Sprint through the hero's past with analysis from Ryan North!

What wild adventure will Doreen Green, Nancy Whitehead, Tippy-Toe, and the rest of the UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL gang go on in issue #31? The answer is obvious: Doreen and Nancy get blasted into hypertime and fight crime at super speed, of course! On April 11, writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson tell the tale in UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #31!

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, A.K.A. Doreen Green, has had an action-packed history dating back to the early ‘90s, but she’s evolved significantly since then. We asked Ryan North to provide some commentary on the proceedings, but he suggested we go right to the super source herself! So let’s dive in!

One doesn’t just go throwing around the title “Unbeatable” without reason; Doreen Green has beaten the likes of Galactus, Thanos, Ultron, and more!

Squirrel Girl: Hey everyone, it’s me—Squirrel Girl! I hacked into this website (it was a simple SQL injection exploit, COME ON PEOPLE, it’s not 1997 anymore) and am using my incredible hacker powers for good—by adding some commentary to this as we go!

But her long and impressive history starts with her debut takedown: Doctor Doom.

Squirrel Girl: Hah! It sure does!

In her first ever appearance, Doreen Green (then a young super hero hopeful) came to Iron Man in an attempt to impress him with her powers. At first, Tony Stark was incredulous about her powers and persona, but it didn’t take long for Doreen to win the hero over after she rescued him from Doctor Doom by siccing an army of squirrels after the notorious villain.

Squirrel Girl: To be fair, this was just my first takedown published in illustrated comic documentary format. I’d actually defeated the Abomination before then. And it’s not even the first time I took down Doctor Doom, if you’re being strictly chronological! I’VE traveled through time to beat him up in the ’60s. IT WAS AMAZING. 

In these early days, Squirrel Girl had a furry, prehensile tail, buck teeth strong enough to chew through wood, superhuman strength and agility, the ability to speak to and understand squirrels, and sharply clawed fingers with retractable “knuckle spikes”!

Squirrel Girl: Those knuckle spikes came in handy when defeating Ultron, because bone doesn’t conduct electricity! A useful property when you’re fighting a robot. Other than that they have not been THAT useful, because, um—I don’t really go around stabbing people all the time?

Later, as Squirrel Girl teamed up with the Great Lakes Avengers, she started flying a gyrocopter called a “Squirrel-A-Gig” (which was a holiday gift from her teammate Big Bertha). Doreen first used the machine to infiltrate Doctor Doom’s castle!

Squirrel Girl: The best part was Doom just sighed and pointed me towards where I wanted to go, because he didn’t want to get into a fight with me. IT WAS THE RIGHT CALL, MY DUDE.

Doreen’s personality and powers were best established and honed in THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL after the series launched in 2015. The greatest revelation in this title is best explored in the first arc—which acts as a kind of thesis statement for the rest of the series—when Doreen Green is tasked with stopping Galactus from eating the Earth. Does she punch him into submission? Does she try to destroy him? No, Doreen realizes that wouldn’t work and, instead, converses with the cosmic being, convincing him to leave her home planet alone.

Squirrel Girl: Galactus isn’t such a bad guy! Take away his hunger and he’s just a chill pal. It’s not his fault he’s so enormous! If he were tinier a handful of nuts could satisfy him, but at his scale one’s appetites also get larger. Took a full PLANET of nuts, actually!

Doreen is notable for using her compassion as one of her greatest tools—and for using butt-kicking as a last resort. Sometimes people can forget that being a super hero isn’t always about flashy super powers! She might not necessarily have the craziest abilities on the scene, but the strongest weapons in the fight to eradicate evil can often be a good heart, a strong mind, and one or two close friends!

Squirrel Girl: Aw, this was a great article! Now I feel bad about hacking in to add commentary to it, but on the plus side, YOU get slightly more words to read, so I suppose it all worked out in the end! Eat nuts and kick butts, everyone!

Read THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #31, by Ryan North and Erica Henderson, tomorrow—April 11!

Read More

Authors Shannon Hale and Dean Hale talk all things fuzzy!

Doreen Green may seem like your average 14-year-old girl but she’s got a super-powered fuzzy alter-ego that’s just bursting to fight crime! As the Super Hero Squirrel Girl, she has unimaginable powers but also has to deal with the daily life of being a teen. Doreen knows that her life is anything but normal— as if her text-chains with the Avengers weren’t a dead giveaway—always bright-eyed and literally bushy-tailed, she’s ready to take on anything that threatens her family, friends, or little rodent pals.

