As some of you may have noticed from the fact that the header logo for the ISB has featured a man socking a polar bear right in the face for the past year or so, there’s not a whole heck of a lot I like more than an old-fashioned super-hero/animal throwdown.
It’s sort of my trademark, as such, but I was still surprised to get an email last week wondering why I only rarely show the other side of things, where the animals come out on top. The simple answer, of course, is that I like super-heroes more than I like animals, and unless it’s, y’know, a gorilla beating the living crap out of a bunch of Nazis, I just don’t get that excited about it.
But never let it be said that the ISB doesn’t present a fair and balanced view of man-on-beast combat, friends, because there is an exception to that rule, and here she is:
Yes, Squirrel Girl!
Say hello to Doreen Green, folks, and don’t bother to adjust your monitors: Steve Ditko was the unparalleled master of sequential art who gave us Spider-Man, the Question, and Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos, so one can assume that when he got the script for an Iron Man story calling for a homely super-heroine, he went ahead and just made her a morlock.
It all works out, though. When she comes back for Great Lakes Avengers, she’s well out of her akward phase, courtesey of Paul Pelletier:
“Skinny little Doreen Green… She grew up. Filled out.”
In addition to the teeth–which can chew through solid wood–Squirrel Girl also boasts a retractable knuckle spike (for climbing, one would assume) and a prehensile tail, gains extra energy by eating nuts (which she holds in her belt pouches, or nutsacks), and, perhaps most importantly, possesses the uncanny ability to speak to squirrels.
This is, unquestionably, the worst set of super-powers ever.
And yet, in her first appearance–conveniently available as a bonus feature in the Great Lakes Avengers trade–she and her rodent running crew take out Doctor Doom:
Suck it, Victor.
And as awesome as that is, it is but a mere prelude to the awe-inspiring events of the GLX-Mas Special, which contains a scene that continues to entertain the entire Internet to this day:
And for that, Dan Slott will always have a special place in my heart. Now if only we could get her to fight some Nazis…
THAT WAS A DOOMBOT!!!!
My fragile sanity decrees it….
Man, Ditko drew the hell out of those squirrels, didn’t he?
what, no mention of SG kicking Thanos’ ass?
YOU SHUT YOUR FILTHY MOUTH, PEPPY!
I bet your happy about the GLI/Deadpool summer crossover.
I know I am. I’ve converted just about everyone who comes by my store into a GLA fan. Mr. Immortal’s use of suicidal depression as a weapon, Doorman turning out to ultimately be a hero, and Squrriel Girl being the teams main weapon.
There is just nothing better.
Ahhh, good ol’ Ditko. You forgot to mention The Creeper, though! Now there’s some Ditko madness for you.
Squirrel-Girl should be in charge of S.H.I.E.L.D. I mean its not possible for her to do a worse job than Tony “IronDickery” Stark. I mean I doubt she’d start a program for training young super-humans, and then after a couple of days of training send them off to KILL Hyrda agents with a jet pack they don’t know how to use and an energy rifle…
Plus if anyone can help Robbie out of his emo-cutter funk phase its his biggest fan…
#2: You don’t invent a superheroine with squirrel-based powers and then skimp on the squirrels. You just don’t. That’s not how Ditko rolls.
My theory is that Squirrel Girl is actually an incarnation of elemental Victory. She literally cannot be defeated in direct confrontation (well, maybe the Living Tribunal could do it, but everybody else needs to run away to stand a chance). Dr. Strange knows, but he’s terrified of her and hopes that nobody else figures it out.
So, what you’re saying is…
…she’s made of win?
Man, Superman’s crazy eyes don’t hold a candle to the perilous gaze of early Squirrel Girl. I’m going to have nightmares.
Squirrel Girl – she has the power to VEX!
Agreed on the Robbie situation Lurkerwithout.
And Monkey Joe said it wasn’t a Doombot! If I can’t trust a squirrel named Monkey Joe, whom can I trust?
