Go N uts!

Bon­nie Bur­ton says it’s time for a Squir­rel Girl movie

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Opinion -

Su­per­heroes have been able to con­trol ev­ery­thing from the weather to grav­ity to help them bat­tle crim­i­nals. Some of them have mu­tant pow­ers like the X- Men, and oth­ers use re­ally cool out­fits and gad­gets to fight bad guys. But I can’t help but get ex­cited when su­per­heroes use the power to com­mu­ni­cate with un­usual al­lies to help them in their quest for jus­tice. When I was just a wee lass, I used to pre­tend I could tele­path­i­cally com­mu­ni­cate with any an­i­mals around me. I would stare into the eyes of our fam­ily cat and meow un­til I was con­vinced her rolling onto her back was my will. I’d sit in front of my grand­fa­ther’s cows and have long silent con­ver­sa­tions with them – with my mind, of course. And if I caught the eye of a busy chip­munk roam­ing around our front porch, I’d try to mind meld with the crit­ter.

So when I first dis­cov­ered Marvel’s Squir­rel Girl in the early ’ 90s, I knew I’d found a long- lost su­per­hero sis­ter. Cre­ated by Will Mur­ray and Steve Ditko, Squir­rel Girl ( aka Doreen Green) first ap­peared in Marvel Su­per- He­roes Vol 2, # 8. Even as a teen, Squir­rel Girl sets her sights high in the su­per­hero world. She first am­bushes Iron Man in a for­est to im­press him with her ro­dent com­mu­ni­ca­tion pow­ers to con­vince him to let her be his new side­kick. He’s unim­pressed un­til Doc­tor Doom cap­tures him and she res­cues him with a horde of squir­rels.

I know this sounds crazy to any­one who prefers their su­per­heroes dark, broody and gritty. But I for one am get­ting tired of see­ing the same type of movie su­per­heroes over and over again. How many Spi­der- Man and Bat­man re­boots do we need? Why should I just set­tle for Black Widow in the Avengers when I can have a movie ded­i­cated to an un­usual fe­male su­per­hero we haven’t seen in the movies be­fore? And if Ant- Man can win over picky fans with a quirky su­per­power to con­trol ants, why can’t Squir­rel Girl?

She de­serves her own movie. She has strange su­per­pow­ers and a crazy back­story. She’s con­nected to so many top su­per­heroes that just the cameos would be worth the ticket price alone. She kicks Dead­pool out of the Great Lakes Avengers. Luke Cage and Jes­sica Jones hire her as a nanny. She’s ro­man­ti­cally linked to Wolver­ine. And along with her squir­rel army, she’s de­feated some of the most pow­er­ful vil­lains in Marvel’s history, in­clud­ing Doc­tor Doom and MODOK. She even be­friends Galac­tus and talks him out of de­stroy­ing the Earth.

It would make for an in­ter­est­ing cast­ing de­ci­sion. Not ev­ery ac­tress can make hav­ing a three- foot tail and size­able buck­teeth look sexy. Then there’s the re­tractable “knuckle spikes” to help with climb­ing and fight­ing, and “speak­ing” squir­rel, which can’t be the eas­i­est lan­guage to learn.

So how can you not want to see that all hap­pen in a fea­ture film or TV se­ries? The time is ripe for fe­male su­per­heroes on screen. We’re get­ting a new Won­der Woman movie soon. Jes­sica Jones has her own TV se­ries. Even Xena the War­rior Princess is get­ting a TV re­boot. So why not let Squir­rel Girl have a go at fight­ing the bad guys some­where other than just the comics?

An un­der­es­ti­mated fe­male su­per­hero who uses tiny wildlife to help her get the job done is ex­actly the kind of su­per­hero we need in a world full of burly, testos­terone- driven, moody men. I’ve had enough Su­per­man and Bat­man. I’m start­ing my Squir­rel Girl movie pe­ti­tion now, and you’d all be nuts not to sign it.

“a fe­male su­per­hero who uses tiny wildlife is ex­actly the kind we need”

Il­lus­tra­tion by Maria Colino

Bon­nie is thrilled that James Gunn has ex­pressed an in­ter­est in a Squir­rel Girl film.

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