Authors Shannon Hale and Dean Hale talked with Marvel.com about what it was like writing the newest book in the Squirrel Girl novel series,“The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious”—writing from the perspective of a teen, coming up with super heroic animal names, the Avengers’ eating habits—and oh yeah, the authors also happen to be fluent in squirrel. [In case you missed it, read an excerpt here.]

Marvel.com: Other than the genetically mutated Super Hero part, Doreen is an average 14-year-old girl. Was it hard to get into the mind of a middle-schooler?

Dean Hale: I have no memories of life before the age of 30 and have therefore conducted several long-term brain studies to understand the “lives” of small and medium-sized humans.

Shannon Hale: Conveniently, we have four in-house on which to perform our experiments. Truly, one of the reasons why I love writing for young readers is I do remember a lot of what that felt like and I want to honor that experience for readers that age.

Marvel.com: Was it harder to write from the point of view of a 14-year-old or from the POV of a squirrel? Seeing as how a big part of this book is told from a squirrel’s eye view.

Dean Hale:  Oh, Doreen’s point of view was harder for sure. Writing Tippy and her pals is like writing personal journal entries.

Marvel.com: With so much animal-action in the story, this book pits dog lovers against cat fans — which side do you choose?

Shannon Hale: Confession: we have two cats at home. But ultimately we agree with Squirrel Girl—why all the fighting, folks? It’s just silly!

Dean Hale:  With cats in the house, they have the upper paw here. But if I channel my squirrel-self, I would prefer a respectful cavalry-capable dog.

Marvel.com: One of the opening scenes has Thor eating empanadas — which sounds like you tapped into my dreams. How did you decide that the hand pie was to become one of his favorite foods?

Dean Hale:  Empanadas pack all of the comfort and deliciousness of a mead hall dinner into a convenient portable bundle. Fighting demons and giant serpents is hungry work and a hero doesn’t always have time to stop at an ale-house to replenish.

Shannon Hale: Also, I closed my eyes and tried to imagine the best possible thing in the world.

Marvel.com: Speaking of Thor, not to give anything away but it’s revealed (through group text, obviously) that the Avengers are in space fighting Thanos. So does this story run parallel to the Infinity War we’ll be seeing on the big screen?

Shannon Hale: Yes! Absolutely! We’re 100% confident that it is! And we have zero authority to make these claims, and yet, here we are! (Note: please do not email us for “Avengers: Infinity Wars” spoilers. We have none.)

Dean Hale: And to be honest, since he is notoriously difficult to deal with, there’s a better-than-average chance that at any given moment, the Avengers are in space fighting Thanos.

Marvel.com: Squirrel Girl has access to Avengers group texts, which is a comedy within itself. How did you come up with the idea — and how did you come up with the voices for the heroes in the group chat?

Shannon Hale: We both love Ryan North and Erica Henderson’s UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL comics. They start each issue with a page of twitter interactions between heroes and sometimes villains. We wanted to tap into the spirit of that but keep it middle school, which means—texting. Constant, constant texting. Also it just seemed like a great way to up the comedy. I had a blast writing our version of Winter Soldier and Thor. Which I’m sure is canon now and completely accurate in every way.

Marvel.com: Right away I noticed Amanat Street — a reference to Marvel’s Sana Amanat — what other Easter eggs might readers find in the book?

Dean Hale: The masses of squirrel names in both books are packed with references to other in-universe characters. Most of them are so obscure or obtuse they likely don’t even qualify as eggs. Easter shells, maybe?

Shannon Hale: Also we named a bunch of squirrels after people who generously donated to the Trevor Project. Good work, squirrel friends!

Marvel.com: Finally, would you say the fact that Hydra uses Comic Sans for party flyers is a dead giveaway of their evilness?

Shannon Hale: It’s a good point. Hydra is good a lot of things, but graphic design is not one of them.

Dean Hale: We just googled “evil fonts” and chose the first one that wasn’t legit demon script. Or not OBVIOUSLY demon script, anyway.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furiousis available now wherever books are sold. Interested in learning more about Doreen Green, Marvel TL;DR gives you everything you need to know in 2 minutes!

Read More

Check out an excerpt of the novel by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale!

A fresh and hilariously funny take on the award-winning THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL comic book series, written by notable, bestselling duo Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious” is the much anticipated follow-up to “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World.” “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious” is available now!

After foiling the nefarious plot of an amateur Super Villain, Squirrel Girl is finally finding her groove—and group texting with THE Avengers, like, all the time (seriously). However, as everyday Doreen, she’s still trying to navigate friendships, evil teachers, and all the pitfalls that come with middle school. (It’s complicated.)