“For every one I fling away, a dozen more vex me!”
This is why I stopped going to nightclubs.
SG calls for a Happy Tree Friends cameo, really.
I ran a roleplaying game at a game convention a couple years back where Squirrel Girl, Captain Ultra, Blue Streak (in original roller disco mode), Osprey (the guy with no powers who tried to join the Frightful Four) and Frog-Man teamed-up for some wild adventures in 1980’s Marvel Manhattan. First the mayor’s office asked them to serve a subpoena suing for back taxes against ‘a small home in Greenwich village’. Turns out a few years previous the city had started assessing taxes on the Sanctum Sanctorum based on the interior dimensions. Doc Strange refused to pay when his tax bill went up one bazillion percent. Later they fought a time-travelling Doom 2099, who even in the future was still pissed at Squirrel Girl and held her in a Byrne lock for half the fight.
Is the squirrel attacking MODOK supposed to look like exactly like Rocky from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show– down to the blue hat? If so I need to find this issue.
That headshot of Squirrel Girl? THAT IS SCARIER THAN ANY JOKER PICTURE I HAVE EVER SEEN.
Thank you Chris, the squirrels glorious vengeance is quite satisfactory.
Ah, let’s not forget that Squirrel Girl also defeated none other than Deadpool in one-on-one combat, documented below. Don’t underestimate Squirrel Girl. She punches above her weight.
Squirrel Girl was also the winner at Ben Grimm’s last card game, if I remember corrently. Never underestimate the power of SQUIRRELS!
Man, Doom must have had nightmares for WEEKS!
Chris, this is very important.
Illisnois’ Initiative team? THE SPACEKNIGHTS
That may be the best MODOK panel ever, and I know how stiff the competition is there.
No sallyp, flatman won the cardgame. Squirrelgirl just got them the invite for helping Ben clobber Bi-beast.
Man, that’s some good Ditko crack.
Did anyone here read Young Heroes In Love? I gotta wonder if Gerbilgirl was their homage to Squirrel Girl.
Is it just me– or in that 3rd picture of SG, doesn’t she look like a dead person from Order of the Stick?
Is the squirrel attacking MODOK supposed to look like exactly like Rocky from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Showâ€“ down to the blue hat? If so I need to find this issue.
My God, I’ve never made the connection, but yes: Tippy-Toe (Monkey Joe’s successor as Squirrel Girl’s partner) actually does wear a little blue aviator cap with goggles.
How in the hell did I miss that?!
Just more proff that Steve Ditkos art (as well as John Romita, Sr. while we’re on the subject) SUCKED as an artist.
Can someone PLEASE tell me why everyone kisses their asses as if the are the best that ever were when it comes to comic art?
Talk about vexing.
Are you fucking retarded?
“Just more proff that Steve Ditkos art [ ]SUCKED as an artist?”
Can’t understand a word. It’s like you’re speaking some other language, both in form and content.
For a second there, I thought I saw someone say Ditko and Romita sucked as artists. Surely that was just my imagination.
Yeah, I messed up on my post, sorry about that. I didn’t notice it till after I clicked submit.
Really though, come on, What about that picture of Squirrel Girl looks good? It’s like the work of a child. Maybe it’s a case of the Emperors new clothes, or just that people think they have to say they were good because they were around so long. I don’t know, but when I look at their work all I see is crap. Nothing realistic, lacking in detail and just over all bad.
I see people saying I’m crazy, retarded, whatever, but no one has answered my question. How is their art considered good? If any other artist submitted a picture like that picture of SG above they would be laughed out of the Marvel office.
Hmmm…I’ve never thought about making a one peice bathing suit from fake fur..and then matching leg warmers, and arm warmers…think there would be a market for that sort of thing? Other than ..y’know…furries?
Don’t worry Sunstrider, I never quite got Ditko either. When I was a foolish teen at the local comics shop I would nod and say, yeah…ditko…cool..greatest, and then scratch my head in puzzlement in private. Romita, no problem. Kirby…Kool Kat. Ditko…not so much. But remember, art is subjective; even comic art. Everyone has different tastes.
