Squirrel Girl and Ratatoskr’s Guide to Awesome Friendships, Boundaries, and Chaos

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.

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Jane Foster: Valkyrie – Glimpsing Transcendence in Death

The centerpiece of Jason Aaron’s epic seven year run writing Thor: God of Thunder/The Mighty Thor/Thor was Jane Foster lifting Mjölnir when the Odinson found himself unworthy to do so.  She became Thor, the Goddess of Thunder, and the stories that followed were the best Thor comics I’ve ever read.  It may be the best executed single story arc I’ve ever ready in any comic ever.  When the Odinson eventually reclaimed his title as the God of Thunder, Jane returned her focus to her civilian life, medical career, and – most importantly – fighting the cancer raging inside her.  However, her superhero career was far from over and the stories Jane Foster now finds herself in (written first by Jason Aaron and Al Ewing and now by Jason Aaron and Torunn Grønbekk) dance along the mysterious, wonderous, frightening, sacred threshold that is the dividing line between life and death. Continue reading

Thor’s Day Salutes: The Thor Comics I Fell In Love With

I’m back with another installment in this (clearly random in occurrence (but c’mon…the school year is back (and that means grading and lesson planning (so blogging itself becomes more random (to make room for other obligations))))) series saluting my love of Thor as I continue to get excited for Thor: Ragnarök.  As makes total sense to yours truly, there’s really no better day of the week to celebrate Thor than on the day named in his honor.  So let’s celebrate Thursday by remembering it literally means Thor’s Day and looking at why Thor comics captivated me as a kid! Continue reading