But after an announcement goes out that sends waves of excitement through the community: There’s a new mall opening on the border of Shady Oaks and neighboring town Listless Pines, and they all get to vote on the mall’s mascot, everyone goes wild over the election . . . a little too wild. Soon two towns are at war—and even the trusty Squirrel Scouts are going nuts! Is there something sinister at work? Something that has less to do with quality shopping choices and more to do with world domination?!

Read a chapter from “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious” below!

“The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious” is available now wherever books are sold.

Read More

Ryan North sends Doreen back into space for an adventure with the new Sorcerer Supreme.

On December 13, THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #27, from writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson, begins a new story arc titled “Forbidden Pla-Nut!” In the first issue, Doreen has to get to the other side of the galaxy to save her friends Nancy and Tippy from an alien world, so she’ll need some assistance in getting there. Naturally, she intends to recruit Dr. Strange, but finds out there’s a new Sorcerer Supreme in town, Loki!

We talked to Ryan about the new arc and how Squirrel Girl is going to get along with the mischievous trickster.

Marvel.com: In “Forbidden Pla-Nut!”, Doreen’s heading into space, but in true THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL fashion, this cosmic adventure isn’t the least bit orthodox. Can you talk a little about the impetus for this story and some of the exciting guest stars?

Ryan North: Sure!  It was part of Marvel Legacy but our book is only 3 years old, so there wasn’t much of a legacy to go back to – we’re still in the middle of making it!  So instead we thought “well, what’s the opposite of going back to basics” and the answer is clearly “shoot Squirrel Girl into space.”

So that’s what we did!  It starts with a kidnapping, features a talking cat, and ends up on the other side of the galaxy.  And that’s just the first issue!

Marvel.com: What drew you to pairing Doreen up with these new characters?

Ryan North: Doreen is of course lots of fun, but the fact that Loki becoming is Sorcerer Supreme now is crazy: it’s a bold twist for the character, and of course Squirrel Girl and Loki have a history, through their mutual friend Nancy Whitehead.  So this was a chance to explore that more, and once you go into space in a Marvel comic you run into all sorts of cosmic characters that I’m very excited to showcase.  If you look at the covers, the Silver Surfer is involved.  Squirrel Girl has a history with his ol’ pal Galactus, too.

Marvel.com: What can you tell us about the villains at play here?

Ryan North: I don’t want to spoil the reveal, but there’s actually a couple of villains appearing at the same time.  One of them is an enemy of Strange who believes (quite reasonably, as it turns out) that Loki is not quite as competent at the whole “sorcerer supreme” business as Strange used to be, and another is a new enemy who is similarly taking advantage of a fortunate (or unfortunate) situation.

It’ll be crazy fun!  IN SPAAAACE!

Marvel.com: What are some of your favorite “going into space” Marvel stories that inspired this arc?

Ryan North: I love the first appearance of Galactus and the Silver Surfer, back in the FANTASTIC FOUR#48.  But in more modern sense, there’s a lot of fun with the Guardians of the Galaxy, and that’s the same sort of fun I’m going for here: that sense of space being full of mystery, and a lot of it is insane, and you’re not going to understand everything but it’s going to be awesome.

That’s what I’m shooting for!

Marvel.com: You and artist Erica Henderson have been collaborating on this book for awhile now. What’s your favorite part of writing for her?

Ryan North: Erica takes what I write and elevates it into a better version of the script, which is terrific, because then everyone thinks I’m better than I am.  IT’S A SECRET, DON’T TELL ANYONE.  So my favourite part is getting back her pencils and seeing what she’s done.  We’ve also got a great working relationship where she feels super comfortable changing things for storytelling reasons, so she’ll sometimes tweak something or move stuff around, and then it’s not just “I get to see the story illustrated” but also “I get to see the story illustrated, and also, better.”  It’s super great!

Marvel.com: Is there anything ridiculous you managed to squeeze into this new story that you’re proudest of?

Ryan North: There is!  We managed to get a fresh take on the Silver Surfer that hasn’t been done in all of Marvel history.

I’m super proud of that but I don’t want to say what it is because it’s a spoiler, so I GUESS EVERYONE WILL JUST HAVE TO BUY THE ISSUE TO FIND OUT!

Readers can do just that on December 13, when THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #27 drops, from Ryan North and Erica Henderson!

Read More

Check out an interview with the authors and an excerpt from the novel!

On March 6, 2018, join New York Times bestselling authors Shannon Hale and Dean Hale for an all-new Doreen Green prose novel adventure in “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious”!

