Go N uts!
Bonnie Burton says it’s time for a Squirrel Girl movie
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.