The thing about Pelletier’s excellent version of Squirrel Girl is, he gets the eyes wrong.
Those aren’t tattoos around Squee’s eyes – those are her HORRIFICALLY DEFORMED EYE SOCKETS.
Mad, staring eyes floating in orbits the size and shape of black daffodils! Lidless, eternally vigilant eyes…of JUSTICE.
You know, I just realized that DeMatteis and Giffen totally ripped off Squirrel Girl’s squirrel-communication shtick for their Mister Master character over in their Planetary Brigade stuff. Not that anybody cares.
You know, I think I’ll always hate this character now that her defeat of Thanos has been officially declared canon.
I believe the best observation made about Squirrel Girl was that she’s the MU’s equivalent of the Mynah Bird from Looney Tunes. She never loses to anyone.
As for Ditko’s art, yes, it lacks detail (he was into caricature), but his composition and layout is what really stands out. It’s hard to tell in single panels.
Also, one could argue that there is a bit of distance between Squirrel Girl and Ditko’s more personal work (which includes Spider-Man, sure, but click over to Dial B for Blog for “the skinny”).
NOT THAT I AM SUGGESTING BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION that Squirrel Girl was just a “paycheque” to Monsiuer Ditko, you understand…
I love Ditko for the painterly anguish, the realistic anatomy, the clothes and the shading. But mostly the hands. THE HANDS.
(and the hats)
What do I like about Ditko? I like the abstract nature of it, the elasticity. When I think of good Ditko art I’m thinking of his Spider-Man work or his work on Blue Beetle. He gave those bouncin’ around characters real movement, you know? But I’ve always been more of a sucker for cartoony over realistic. Gimme Ditko and Cooke over Alex Ross any day.
It’s a fair cop that when Steve wasn’t on form, things got pretty shoddy. And I think his later work wasn’t as good as the early stuff, which isn’t unusual for any artist (even Edward Gorey lost it a bit toward the end there). But yeah, if you can check out the early Spider-Man, the early Doctor Strange and the Charlton Ted Kord Blue Beetle stuff, you’ll see him at his best.
And if it don’t appeal to you, then that’s just a matter of taste.
Though it’s well documented, it needs mentioning:
Another, probably unintentional, Squirrel Girl ripoff was the remarkably similar hero (who was actually named Squirrel Girl) from The Tick animated series.
There, she helps defeat first a vengeful half-man, half-experimental ice cream thing, and then the corrupt buisness exexutive that spawned him, along with The Tick’s superhero class, which also includes a sardonic socialist named Sarcastro, and the impossible to sedate Mr. Xcitement.
Just consider it the (technically nonexistent) Marvel Animated Universe debut of Squirrel Girl.
“Really though, come on, What about that picture of Squirrel Girl looks good? Itâ€™s like the work of a child.”
“It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
…ok, besides of the wiseguy talk, check Ditko’s Dr. Strange. It is, I lie you not, AWESOME.
It may be worth mentioning here that Ditko drew my favorite Spider-Man story ever, and Romita drew my second-favorite Spider-Man story ever.
I’ll cop to the fact that Ditko’s later work wasn’t his best (as mentioned above), but a summer special from 1993 isn’t exactly representative of the man’s entire body of work, from his innovative art on Dr. Strange to his early Question stories, which are notable if for no other reason than the fact that he managed to cram hundreds of words of dialogue onto the page while still keeping things moving within the story.
But my God, Romita?! I cannot even fathom why someone would think John Romita Sr. wasn’t one of the best artists in comics history.
I love the look of the one squirrel Doom is flinging off. It’s clearly saying “Whee! Again! Again!” in squireleze.
Like to watch Stargate Atlantis episodes and also Lost. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.
WOW! You must have worked really hard on this stargate universe site, I really really like it, in fact it’s ace!