Available for preorder now wherever books are sold, the sequel to this year’s hit read “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World” finds our hero in the midst of a mysterious—and sinister—plot that threatens to overtake her hometown…and maybe the world!

What might we expect from Doreen Green as she takes on this challenge? We asked authors Shannon Hale and Dean Hale to find out.

Marvel.com: In the first novel, Doreen navigated being the new kid in school, making friends, and resolving conflicts (without super powers). What can readers expect from the second novel, “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious”?

Shannon Hale: We wanted to let her be her awesome, butt-kicking, hilarious, powerful self while still seeing her continue to develop and grow. She’s declared herself Squirrel Girl and unleashed her unbeatableness on the world, but it’s the Doreen Green part of her life that proves trickier. Just how do you be both a super hero and a middle school student at the same time?

Dean Hale: I know from personal experience that being a middle school kid with super human abilities is no walk in the park. Except for the occasional field trip to a nearby park. Also there are the evil organizations and horrifying abominations of nature to do battle with.

Shannon Hale: I’m never sure if you’re talking about yourself or Squirrel Girl, reminder: the parent organization at our kids’ school is not an evil organization.

Dean Hale: If the PTA president’s rant about the feasibility of “Alternative Ethics” didn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.

Marvel.com: You write the books together—can you tell us a bit about how that process works? Does your writing routine change from book to book?

Shannon Hale: Comedy feels like the best kind of story to write because you’re basically just trying to make the other person laugh.

Dean Hale: Did you answer the question? I don’t think you answered the question. I think you might be dodging the question! What don’t you want people to know about our process? What are you hiding?!

Shannon Hale: I was graciously leaving bulk of the question for you to answer this time because I’m a generous person.

Dean Hale: Right. Okay. Let’s see…writing process…back and forth, leaving big chunks for the other person to complete because we are generous to each other…I think we covered it.

Marvel.com: What makes Squirrel Girl such a great character for young readers to discover and be inspired by?

Shannon Hale: One of our kids wants to be Squirrel Girl for Halloween and we couldn’t be prouder. But honestly, she’s also a great character for old readers like me to be inspired by. She’s just so fun and funny and optimistic.

Dean Hale: In my life, Squirrel Girl-ish tactics like reasoned dialogue, empathy, and humor have gotten me a lot farther than punching people in the face. Which isn’t to say face-punching doesn’t have its place, especially with lunatic robots and alien parasites. But I am confronted with those less and less these days…

Shannon Hale: Welcome to middle age!

Dean Hale: Thank you. I hope I survive the experience.

Now read an excerpt from the first pages of the super hero story!

 The night was as cool as glass. Streetlamps cast orange cones of light onto the pavement, but everything in between them was darkness. Darkness so thick, you could gnaw on it.

Squirrel Girl perched atop a streetlamp, twelve feet above the quiet suburban street. Not the kind of place where you’d expect to run into a laser-blasting maniacal villain. Squirrel Girl’s bushy tail twitched. Her keen eyes raked the darkness for any sign of that dastardly ne’er-do-well.

The, her phone buzzed.

Finally! All this waiting was getting super boring. She went for the phone, scooping it out of a pouch on her utility belt. But a bunch of loose cashews spilled out of the pouched, and she fumbled the phone.

“Dang it,” she said, diving headfirst off the streetlamp. She caught the cell just before it could crack against the sidewalk, twisting to land on her feet.

On her phone was a text from Ana Sofía Arcos Romero, her BHFF [Best Human Friend Forever].

ANA SOFÍA: Are you hidden?

Squirrel Girl checked her surroundings in a super super=sleuth sleuth way. She was standing directly under the streetlamp, orange light falling over her as bright as a fire.

She leaped up into the shadowy branches of an oak tree in someone’s front yard.

Shannon Hale and Dean Hale’s “The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: 2 Fuzzy, 2 Furious” is available to preorder now wherever books are sold!

Read More

Writer Ryan North previews Squirrel Girl’s newest challenger—dinosaur Ultron!?

Doreen Green—The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl—has defeated the likes of Doctor Doom, Galactus, M.O.D.O.K, and Thanos in recent years. They don’t call her “unbeatable” for nothin’, folks.

On September 13, witness the next chapter in her invincible story as writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson present UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #24! Seen previously frolicking in a nature preserve full of dinosaurs, Doreen gets a big surprise when one of those prehistoric beasts turns out to be Ultron in the form of a Tyrannosaurus rex!

It seems a rumble for the ages awaits in the cards—so, what can we learn about this Jurassic joust before issue #24 hits shelves? Series writer Ryan North probably knows—let’s ask him!

