The era of eating nuts and kicking butts is coming to an end. The AV Club reports that The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, the Eisner Award-winning adventures of a girl with the powers of a squirrel, will end later this year with its 50th issue. The news accompanies an interview with series writer Ryan North, artists Derek Charm and Rico Renzi, and editor Wil Moss, in which the team reflects on their experiences with Squirrel Girl and her friends, and the impact the series has had. The article notes that the end of the series is not a cancellation, and was a choice made by North, Charm, and Moss.
In a thread on Twitter about the news, North noted the somewhat astonishing fact that The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is currently Marvel’s highest-numbered non-Star Wars series:
Your support of Squirrel Girl turned a book about a character everyone thought was a joke into a New York Times bestselling, Eisner-winning all-ages series that’s Marvel’s highest-numbered book outside of Star Wars. WHAT. WHAT EVEN IS THAT. <3
— RYAN RULZ OK (@ryanqnorth) May 23, 2019
The creative team of North, original series artist Erica Henderson, and colorist Renzi launched (and re-launched) The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl back in 2015. The series has followed Doreen Green, a computer science student at Empire State University and the titular Squirrel Girl, and her group of friends, which include her faithful squirrel sidekick Tippy Toe, her human best friend Nancy Whitehead, fellow superheroes Koi Boi and Chipmunk Hunk, and Brain Drain, a disembodied brain in a robot body who’s just trying to navigate the existential terror of reality.
While never a huge seller in single issues, The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl found enough success in collected editions to keep the monthly series going. The success of the collections with younger readers also spawned an original graphic novel from North and Henderson, and has led to Squirrel Girl branching out into other media. A long-simmering New Warriors television project is reported to center around Squirrel Girl, and the character has also starred in a pair of YA prose novels, and is featured prominently in cartoons and toys related to the Marvel Rising initiative.
The series, drawn by Charm following Henderson’s departure with issue #31, is currently in the middle of a War of the Realms tie-in storyline, the title’s first tie-in to a major Marvel event. A four-issue storyline will follow, taking the series to its conclusion.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl has been a big-hearted haven from overblown event comics and brooding tales of moral ambiguity. Squirrel Girl may be one of the few remaining superheroes who’s not driven by some dark tragedy in her past – she’s just a good person, and she looks for the goodness in everyone, resolving conflicts non-violently where possible, and kicking butts only as a last resort. The world needs Doreen Green, and I hope she’s not gone for long.
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #50 is due in stores later this year.
Joe Grunenwald is a writer and editor living in the Pacific Northwest. He’s taller than a lot of people but not as tall as some people.