Marvel's next big event comic book, War of the Realms, begins this April - but for the the first time ever, Squirrel Girl is joining the fray.
Be warned. No, we're serious.
Squirrel Girl, who Marvel's Executive Editor Tom Brevoort once told Newsarama was precluded from events due to her power and tenacity, will be tying into War of the Realms with April's Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #43. And just as the iconic formation of the Avengers was a result of Loki's scheming, Doreen Green's event debut is also down to the god of mischief.
Newsarama spoke with Unbeatable Squirrel Girl series writer Ryan North about this tongue-in-cheek (or would it be tail-in-cheek?) tie-in he' sdoing with artist Derek Charm, how it all comes about, and how it fits into his long-running story for the series.
Newsarama: Ryan, this is it - Squirrel Girl is wading into this year's big Marvel event, War of Realms. Tom Brevoort has openly said many Marvel events would be much shorter had Doreen been around to put a stop to it - what is the straw that broke the camel's back to bring her in here?
Ryan North: Yeah, that's one of the reasons we'd kept her out of them before now! It wasn't fair to all the other characters. Gotta give them a chance, you know? But with this story we saw a way to bring Squirrel Girl in that was organic and felt like "a Squirrel Girl story" rather than just "a cross--promotional tie-in story," you know?
One of my goals with the book has always been accessibility: if Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is the only comic you're reading, I never want you to feel lost. So that precludes a lot of the standard way of doing events or crossovers, but with this one involving Loki and Asgard, it felt like a really natural way to bring the book in. We've already spent time with a lot of the major players here, and there was lots of room to put a SG spin on the event.
Nrama: So how would you describe Squirrel Girl's relationship with Loki?
North: They're in this interesting space where they both have the same best friend, but don't really know each other that well - it's Nancy Whitehead that connects them the most. So Loki wants to be friends with her - because that would make things simpler and also make Nancy happy - but of course Loki's not used to this sort of situation. And it can always be tricky when you try to merge friend groups.
Nrama: So Loki is recruiting Doreen for a secret mission - is he on the up-and-up with her, or is this another scheme of his?
North: Loki's - he's trying, man. He's doing his best, but old habits die hard.
Nrama: Let's circle back to Nancy, who is kind of what this all revolves around. How does it all fit?
North: This story starts in the Negative Zone, where Doreen and Nancy are visiting her duplicate from the OGN Squirrel Girl Beats Up The Marvel Universe - so that's where Nancy and SG's other friends are! This keeps them out of danger, which is always a plus when you don't like it when your friends get stepped on by Frost Giants.
Nrama: As we said before, this is Squirrel Girl's first big event crossover ever - what's it like for you?
North: Fun! It's trickier because there's more moving parts, and you want everything to click together in a satisfying way with everything else in the event, but it's been fun working that out. Plus it means they shared the event plot with me, so now I know all the secrets of who lives and dies! I liked the part of finding the moments in the overall story where SG could fit in and make things better.
Nrama: So for Squirrel Girl, any big Marvel events in the past you think she could have turned the tide? How would she have changed, for instance, Infinity Gauntlet?
North: Every version of that story would've been over in five minutes if Squirrel Girl were in it. This is canon.
Nrama: [Laughs] I'll quote you on that.
Last question - what are your big goals with this?
North: Same as every issue: simply to tell a good Squirrel Girl story! With the large scale of the event we're going places we haven't gone before, which is exciting, and I'm hoping that since it's connected to an event, people who might not already be reading Unbeatable Squirrel Girl will check it out. We've got talking squirrels and a brain in a jar on a robot body. If you're not reading it, you're missing out!