Marvel.com: Squirrel Girl has single-handedly defeated some of the most powerful beings in the universe…but will this newest foe end her winning streak at last?

Ryan North: Obviously you’ll have to read the comic to find out—but we did put “unbeatable” on the cover, so I wouldn’t be dressing up neighborhood squirrels in black funereal garb just yet. But how? How could she do it? Ultron has incredible powers and has previously defeated the Avengers as a group—and she’s alone in the dangerous landscape of the Savage Land.

Seriously, please let me know how she could do it. I have written myself into a corner and need ideas stat.

Marvel.com: What’s it like writing a character that’s so powerfuland so funny?

Ryan North: With Doreen I see this really clever, competent woman who gets underestimated by people who don’t know her—and there’s a lot there that most of us can relate to. In a sense, it’s so easy to write Squirrel Girl because she’s so well-defined; she’s a ridiculously powerful person (she has all the powers of squirrel and girl, after all) and she’s also really empathetic. She’d rather discuss a dispute before heading right into a fist fight. In real life, I try to do the same, and I, too, have had many more discussions than I have fist fights—so in that sense she can be inspired by reality as well.

She also has this slightly skewed view on the Marvel Universe—it’s the point of view of a computer science student (Doreen!) and her friends (Nancy! Tippy-Toe! Brain Drain! And more!) who see everything with fresh eyes.

Marvel.com: What do you think makes Squirrel Girl so unbeatable?

Ryan North: She’s smart, she’s kind, and she knows computer science. Also: squirrels. A literally unbeatable combination—it’s so powerful that I’m surprised it hasn’t shown up in fiction until now!

Marvel.com: What’s your favorite element of this storyline?

Ryan North: Ultron is lots of fun, and turning him into a gigantic Tyrannosaurus rex only makes him even more fun. I am always happy to write a dinosaur, and I hope that my previous Dinosaur Comics work has given me that expertise in writing giant Tyrannosaurs.

I think it’s impossible not to have fun when you’re putting your characters in some sort of “Jurassic” kind of “park”—especially when they’re facing down a killer robot dinosaur named Ultron. There is literally nothing not to love in that sentence.

Marvel.com: So, how did Ultron turn into a dinosaur!?

Ryan North: Well, I don’t want to give it all away (we reveal it in the next issue!) but Ultron always rebuilds himself—even if only a little bit of him survives. In the past, we’ve always assumed that only one part rebuilds, so only one Ultron exists at a time, but if that wasn’t the case…and if that extra part dropped into the Savage Land…

Marvel.com: What makes the Savage Land the perfect setting for this story?

Ryan North: I love the Savage Land because it’s there, in the present day, just, you know, hanging out in Antarctica. Like, everyone in the Marvel Universe just goes about their business, paying their bills and taxes, and never once stops and says, “Hey, wait a minute, there are alive dinosaurs on Earth right now,” and hops on a plane to go see them. It was fun to play up Nancy’s disbelieving reaction to that at the start of the arc, because I had the same reaction when finding out about the Savage Land way back when. It’s a big deal and I think super heroes and regular people should be visiting it way more often!

Marvel.com: Definitely! What will your interpretation of the Savage Land be like?

Ryan North: We really wanted to do the dinosaurs justice. The Savage Land first showed up in Marvel Comics decades ago—but our understanding of dinosaurs has evolved since then. Erica Henderson, the series artist, insisted (she sent me several emails even after I agreed, just to make sure I didn’t forget) that we explain why the Savage Land dinosaurs didn’t have feathers—since we now understand that most dinosaurs did. The explanation in the book (that the Savage Land inhabitants did have feathers but lost them over the 65 million extra years they had to evolve in Antarctica) solved a scientific problem in the Marvel Universe that had bugged Erica for years. We’re always happy to make these stories about super powered people more scientifically accurate!

Plus, if you keep your eyes peeled, you’ll see some of my favorite species of dinosaurs in the Savage Lands. I think this is the best arc we’ve done yet—and I’m really excited that we’ll soon be able to share it all with you!

UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #24, by Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson, launches on September 13!

Read More

Ryan North teases Doreen's Dino-filled trip to the Savage Land.

Life finds a way. Just like how Doreen Green finds a way to punch a Tyrannosaurus Rex square in the face in the upcoming UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL #23 from Ryan North and Erica Henderson! Our favorite acorn-loving hero finds herself in the Savage Land, surrounded by dinosaurs and not all of them are so friendly.

Oh, and did we mention there’s a pretty nasty villain on the loose as well, a baddie who’s given the Avengers a run for their money? To give us more insight into the prehistoric possibilities of this issue, writer Ryan North provided a rundown of why he spared no expense when it came to giving readers a reptilian good time.

