Beyond the Impossible:
    • She explains that the actual word impossible isn't part of her personal lexicon, since she feels that the word is very disempowering.
    • Despite her reputation as one of Marvel's most powerful characters, an infected Luke Cage actually managed to kill her. Click here for proof.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: While her knuckle spikes aren't as powerful (or as long) as Wolverine's, she's able to carve through solid wood with them, and her fingernails can cut through reinforced tempered glass.
  • Call Back: The new comic book references previous lines from squirrel girl:
    • In issue 2, she repeats "I don't need luck, I have Nuts!"
    • Issue 3's cover has her fighting giant apes on the moon!
  • Comically Invincible Hero: Her entire purpose.
  • Crack Pairing: Mostly jokingly, some authors have paired her off with very random characters in Noodle Incidents, including Wolverine and the Mac Gargan incarnation of Venom.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Cute. Fuzzy. Talks to squirrels. Lips taste like hazelnuts. Defeated Doctor Doom, The Mandarin, Giganto, MODOK, Thanos, Terrax, Bug-Eyed Voice, Bi-Beast, Deadpool (twice!), Pluto, Fin Fang Foom, Baron Mordo, Korvac, and Ego the Living Planet...
    • She handed Wolverine his ass on a silver platter while sparring.
  • Darker and Edgier: She has her whimsical moments, but her appearances in the main Avengers title are this, from her hinted affair with Wolverine, to the more dramatic moments ever since she came to New York City. Compare this cover to this panel to see the shift in tone.
    • Reversed completely in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, where all the darker character traits disappear and she returns to her comedic roots.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Squirrels vs. Doctor Doom.
  • The Dreaded: Doctor Doom has shown great fear in having a rematch with her(though after their legendary first tussle, can you really blame him?).
  • Double Entendre: She carries around nuts for her squirrel friends in 'nut sacks' on her utility belt.
  • Everything's Nuttier With Squirrels: Squirrel Girl is even nuttier than the evil, evil man.
  • Fastball Special: She threw Tippy-Toe at M.O.D.O.K. this way. Called it the Fuzzball Special. Alley-Oop!
  • Flanderization: Her infamous defeat of Doctor Doom was accomplished by creative use of her powers; commanding an army of squirrels to sabotage all of his equipment from the inside. Afterwards it just became a thing that she can beat everyone, even Thanos, by creative power uses or just punching them (usually off panel).
  • Fun Personified: Arguably the flagship character of this trope. Considering the rest of the 616 universe, this is what makes her really out of place.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: In one issue of his own comic, the evil, evil man is looking for his Squirrel Girl underwear.
  • Got the Call on Speed Dial: At the age of 14, Squirrel Girl attacked both Doctor Doom and Iron Man in order to become Iron Man's sidekick. As an (assumedly older) teenager in New York, she helped the police by catching muggers in Central Park. Later, she joined the Great Lakes Avengers without giving it a second thought. Her life practically revolves about being a superhero, and she has never once complained about her powers, possibly making her unique in any Marvel universe.
    • Especially considering that she's a mutant, a group traditionally treated like crap on Earth 616. Instead, the media seems to love her.
      • As a correlation, Tigra (the other furry girl) is magical, but most people think she is a mutant (with the appropriate reactions), and she doesn't correct them. Could Tigra like being counted among the ranks of Squirrel Girl?
    • Also, do you know why she accepted to become Danielle Cage's nanny? Making ends meet aside, she was hoping for a spot with the New Avengers. And she could've gotten it (she came this close from beating the freakin' Wolverine without help of her squirrel buddies!) if Skadi hadn't waged war on America as she was saving a random guy from getting beat up. It turns out she grew so fond of little Dani, her first thought was to rush to Avengers Mansion and guard her. But then those War Machines started bombing the mansion... But then Daredevil saved the day.
  • Greek Chorus: Fourth Wall Observers Monkey Joe and Tippy-Toe (and even Squirrel Girl herself) discuss and use Tropes such as Armed with Canon, Biting-the-Hand Humor, Digital Piracy Is Evil, Stuffed In The Fridge, and This Loser Is You.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: She gets a lot of mileage out of 'communicate with squirrels'. It doesn't seem so stupid when they're defeating Doctor Doom.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Squirrel Girl accuses the Bug-Eyed Voice of committing a criminal offense because he is stalking Speedball. She does this while she's occupied in stalking Speedball.
  • Impossible Task Instantly Accomplished: Just ask Thanos.
  • In a Single Bound: She can leap several stories up into the air.
  • Informed Attribute: Her alleged power level. She never actually displays powers beyond increased (but still lower than, say, Spider-Man) strength and agility, along with the ability to control squirrels. She gets an amazing amount of mileage out of the squirrel control, but any villain that can't be beaten by having a small, furry critter wriggle under his armor she beats offscreen (if at all - she hasn't actually appeared that many times or done very much).
  • Invincible Hero:
    • The closest she has ever come to defeat was failing to convince Robbie "Penance" Baldwin to return to being Speedball. note 
  • Ironic Echo Cut: Squirrel Girl's victory over Thanos, who possessed the power to screw the Multiverse.
  • Lethal Joke Character: She doesn't seem threatening at first, but seriously examining the entirety of her Combo Platter Powers makes her reputation disturbingly plausible, even with the most cynical interpretation:
  • Master of All: Squirrel Girl's official ratings have every stat maxed out. It's a Running Gag that she keeps defeating Marvel's most powerful villains including (effectively) gods off-camera. With squirrels.
