In just released The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, Doreen Green is a perfectly normal teenage girl, except she has the powers of a squirrel, has a beautiful big squirrel tail and can speak Chitterspeak. After moving, she struggles with making friends (and with hiding her amazing tail from the kids at her new school). Then, on the day Doreen uses her powers to stop some troublemakers, everyone is suddenly talking about her and Squirrel Girl is born! We caught up with authors Shannon Hale (The Princess Academy series, The Goose Girl) and Dean Hale (The Princess in Black) to learn more about Squirrel Girl’s basic and undeniable awesomeness.
What do you love most about Squirrel Girl? (We know this is hard. There’s a lot to love here!)
SH: Her optimism! She is unbeatable and part of that is she just knows that she’s awesome.
DH: I love her out-of-the-box thinking. That and showing how you can be tough without being dark and murderous. For Squirrel Girl, unhappiness and rage are not prerequisites to power.
Yes! She has a strong sense of justice and is powered by a heart of gold! Given that, what was your favorite thing about writing Squirrel Girl?
SH: The humor! I love writing comedy, and Squirrel Girl allows us to write kickbutt superhero scenes and funny scenes in the same book.
DH: Being able to dip into that deep, deep well of squirrel angst was very cathartic. And funny. I meant funny. Yes. The humor. Just like Shannon said. That was my favorite, too.
There is something unapologetically joyful and fun about Squirrel Girl! If you were allowed to borrow one of her superpowers, which one would it be and why?
SH: Leaping! I want to leap around like that with her amazingly strong legs.
DH: I’m with you there. Though having a squirrel army is a close second.
Her squirrel army is pretty awesome. And they’re instrumental in helping her connect with some of our favorite Marvel characters! So, which Marvel character would Squirrel Girl be most excited to meet in person?
SH: I think she’s a big fan of She-Hulk. Big. Green. Strong. Smart. Who wouldn’t be? And she and Rocket would get along swimmingly. The character who would be most excited to meet Squirrel Girl is probably Deadpool. Pretty sure he’s her #1 fan.
DH: Oh, definitely. I also think she and Gwenpool would be buds despite the difference in their moral frameworks.
That would be fun to see! Now we know Squirrel Girl is unbeatable, but if any one Marvel universe character had a shot at it, who would it be?
DH: I’ll cheat and say this got answered for us in the SQUIRREL GIRL BEATS UP THE MARVEL UNIVERSE graphic novel. She herself (or a clone of her) has the best chance of beating her. Other than that, only TIME ITSELF, for that defeats us all…
There are so many Marvel-worthy visual scenes in this book. Which scene would you most like to see attempted in a “mannequin challenge?”
SH: The epic squirrels vs. robots battle for sure. Can you imagine all those squirrels holding still for a mannequin challenge? The awesomeness would break the world.
Yes, it would!