Squirrel Girl (secret identity: Doreen Green, computer science major) was introduced as a character by Marvel in a 1992 Iron Man (included in the back of this volume, which was fun). The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is her first time starring in her own comic series. Squirrel Girl’s superpower is that she has squirrel blood and is part squirrel. This means she can talk to squirrels and use them to assist her in fighting bad guys, has a tail, loves nuts, etc.
Something that I didn’t notice while I was reading the graphic novel, but only looking back on it, is that she never actually fights a bad guy. Squirrel Girl “fights” Kraven the Hunter, Whiplash, and Galactus, but she never fights any of them; she talks them out of whatever they were planning to do. Squirrel Girl convinces Kraven that he should be off hunting the world’s biggest, meanest, most dangerous game instead of her. She is attacked by Whiplash because he thinks she’s Iron Man, but manages to escape and trap him with an army of squirrels. Squirrel Girl uses her computer science skills to locate a planet more delicious than Earth for Galactus to attack instead. Squirrel Girl outwits villains instead of relying on brute force (even though she is super-strong). Even for an unnamed bank robber, she flees the scene and calls on some squirrels to form an empty squirrel suit to fight him.
Squirrel Girl talks a lot throughout this comic. Almost every page is filled with her dialogue, and it has very few action-filled, fight scenes (I think are) typical of most superhero comics. Again, this is an effort to evoke an image of a chattering squirrel as her superpower. Doreen is an excellent model for showing kids that they don’t need to resort to violence to solve their problems and encouraging people everywhere to sit down and talk things out.