Marvel.com: Just for some context, what brings Doreen to the Savage Land?

Ryan North: She wins a programming contest whose prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to the Savage Land, but when she arrives she finds out the contest organizers may have had some…ulterior motives.

Marvel.com: You have had experience dealing with dinos, particularly creating Dinosaur ComicsWhat was your approach to putting them side-by-side with Squirrel Girl?

Ryan North: Erica and I had a big chat about what we wanted to do with the dinosaurs, and came up with an entirely logical reason why these dinosaurs don’t have feathers (they’re usually drawn as the classic 60s lumbering dinosaurs, which makes sense because that’s when they were conceived). So apparently our major rule for visiting the Savage Land was we had to explain why these dinosaurs were scientifically accurate after all. It shows up in one panel when they first arrive, but we’re all extremely satisfied with that panel, I assure you. My main goal was to capture how amazing dinosaurs are, which is to say: extremely.

Marvel.com: Did you go into writing this arc with particular species of dinosaurs in mind? If so, which ones are your favorites?

Ryan North: I mean, I obviously have a soft spot for Tyrannosaurs, Utahraptors, and Dromiceiomimus – they’re all from Dinosaur Comics! But we did have a very particular T. Rex in mind for this story: it’s one nobody has seen before, but it has a familiar face…

Marvel.com: Are we getting a mix of different era-dinos (i.e. Jurassic, Cretaceous, etc.)?

Ryan North: We are! The Savage Land was made by aliens (In the book. In real life, the Savage Land SADLY does not exist) so I assume that they grabbed them from all sorts of different time periods. The Savage Land’s got all the hits!!

Marvel.com: The promo synopsis teases some squirrel-on-giant lizard fighting action. What else can you tell us about this amazing turn of events and what might cause Doreen to punch a T. Rex in the face?

Ryan North: She punches a T. Rex in the face for really justified reasons, I assure you. I don’t want to spoil the story, but I’ll say the Savage Land is facing a threat on a scale it’s never before encountered, and the only thing that can save the entire area is some computer science students, and also a woman who has squirrel powers. Those two things ONLY.

Marvel.com: Speaking of, is Doreen as big of a fan of dinosaurs as you guys are?

Ryan North: Doreen, like all right-minded people, is a huge fan of dinosaurs. Is there anyone who isn’t? I mean it sincerely. I have never met someone who said, “Giant animals who ruled the earth for longer than humans, have even been evolved from, and whose amazing skeletons we can find in the ground after they’ve turned into rock. SNOOZE. NO THANKS.” That’s literally a sentence nobody has ever said before. Dinosaurs are awesome, they definitely belong in our squirrel comic, the end.

Marvel.com: A super villain is also being teased. Who are they and what kind of trouble are they creating for Doreen and these majestic prehistoric creatures?

Ryan North: If I tell you who they are, that gives it away! But they’re a bad guy who can barely be stopped, doesn’t particularly care who gets hurt, and who has brought the entire team of Avengers to the brink of defeat multiple times. I’m sure Doreen Green alone in the savage wilderness will do fine! What could possibly go wrong, right??

Marvel.com: How should readers prepare for such a massive issue? Should they figuratively pack anything in particular for this trip?

Ryan North: They should be prepared to see a Squirrel Girl punch a dinosaur. I’m not sure how I can sell it better than that. “Squirrel Girl Fights Dinosaurs: The Comic” would’ve been an amazing title for this series. Also, there will be some feelings too, but peppered around dinosaur fights!! I promise.

Pick up UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL monthly from Ryan North and Erica Henderson!

Read More

Authors of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl join us on the Women of Marvel Podcast!

For this week’s podcast, hosts Judy Stephens and Sana Amanat are joined by New York Times Bestselling authors Shannon and Dean Hale to talk about their new book, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World!

Listen to the Women of Marvel – Episode 134 now!

Pick up your copy of the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World now!

We are now on Soundcloud! Head over now to our new hub to listen to all 134 Women of Marvel podcasts!

The Women of Marvel podcast assemble to chat all things Marvel and more! New episodes will be released every Friday, co-hosted by Marvel Director, Content and Character Development Sana Amanat, Marvel.com Producer Judy Stephens, along with Marvel DMG Senior Social Media Manager Adri Cowan.

Have feedback or questions? Email us at WomenOf@marvel.com, or tweet your questions and comments to @Marvel with the hashtag #WomenOfMarvel!

Read More

Who runs the world? Squirrels do in upcoming all-original novel!

