Doreen Green has conquered school, Galactus, Doctor Doom, Thanos, and even an Asgardian squirrel god, but now she’s about to conquer what could possibly be her greatest adversary: herself. And she’s doing it all in her own original graphic novel. Announced today at the C2E2 Women of Marvel panel, the new story will be helmed by the series’ creative team of artist Erica Henderson and writer Ryan North and will feature a stand-alone adventure that both new and longtime fans can enjoy.
“It’s been really cool just meeting the people who have read the book and seeing their reactions to it,” Henderson told EW. “For a lot of people, it’s their first superhero book because maybe they felt it was a genre they couldn’t get into. We didn’t know how people were going to react to it at all. Would this be my last job at Marvel ever?”
“It’s a book that, in a way, is pretty different than a lot of other superhero comics, and people really do give it a chance and fall in love with it,” added North. “And the chance to do an original graphic novel was like, yes, I would like to tell a much larger story outside of the constraints of a month-to-month continuity. The nice thing with a longer story is that we can do these big things that if you were telling it in a month-to-month issue, it would have repercussions.”
The story that North and Henderson are telling pits Squirrel Girl against a new and dangerous enemy: an evil duplicate created through a combination of computer and regular science. “The nice thing about Squirrel Girl is that she’s smart, and she looks for situations that don’t necessarily involve punching people all the time,” said North. “But she’s done all these really amazing things, like take down Thanos and Galactus and all these heavy hitters in the Marvel Universe. And what I think is going to be fun is if there was a version of Squirrel Girl that had all her powers, had her incredible strength and her squirrel ability… but without the restraint and the empathy. That would be a big problem,” he added with a laugh. “And it’ll be fun to see a Squirrel Girl that does punch first and ask questions later. That’s a hard person to stop, I think, but she’s a really powerful character.”
So powerful, she beats up the entire Marvel Universe, as reflected in the new art. “It’s a reference to the old Punisher Kills The Marvel Universe cover, but we also thought it would work on this. They’re not dead on this one, though,” teased Henderson. Details about the specifics of the graphic novel are being kept under wraps, but the creative team can tease one fun tidbit: Squirrel Girl and Iron Man, who have so far only interacted through a series of tweets and social media, will finally meet face-to-face.
“I love their relationship,” said North. “The Twitter pages we just came up with when we needed to recap, and it worked really well. But I love that their relationship is basically trolling each other online all the time. These two are going to be in the same room for once, after going at each other online back and forth all day.”
So far, Squirrel Girl has met Avengers and numerous people in the Marvel universe, and she’s about to meet a lot more. After all, “she beats up the Marvel Universe! That’s everyone!” North said with a laugh. But is there someone that Doreen hasn’t yet run into that Henderson and North would love to see her either fight or just hang out with?
“For me, I feel like Magneto is a large figure who they treat like, he’s such a serious guy! Someone in the letter pages, I think, proposed they go on a road trip together and I was like, that’s not bad,” North said. As for Henderson?
“I just want her to hang out with other cool heroes,” she said. “I’ve talked about wanting to have her and Dazzler just do a thing about Dazzler being a pop star. Because early on in the first story, she was kind of obsessed with superheroes because she wasn’t one yet. I like the idea of bringing that back, except you’re, like, hanging out with Lady Gaga.”
Squirrel Girl and Lady Gaga — maybe that’s a story for the next volume of Doreen’s adventures. Henderson, for her part, is excited to see what fans think of Squirrel Girl vs. Squirrel Girl.
“Whenever you post something new, people always try to figure out what’s going on,” she said. “And since we’re being fairly vague, that’s going to be fun to watch.”