Squirrel Girl is famous for one thing: Squirrels. Okay, two things: squirrels and absolutely wrecking Doctor Doom in her very first appearance. Doreen Green has been tussling with Doom once more in the latest arc of Unbeatable Squirrel Girl which culminated this week with a timey-wimey throwback to that 24-year-old duel.

Spoilers ahead for The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #5, by Ryan North, Erica Henderson, Rico Renzi, and Travis Lanham.

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Ever since The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl began with a new #1 for “All-New, All-Different” Marvel late last year—only its second #1 in 2015!—Doreen has been dealing with being stuck back in the 1960s, alongside a bunch of her fellow CompSci classmates from Empire State University. She quickly discovered that Doctor Doom was behind the plans to go back in time to meddle with history and take over the world with an army of Doom bots.

It’s been a fun romp, but the final battle between Doreen and Doom in USG #5 was a total highlight—and not just for some time manipulation shenanigans that would make Doctor Who blush with envy.

It turns out Doctor Doom’s whole time travel world domination plan was actually completely separate to the reason Doreen and her classmates were being sent back in time: another classmate discovered he had an incredibly specific time travel blaster that sent its targets back to the early ‘60s and erased them from history. Then, he started sending smart students back in time so his bad grades would go up. Nice one, dude.

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Doreen got to use the blaster to her advantage to fight Doom though. Realizing she couldn’t beat him alone, she zaps herself with the time gun, sending herself a few days back in time so she could bump into herself fighting Doom, zap her current self and past self back, and use it to duplicate an entire army of Squirrel Girls. It’s a bit confusing, but seriously, there was a chart and everything.

Clearer? No? TIME TRAVEL! Moving on.

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Squirrel Girl and her army pounce on Doom and overwhelm him with numbers. Sound familiar? It should... because that’s exactly how Doreen bested Doom in her very first appearance, way back in 1992's Marvel Super-Heroes #8.

Except without time travel. And instead of an army of Squirrel Girls, it was an army of squirrels. It’s a brilliant twist on one of the most hilarious and infamous battles in Marvel comics history. Made even better though, when the reference gets even more oblique:

Which is, of course, an outstanding reference to this:

Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, never stop being an absolute delight.


Contact the author at james.whitbrook@io9.com.