365 Reasons to Love Comics #185
Happy Fourth of July to all our American readers! It’s the final day of DITKO WEEK– and what better way to celebrate the independence of a country than by taking a look at everyone’s favorite Ditko-created, animal-themed superheroine? Alright, so it has nothing to do with July 4th. What can I say? It’s a nutty column.
Be sure to visit the archive for all your Reasons-to-Love-Comics-y needs.
185. Squirrel Girl
Squirrel Girl, derided for years as Ditko’s worst creation, is actually quite awesome. Her first appearance was in Marvel Super-Heroes #8, in which she tries to impress Iron Man. She demonstrates her ability to communicate with squirrels, her knuckle spike, her amazing agility, and her wood-chewing teeth! She used these powers to defeat Dr. Doom, of all people, in the same story. Yes, truly she’s a force to be reckoned with. One would think this story would catapult Squirrel Girl to stardom, but she pretty much disappeared after that.
A few years ago, Squirrel Girl would’ve won the award for “most obscure Marvel superheroine ever,” but then Dan Slott came into the picture. He brought our favorite squirrel-related character back in GLA (Great Lakes Avengers), and had her join the team of misfit superheroes. She’s been a member ever since, even as the team became the Great Lakes X-Men, the Great Lakes Champions, and the Great Lakes Initiative. Yep– she’s registered. And yep, she’s a mutant. That’s right, Squirrel Girl survived the Decimation. Hurray! She’s one of my favorite mutants, along with Eye-Scream.
Squirrel Girl (real name: Doreen Green) is just a terrifically fun character. Yeah, she’s got some silly powers, hangs out with wacky heroes, and gets into crazy adventures, but that’s what makes her great. And yes, in addition to besting Doom, she’s also defeated MODOK, Thanos, the Mandarin, and more! Even the world’s greatest villains can’t stop Squirrel Girl. I’ve also been informed that she had a cameo appearance in the latest Fantastic Four animated series. Nice!
Another fun thing to note is that her first kiss was with Speedball. If only those two crazy Ditko kids could’ve made something of it. Oh well. I’d love to see her meet up with Penance. That’d be a weird scene to write.
Oh, wait, here’s what she thinks of it, apparently:
Despite all the deaths or dark transformations of Ditko characters, Squirrel Girl perseveres, still fun and chipper as ever. She even recovered after the death of her beloved smart squirrel sidekick, Monkey Joe. Now she’s got a new partner, Tippy-Toe, a cheery little squirrel of the female persuasion. So hey, I guess sometimes, characters can survive without doom and gloom. Then again, she’s only had a handful of appearances. Do terrible things wait around the corner for Squirrel Girl? I sure hope not.
For more on Squirrel Girl, visit the Marvel Appendix, or this old Squirrel Girl site, or maybe the Wiki. Or you can look at Chris Sims’ pleasantly derisive look at Squirrel Girl, telling us how she’s both lame and awesome at the same time. You can also view images there of her defeat of Doom and MODOK. That’s Squirrel Girl for you– darling of the internet!
This brings us to the end of DITKO WEEK! It’s been a really fun ride. So thank you, Mr. Steve Ditko. From the classic to the obscure, you’ve created a brilliant swath of characters that have provided wonderful entertainment for loads of people. You’re a fantastic artist and a terrific creator. Your work speaks volumes and will do so forever. Congratulations on such a great career.