Posted by Don MacPherson on December 18th, 2011
Squirrel Girl, a rare 1990s creation of the legendary Steve Ditko (along with writer Will Murray), was clearly meant to be a cute character from the start. Some might view as a joke, others as an endearing tribute or even satirical comment on the campiness of the Silver Age. She’s been a relatively obscure character, popping up from time to time, but lately, the character’s profile has been significantly boosted by writer Brian Michael Bendis’ decision to incorporate her into the cast of New Avengers, not as a member of the team, but as a superhuman nanny to the infant daughter of Avengers Luke Cage and Jessica Jones.
Since this boost in visibility, readers have “learned” a lot more about her, in that Marvel writers have started tossing out little tidbits of her history, perhaps the most significant of what was this nugget…
Above sequence from New Avengers v.2 #7
… that Squirrel Girl and Wolverine have a history. Making a D-list (or lower) character a part of Wolverine’s ever-mysterious past is a sure-fire way to amp up interest in that character. The overall tone of the scene seems to suggest she and Wolverine were once lovers. The body language artist Stuart Immonen instills in the characters in the scene certainly reflects a kind of awkwardness that might arise when two people who were once intimate only to part ways on a sour note unexpectedly encounter one another again.
Writer Jason Aaron and artist Daniel Acuna created further support for the notion of a past sexual connection between the two characters with a sequence in Wolverine earlier this year:
Above sequence from Wolverine #8
Here, we see a buxom Squirrel Girl inhabiting a prominent place in Logan’s subconscious. I suppose one could argue this limits Squirrel Girl to only a fantasy of his, rather than an actual sexual “conquest.” It’s likely he hasn’t had sex with all of the women in his sexual-fantasy room; there’s been no suggestion he’s bedded Jessica Jones, for example (see in the above scene in her Jewel costume). Still, it stands to reason some of deeply seeded fantasies have come true, while others remain wishful thinking.
So why is this relevant? Well, in the most recent issue of New Avengers, I spotted the following paragraph on the synopsis page:
Above text from New Avengers v.2 #19
The description of Squirrel Girl as a teenage heroine is a new one, as far as I can determine. In a previous issue’s synopsis, Squirrel Girl is referred to as an “arboreal hero,” not a teenage hero. Even taking the most liberal definition of “teenager,” that would make Squirrel Girl, in continuity as it stands now, 19 years of age at the most. To be realistic, though, most people wouldn’t refer to a 19-year-old as a teenage girl. So we’re faced with the prospect of Squirrel Girl being in her mid-teens. And judging from the tone of the first scene pictured above, it’s been some time since Squirrel Girl and Wolverine have crossed paths.
Of course, it’s possible the synopsis from New Avengers could be in error — unless one considers the following sequence from early on in the same issue:
Above sequence from New Avengers v.2 #19
The scene tells the reader a couple of things. One is the fact Daredevil is uncomfortable with someone of such a young age coming onto him, serving as another cue of Squirrel Girl’s tender age. The other is the choice of words. “Do you have a girlfriend?” is something a young girl would ask of someone in which she’s interested. An adult woman being this forward would likely be more… overt, or would at least ask about a wife, not a girlfriend.
Of course, the notion Bendis intended to suggest such a sleazy element in Wolverine’s unknown back story is hard to accept. It’s likely the product of poor communication, poor editing and poor decisions about what to do with a cute, footnote of a character in Marvel’s stable of thousands of properties.
I certainly hope so, anyway.
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