Marvel.com is thrilled to give its readers an *exclusive* interview with three notable and bestselling authors Ryan North, Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, who all have something in common—SQUIRREL GIRL! With new and exciting Squirrel Girl adventures coming your way monthly by Ryan North, from Marvel Comics, and the Hales penning an all-original novel from Marvel Press called THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL: SQUIRREL MEETS WORLD (on sale now), now would be the perfect time to crack into what makes Doreen Green so unbeatably awesome!

Marvel.com: Who is Doreen Green to you, and why do you enjoy writing her?

Shannon Hale: She is a girl with a squirrel tail and squirrel powers, and she thinks that’s pretty awesome. You can’t help but agree with her. In our book, she’s in middle school, which is a time when I could really have used squirrel powers.

Dean Hale: She is humanity’s last best hope against nihilistic apocalypse. Also she is Tippy-Toe’s best friend, which means I get to write squirrel dialogue. I love squirrel dialogue.

Ryan North: In the Marvel comic she’s also a computer science student at university, so she’s got powers of both squirrel AND girl, and also computer scientist. Pretty unbeatable if you ask me, which is why it was such a relief when we put “unbeatable” on the cover. That way everyone was going into this with their eyes open!!

Shannon Hale: Truth in advertising is our number one goal.

Marvel.com: Because Squirrel Girl appeals to readers of all ages and genders, did you all listen to reader feedback while you wrote her storylines or does her voice just speak to you?

Shannon Hale: Personally my best prep for writing her was to read and reread Ryan’s comics. His voice is so good.

Dean Hale: ABSOLUTELY. Ryan and Erica’s book dials it right in. Because of course I don’t hear Squirrel Girl’s voice in my head talking to me always talking that would be crazy

Ryan North: AW YOU GUYS. To come up with how Doreen talked, I kept Erica Henderson’s art (she’s the artist on the book) up on a screen while I wrote. She’d just done different character sketches at that point – she didn’t even know what tone the book would have! – but even those had such character and personality to them that I just had to look at them and think “what would this person do in this situation?” and it really helped. We ended up putting those sketches on as a special variant cover for our 25th anniversary issue in January (25th anniversary of the character, I mean, we haven’t been writing these comics and novels for 25 years) (YET??)

Marvel.com: Ryan, have there been any story arcs that resonated with you, personally, or that you were adamant about tackling within the Squirrel girl comics?

Ryan North: The first arc was really special to me because (SPOILER ALERT FOR A 2 YEAR OLD COMIC) it’s the one where we meet Nancy, meet Doreen, and she goes up against Galactus. That was right there in my first pitch: that she’d defeat Galactus. She’s unbeatable, right? Let’s come out of the gate with the most unbeatable Marvel bad guy there is! It was also special for me because Nancy finding out Doreen’s secret identity wasn’t part of the story originally, it just happened organically when I realized that Nancy’s smart, she’d notice if there were two squirrels in a pink ribbon in her life all of a sudden. And that realization made Nancy and Doreen much closer (and helped me realize that Nancy’s superpower, if she has one, is seeing through people’s baloney), and now their relationship is one of my favourite parts of the book.

Marvel.com: Shannon and Dean, given that you had a nice volume of SG work to read through, did you find any challenges when it came to writing a character who was already “formed” in readers’ minds, and what will readers discover about her after reading your novel?

Shannon Hale: We got to write Doreen at age fourteen, just as she’s claiming her superhero identity. Basically we thought, who would Ryan’s and Erica’s Doreenl have been in middle school? They’d done so much great discovery into her character. It was a joy to play in that sandbox.

Dean Hale: It was perfect to have that target in mind and imagine up the kind of girl that could one day become the one we see in the comics now.

Marvel.com: Shannon and Dean, you also were able to add some meaningful characters into Doreen’s world. Can you talk a little about her parents and best friend Ana Sofia?

Shannon Hale: Doreen loves people, and so moving to a new town the first thing she does is hunt out both squirrel and human friends. She’s such an optimistic, outgoing, indomitable personality, we thought it’d be fun to pair her with someone who is introverted and somewhat prickly. Ana Sofía is a computer whiz, Mexican American, deaf, and completely unprepared for the storm that is Doreen Green. She’s also an openly huge fan of socks and a secretly huge fan of Thor. I loved writing Ana Sofía.

Dean Hale: Doreen’s parents are a huge part of the person she is, especially in a story that deals with her at a time when she’s still living at home. It was great fun reverse-engineering Doreen’s personality DNA to come up with people that would have created a home environment where a Being such as Squirrel Girl could form.