  • Medium Awareness, Breaking the Fourth Wall, and No Fourth Wall: Squirrel Girl is fully aware that she is in a comic book, but due to contractual issues she is only allowed to break the fourth wall during the recaps. However, Monkey Joe and Tippy-Toe are not limited by that limitation, so for them there is no fourth wall.
  • Mutants: Her origin.
  • Non-Human Sidekick: Tippy-Toe, and formerly the late Monkey Joe.
  • Noodle Incident: Aside from her various scorecards against prominent villains, New Avengers showed that SG has an unspecified "past" with Wolverine of all people. Exactly what that past involved hasn't been revealed, but the two of them refer to each other by their given first names and Logan reminds her "we promised never to see each other again." In his second issue letters column on Unbeatable, Ryan North "explained" that she was mad at him for stealing a cab from her.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Most of her victories are off-panel and we only see the results, not the actual fights.
  • Parody Sue: Squirrel Girl has stats up to Physical God level and villains of the caliber of Doctor Doom fear her, yet most of her victories are off-screen and her superpowers are based on squrriels.
  • Progressively Prettier: In her first appearance, Squirrel Girl looked really weird. Nowadays... it depends on the artist, but she's generally depicted as being much, much, much cuter than she looked in her first appearance. She arguably looks her best in Marvel's one-shot Valentine's Day special I ♥ Marvel: Masked Intentions.
  • Rage Against The Readers: Squirrel Girl after Monkey Joe's death.
  • Reconstruction: What would you call a Silver-Age-appropriate character in the age of Deconstruction?
  • Retcon: The first issue of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl ignored her mutant origins, instead saying multiple times the she has "partially squirrel blood." In legal terms this would make sense, as by leaving her as a mutant, any live action versions of the character would be under the control of Fox, despite her never having appeared in any X-Men related book, while making her origins a little more vague would leave her fully under Marvel's control should they ever choose to use the character.
  • Rule of Funny: The only reason she can get away with being so overpowered; It's funny
  • Serial Escalation: Each new issue answers one question: how many overpowered super villains can Squirrel Girl defeat?
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Talks To Squirrels
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Acknowledged and mocked when she decides to leave the GLA because with her around the others would never get any screen time, on account of the fact that her Memetic Badass status has grown to such a point where they don't even try to help her defeat such uber-baddies as Fin Fang Foom, Baron Mordo and Ego the Living Planet. Instead they choose to hang around playing cards while she effortlessly defeats them.
  • Squirrels in My Pants: How she defeated Doctor Doom, among others.
  • Stalker with a Crush and Stalking Is Love: Squirrel Girl's crush over Speedball. She defeats his enemies for him, she breaks into dungeons for him, she invades sovereign countries for him, she travels through time for him, and her fan letters to him are screened by the FBI! And ignoring that time when he was too deep for her, he has responded to her crush with what's seemingly equal attraction.
  • Super-Cute Super-Powers: Squirrel Girl can summon a flurry of squirrels to Zerg Rush an opponent. Though conceived as a Joke Character, Squirrel Girl has defeated Doctor Doom, Thanos and Deadpool, becoming a Memetic Badass in the process.
  • Super Speed / Super Reflexes: As Squirrel Girl likes to remind us, she has Squirrel Agility. Which means that she has the proportionate speed and reflexes of a squirrel.
  • Super Strength: She is strong enough to lift 25 tons.
  • Take Our Word for It: Every takedown of a top tier villain, except for that first one against Doctor Doom.
  • Take That: A fair bit of Squirrel Girl's dialogue and surrounding plot points consist of these; aimed at whatever the writer finds annoying about every other comic in existence (the escapism quote above, Batman's in-universe status as an urban legend, etc.). Then, just to make sure no one missed the reference, often one of the squirrels will pop up at the corner of the page and state outright what it meant.
    • Then there was the whole shot at Penance. She tries to convince him he's not at fault, citing all the other stuff that other heroes have done that was so much worse (but managed not to get blamed for). Eventually, he cuts her off for not understanding, culminating in him shouting how he's "deep" now and repeatedly smashing his head into a wall to show how "deep" he is.
  • Time Travel: She attempted to travel into the past in order to romance pre-Penance Speedball. Somehow she traveled into the future...It's a very sly reference. When Squirrel Girl tries to travel to the past, she sets the time machine to take her to "Speedball's second to last coordinates" (the last time Robbie Baldwin was Speedball prior to the events of Civil War, since if she showed up in Stamford, she'd be one of the victims of Nitro's explosion). Prior to Civil War, Speedball's last appearance in a Marvel comic was in a comic set in the year 2099.
    • It also creates a Crowning Moment of Funny when she goes to Latveria to borrow Doctor Doom's time machine. Doom just sighs and points her to the room, not even bothering to try and stop her.
  • Vague Age: Originally 14, but now it's vague. Presumably at least 18, since she's old enough to attend college.
  • Worlds Strongest Woman: According to the official stats, she's stronger than Wonder Woman. She's stronger than The Phoenix.
  • Xanatos Gambit: She may have been strangled by that E-List Mook during the big brawl in Great Lakes Avengers: Misassembled #4, but that was just to let him stand where she wanted him in order for her to let the other squirrels avenge the murder of Monkey Joe. She could have defeated him herself but it was personal.