One, a squirrel in Norse mythology who runs up and down Yggdrasil spreading slanderous gossip to stir things up and cause chaos. The other, an unbeatable squirrel-themed superhero. Ratatoskr and Doreen Green/Squirrel Girl seemed destined to meet. It was even predicted by two readers’ letters in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Vol. 1) #3’s “Letters From Nuts” page before Ratatoskr appeared in issues #6-8! While Doreen listens and offers empathy, compassion, and friendship to everyone she meets, she and Ratatoskr didn’t hit it off…mainly due to her turning everyone in New York City against each other by whispering mean gossip in their ears as they slept. With the War of the Realms raging, Doreen and Ratatoskr would meet again, this time in The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #43-46. Their second meeting offers a surprisingly brilliant examination of how healthy friendships work! For Squirrel Girl and the Norse God of Chaos, tensions lead to tentative alliances which lead to remarkably healthy relationships all while running afoul of Frost Giants conquering North America via Canada.
The Doctor, the Master, and the Boundaries of Friendship
“Time Lords are friends with each other, dear. Everything else is cradle-snatching.” – Missy to the Doctor
The Doctor is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey, in the constellation of Kasterborous. All Time Lords possess the ability to regenerate, meaning when they are near death they are born again in a new body with a new personality while retaining their memories. Barring accidents or being killed again during regeneration, a Time Lord is essentially immortal. No matter how much I watch Doctor Who, I can’t fully comprehend that sort of life. I am a finite being so I can’t fathom traversing all of time and space for millennia. I love thinking about it! I love speculating about it! But I’ll never – no matter how long I ponder – fully understand what such a life would be like. As a result, I can never fully understand the Doctor’s relationship with the Master. The Master is another Time Lord, the Doctor’s childhood best friend who grew up to become one of their greatest enemies.