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Meta-Messages – Squirrel Girl Tries to Show Penance the Error of His Ways…

by  in Comic News Comment

All October long I will be exploring the context behind (using reader danjack’s term) “meta-messages.” A meta-message is where a comic book creator comments on/references the work of another comic book/comic book creator using the characters in their comic. Each time around, I’ll give you the context behind one such “meta-message.” Here is an archive of the past installments! If you have a suggestion for a future meta-message, e-mail me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com.

Today, based on a suggestion from reader Paul L., we look at how Fabian Nicieza and Dan Slott used Squirrel Girl to poke some fun at the changes made to Speedball following Civil War.

Early in 2006, Marvel did a series of cute romance one-shots featuring their characters. In one of them, written by Fabian Nicieza, Squirrel Girl (who has a big crush on Speedball) has a moment with her crush…



Well, less than two months after this one-shot came out, Civil War #1 was released and Speedball was involved in a fight with the villain Nitro (who was pumped up with Mutant Growth Hormone from the new evil head of Damage Control, so his powers were greatly amplified) that resulted in Nitro exploding, killing most of Speedball’s teammates and a large chunk of Stamford, Connecticut.

Speedball was driven by the pain of these events to devise a new costume designed to constantly punish him for the deaths of the innocents in the battle…


He felt he had to do penance for their deaths, so in Civil War: Front Line #10 (written by Paul Jenkins, although I am unsure if the change was Jenkins’ idea or not), he took the new name of…



So in 2007, Fabian Nicieza and Dan Slott got together to write a Deadpool/Great Lakes Initiative Summer Special, and Deadpool decided to take the opportunity to let Squirrel Girl know about Front Line #10…


Squirrel Girl then goes to confront Robbie, in an extended sequence where Nicieza and Slott use Squirrel Girl to make fun of some of the odder aspects of Robbie’s story…



Funny stuff.