Ryan North: Can I jump in here? I LOVE ANA SOFÍA. Ever since I first read what Shannon and Dean wrote here I’ve wanted to at least give a shout out to Ana Sofía in the book, but I had to hold back because I couldn’t put her in the comic before she showed up in the book! It’d be like I was stealing her. But now the book is coming out REAL SOON and the world will know how great Ana Sofía is.

Shannon Hale: Wow that is so cool. It’s already amazing to get to write in the Marvel Universe, how much more amazing to get to add a character to the canon!

Marvel.com: Besides being unbeatable, what are some other attributes about Squirrel Girl that make her so special to write about and that you want young readers to resonate with?

Shannon Hale: She’s got powerful, thick thighs, and round cheeks, and big front teeth, and a big booty to boot (especially with her tail hidden in her pants)—and in middle school these are things that kids will mock. But Doreen is really okay with herself. I love that.

Dean Hale: There’s a creeping undercurrent of hope in everything she does and says that has a kind of therapeutic effect. After spending any length of time in her head, I find myself much more willing to believe that stuff IRL is going to be okay. Being a kid (and a non-kid) is hard, and I would love it if young (and old) readers could leave the book with a little of that hope in their lives.

Ryan North: She’s very empathic – good at seeing the world from the point of view of other characters – which I think is PROBABLY a good thing to have when you’ve got literal superpowers? She’s also great at kicking butts too, which is also great. So kicking butts and empathy are a fun combination that I think Doreen / Squirrel Girl show really well.

Marvel.com: For casual readers of comics or for parents who want to get their daughters and sons into them, do you have any comics recommendations or favorites within your household?

Shannon Hale: Well obviously start with Ryan’s Squirrel Girl comics. They really are All Ages—for kids, teens, and adults. Ms Marvel is fantastic for middle schoolers and teens. I also have a graphic novel I’m constantly recommending for younger readers: EL DEAFO by Cece Bell. Love!

Dean Hale: For older kids I often recommend the first trade of Runaways. Also Ultimate Spider-Man, both the old-school Bendis one and the new show tie-in comic. Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, too. Love that one.

Ryan North: I’d echo all those recommendations, and add on Hellcat from Marvel, Adventure Time comics from Boom! (I wrote those too, so uh, if you like Squirrel Girl you’ll probably like that – as well?), Calvin and Hobbes collections remain timeless and brilliant, and my friend Kean Soo did a book a few years ago called “Jellaby” about a girl who finds a monster in her back yard, feeds him a tuna fish sandwich, and they become friends. SUPER GREAt.

Marvel.com: What’s on your comic book TBR (To Be Read) pile right now?

Dean Hale: Mark Waid’s Champions, Margaret Stohl’s Captain Marvel, several issues of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Black Panther, and the second trade of Tom King’s Vision.

Shannon Hale: That’s my TBR too since we share the same TBR. I’m dying to read Margaret’s Captain Marvel. I love her. The character and the writer. I love both hers.

Ryan North: Hahaha I’ve got so much. I literally just came back from the library to pick up books I’d put on hold, and the holds pickup section is right next to the comics section, so every time I go I’m just pouring comic books into my hands almost at random. But I’m very excited for the (every award winning) book March by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, about the US Civil Rights movement – it’s been on my to-read pile for far too long and I can’t wait to dig in.

Readers can also check out these three authors on tour, which kicks off on February 7!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 – 7:00pm
(Shannon and Dean Hale only The King’s English)
1511 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 – 7:00 PM
B&N store #2984
Mira Mesa Market Center
10775 Westview Pkwy
San Diego, CA 92126

Thursday, February 9, 2017 – 7:00 PM
B&N store #2262
Clackamas Town Center
12000 SE 82nd Ave
Portland, OR 97086

Friday, February 10, 2017 – 7:00 PM
B&N store #2280
Northgate Mall
301 NE Northgate Way
Seattle, WA 98125

Read More

Join authors Shannon Hale, Dean Hale & Ryan North on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl book tour

Squirrel Girl fans of all-ages assemble! Join New York Times bestselling authors Shannon Hale, Dean Hale, and Ryan North on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl book tour!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 – 7:00pm
The King’s English
1511 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84105

Wednesday, February 8, 2017 – 7:00 PM
B&N store #2984
Mira Mesa Market Center
10775 Westview Pkwy
San Diego, CA 92126

Thursday, February 9, 2017 – 7:00 PM
B&N store #2262
Clackamas Town Center
12000 SE 82nd Ave
Portland, OR 97086

Friday, February 10, 2017 – 7:00 PM
B&N store #2280
Northgate Mall
301 NE Northgate Way
Seattle, WA 98125

Read More