In one of the more off-beat bits of Marvel news, we learned late last summer that Freeform was bringing Marvel’s cult hero Squirrel Girl to the small screen on a series called ‘The New Warriors’. What’s interesting is that Squirrel Girl was never a member of the New Warriors in the comic book. How was this going to work? And which New Warriors were we talking about?
Well, now we know, via executive producer Kevin Biegel. It appears that this character mix will actually be an amalgamation of The New Warriors and the Great Lakes Avengers, a team that Squirrel Girl actually has been a member of in the comics.
Biegel broke down the characters and how they would work on the show. First up is the lead character herself.
Doreen Green (Squirrel Girl)
Squirrel Girl is the spunky fangirl and “wonderful heart of the show” with acrobat skills, superhuman strength and a cool squirrel tail. (She can also talk to critters including her sidekick, Tippy Toe.) “She is openly hopeful and earnest and sweet and optimistic, but smart and very determined that she can make a difference, too. She knows she’s great and if you’re not going to get on board with her, she’ll leave you in the dust.”
She will be joined by:
Craig Hollis (Mister Immortal)
The squad’s resident troublemaker and lothario, this guy can’t die — or at least that’s what he says — and is equally cocky and grumpy. “Craig is a little more jaded and saying things aren’t as rosy and the world isn’t as hopeful as you make it out to be.”
In the comics, Mister Immortal is the leader of the Great Lakes Avengers, a group usually played for laughs. Since this is a 30-minute sitcom, that fits.
Dwayne Taylor (Night Thrasher)
The masked dude is a local celebrity with his own YouTube channel but no actual superpowers. His parents were killed when he was younger, though he worries about his family’s wealth ruining his street cred. “Dwayne is the one who’s enterprising and really trying to figure out the business side of this entire thing,” Biegel says, “but at the same time he really does care about justice.”
Night Thrasher brought together the very first team of New Warriors, so it’s fitting that he is included. In more recent years, the team became reality TV stars, so the idea of making him a Youtuber works well and even slightly updates the concept a bit.
Speaking of original New Warriors…
Robbie Baldwin (Speedball)
A guy whose childhood was spent watching Quinjets take off from Avengers Tower, Speedball has the knack — though maybe not the greatest aim — for tossing kinetic balls of energy. Although immature and impulsive, “Robbie has these noble aspirations, but can’t quite figure out which one to pursue,” Biegel says.
Speedball was co-created by the great Steve Ditko and is sometimes the butt of jokes due to his name, which is slang for illegal drugs. It sounds like the show has simplified his somewhat. In the comics, he bounces around absorbing kinetic energy… he can bounce miles at times. During a dark period, following Civil War, Robbie became Penance a much more sinister character. But he has since reverted to the Speedball identity.
Zack Smith (Microbe)
A big guy with a sizable heart, Microbe communicates with germs, giving him telepathic-like qualities, though he leans on his pals to find extra confidence. “Zack literally is just looking for a connection: ‘Hey, maybe I can find a group of people I can hang out with,’ which is totally part of who you are in your 20s,” Biegel says.
Microbe was part of the team during the Civil War period and was killed alongside most of the team at that point.
Deborah Fields (Debrii)
Not only is she a low-level telekinetic trickster who has experienced serious personal loss due to the actions of superheroes, Deborah is also a proud, witty lesbian. “It’s not all about ‘Hey, I relate to the show because I want to have a squirrel tail,’ but ‘Hey, this is the story about someone who’s out as a lesbian and maybe it’s not that easy,’” Biegel says.
Debrii was introduced to the team during the “reality TV” phase along with Microbe, but was not among them when they were killed tracking down a group of incognito villains. She was known to be antagonistic, making fun of Microbe and bickering with Namorita (who is not on the show).
So there you have it. It appears the show is drawing most of its inspiration from ‘New Warriors’ volume 3, the version that introduced the reality TV theme. This iteration of the team kicked off in 2009. It may be taking more of a social media approach to update it.
Obviously missing are stalwarts like Firestar (whose rights are most likely lumped in with those of the X-Men at FOX), Justice (a.k.a. Vance Astrovik who is tied to ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ and therefore may be off the table for now), Nova (likewise, the Nova Corps are already in use in ‘GotG’), Namorita (the cousin of Namor the Submariner who has yet to be introduced in the MCU) and Rage (who was already used on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’).
‘New Warriors’ was ordered straight-to-series by Freeform (which is owned by parent company Disney) and joins ‘Cloak & Dagger’. Both shows are expected for 2018.
What do you think of this gathering of heroes? Will this sitcom take on the MCU mesh with what’s already out there– the movies, ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’, the Netflix shows?
Source: USA Today