INTERVIEW: Ryan North on Squirrel Girl's Journey to the Forbidden Pla-Nut

Squirrel Girl (AKA Doreen Green) has faced some of the Marvel Universe's most dangerous villains. So she's not about to let a little thing like a light years-long journey across space get her down, especially if it's to rescue her dear friends Nancy Whitehead and Tippy who are stranded on a dangerous planet. That's the situation in December's Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27 where writer Ryan North and artist Erica Henderson will kick off a new Marvel Legacy arc titled “The Forbidden Pla-Nut.”

Squirrel Girl is incredibly resourceful, but she knows she'll need help conducting a cosmic rescue mission. So she'll enlist the aid of a number of guest stars including the new Sorcerer Supreme, Loki. North spoke exclusively with CBR about teaming Squirrel Girl with Loki, some of the other characters his protagonist will encounter on her cross cosmos journey, and the four legged support supporting cast member that will play a pivotal role in the new arc.

CBR: Ryan, in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27 you and Erica [Henderson] kick off a new Legacy arc titled "The Forbidden Pla-Nut." I understand the titular planet in question is a locale that Doreen's friends Nancy Whitehead and Tippy suddenly find themselves stranded on. What can you tell us about this planet and the beings that live there?

Ryan North: Here's my SPOILER-FREE answer: it is a planet that has intersected with Squirrel Girl and her friends in the past, and it's back in a big way. Here's my SPOILER-FULL answer, encoded in rot 13 so people will only be able to read it if they really want to!

Uryyb! Pbatenghyngvbaf ba qrpbqvat guvf ebg13 zrffntr ol unaq, nf V pna bayl nffhzr lbh qvq, naq qrsvavgryl qvqa'g whfg Tbbtyr "ebg13 jung vf vg naq ubj gb znxr vg tb njnl orpnhfr V jnag gb xabj Fdhveery Tvey frpergf cyrnfr" naq pyvpx ba gur svefg erfhyg Naljnl, erzrzore onpx va bhe irel svefg nep jura Fdhveery Tvey naq Gvccl-Gbr oebhtug Tnynpghf gb n aba-Rnegu cynarg gb rng? Naq vg jnf shyy bs ahgf? Jryy, vg gheaf bhg gung cynarg unq na bjare, naq gurl'er abg fhcre guevyyrq jvgu jung unccrarq...

[Laughs] In the past we've talked about how much of the humor in Unbeatable Squirrel Girl comes from little things artist Erica Henderson adds into her art that weren't necessarily in the script. So what was it like designing this new cosmic focused arc with her?

North: The most exciting thing, that is being revealed here for the FIRST TIME, is that Squirrel Girl gets a new outfit. She's gonna be fighting evil in space, and you got to dress to impress for that!

This was 100% Erica's idea, as is all the fashion in the book. There was only one scene where I described what the characters were wearing (it was the travel clothes when they took a plane to the Savage Land) and even then Erica enhanced it up some. She's amazing, and I love when people notice how fashionable Doreen and Nancy are, because it's TRUE. I love that our characters are real people who have more than one set of clothes in their closet.

So yeah, new Squirrel Girl costume! Plus a whole new world full of fun (secret) aliens, but I don't wanna reveal too much about that just yet.

Will "Forbidden Pla-Nut" primarily focus on Doreen's efforts to get to Tippy and Nancy? On Tippy and Nancy's efforts to survive this alien world? Or a bit of both?

North: Bit of both! The first issue of the arc splits its time between the two sets of characters, and the crises that result from them being separated and trying to get back together. I will say this: it involves Mew, Nancy's cat. And it involves Squirrel Girl doing everything she can in her power -- and that's a lot -- to find her missing friend.

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