She Has A New Hat: North, Henderson and Moss Talk the New ‘Unbeatable Squirrel Girl’ #1 [Exclusive]
It feels like just a few short months ago that Marvel's series Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson launched to near-universal acclaim and widespread popularity. That's because it was just a few months ago. It launched in January.
But hey, guess what? As revealed on Sunday at the Women of Marvel panel at San Diego Comic-Con, the series is starting anew in October! But don't worry; it'll look much the same as it did. The creative team will still be there, editor Wil Moss will still be steering the ship, and all your favorite characters will stick around!
So what's changing, besides Squirrel Girl now being a card-carrying member of the Avengers? We talked to North, Henderson and Moss to get to the bottom of this relaunch, to ask about some of her future enemies, and to find out how similar Squirrel Girl is to the greatest work of our time, Saved by the Bell.
ComicsAlliance: Relaunching with a new #1 means something about the book has to change, right? A bold, new direction? So what's changing in Squirrel Girl's life? Is she moving under the ocean? Will she discover that she's been Guinea Pig Woman all along? New hat?
Erica Henderson: Okay, she totally gets a new hat, and don't get me wrong, she loved it when it came in the mail, but then she just never got a chance to wear it. It always seemed like it was too formal and now it's summer and it's waaay too hot, so maybe in a few months?
Ryan North: See? Even the unseen hats have backstories in our comic. This is a well-fleshed-out universe. Beyond the hat, she's also starting up a new year of school, moving off campus, and fighting a HYDRA cyborg. So, a pretty typical Tuesday for Squirrel Girl, really.
Wil Moss: Hate to be the company stooge here, but also we wanted to give people who’ve heard all the great buzz about the series a nice clean jumping-on point. Ryan and Erica are committed to making sure the new #1 is welcoming to new readers, fresh and exciting for existing readers, and just tons of awesome for all readers.
CA: One thing that the solicit copy does say is that Squirrel Girl is going to be an Avenger now. When she encountered a group of Avengers in issue #7, she had to knock them around a little. Will there be some lingering hard feelings?
EH: They were under evil squirrel influence. It's all cool.
RN: Plus, when you're defeated by Squirrel Girl you get to join a very exclusive club, one that has members like Wolverine, M.O.D.O.K., and Galactus in it! So really it's an honor. Right?
CA: "Unbeatable" is really the perfect title adjective for Doreen, but did you consider changing it since this is technically a new volume of the book? According to thesaurus.com, some possibilities include: "Insurmountable," "Pertinacious" and "Obstinate." The Pertinacious Squirrel Girl rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?
EH: Matt. No.
RN: Wait, is it too late to change my answer to the first question? I want her to realize she's been "the Pertinacious Prairie Dog Woman" all along.
WM: Ryan. No.
CA: In all seriousness, though, you've all done an amazing job setting up a supporting cast in the series so far. We know Tippy-Toe and Nancy will still be around, but what about Chipmunk Hunk and Koi Boi? They'll still be there too, right?
EH: Oh yeah, they'll be there, at least until they all finish their bachelors.
RN: Erica, why are you looking ahead to such sad moments as when everyone finishes their degree and goes off to do other things? That is the moment when friendships change forever. The only way to avoid it is to pull a Saved By The Bell: The College Years move, where in the last episode of the regular TV show all the kids are looking forward to the prestigious universities they've been accepted to, and when the new show starts they're all somehow at the same crappy university, and nobody talks about it, and everyone tries to put on a brave face, and the high school experience never ends for these characters and they're trapped in an unending adolescent twilight from which there can be no escape. And that's the worst.
So yeah, this is all to say that they're only in second year so far and they're all still hanging out.
EH: Ryan. We're already at the university years. Next we get to watch them try to get jobs in their fields in the current economic climate that will still allow them to live in New York. Fun Fact: In order to do that, they'll all have to live in the same apartment! See? Writes itself.
RN: Dang, Erica! You just solved a problem we were going to hit three years down the road into our 15-year run on the title, and did it like it wasn't even a big deal. Nicely done. Okay everyone, crisis averted! Squirrel Girl roommate hijinks can continue indefinitely.
WM: Hang on, hang on, I’m still thinking about what Squirrel Girl: The New Class would be like. Maybe the Screech role would be Tippy-Toe and Principal Belding would be…Dean Kraven?
CA: I want to pursue that, but it'd be the entire rest of the interview, so let's move on. One of Squirrel Girl's calling cards has been defeating the most overpowered characters in the Marvel U: Dr. Doom, Thanos, MODOK. And y'all put her up against Galactus. Who could possibly be a bigger enemy for her to take on in the new volume?
EH: I haven't read the script yet, so I'm just going to make some guesses. Eternity (or Infinity). Living Tribunal. A Celestial? I was going to say Beyonder, but Ben Grimm takes him in the ring in an Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation match.
RN: I want her to take on the Living Tribunal, and she pulls that sheet of his head, and reveals that instead of a fourth face we all assumed he'd been hiding, he has... a squirrel tail. BAM. INSTANT CLASSIC.
BRB, gotta go edit Squirrel Girl issue one real quick.
CA: Another fun feature of the series has been Squirrel Girl's cool costume variations, from the Iron Squirrel armor to her suit made out of squirrels. Anything on the horizon you can tell us about in that arena?
CA: Let's wrap up by settling the question everyone will be asking: The new series will include just as much, if not more, computer programming talk, won't it? Won't it?
EH: That's all it's going to be about.
RN: My goal is for a complete collection of Squirrel Girl comics to be equivalent to a CS bachelor degree. Now there's a comic that increases in value!