Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy opens today and the film is already banking well at the box office thanks to its Thursday midnight openings, which set a record for the month of August and for the year. The reviews and early buzz are also positive, proving that audiences are ready for live-action adaptations of wacky and weird Marvel comic book characters – including talking raccoons and trees.

Guardians offers just a sampling of the thousands of strange heroes and villains in the Marvel Comics library and we’re going to see more and more of them in the very near future. If Marvel’s trademarking efforts are anything to go by – and they usually are – then we might be meeting Squirrel Girl sometime soon as well.

Bleeding Cool noticed that early this month Marvel had filed a trademark for “Squirrel Girl” and upon closer inspection on the official United States Patent and Trademark Office website, we can see that it’s specific to printed mediums:

Paper and paper articles; cardboard and cardboard articles; printed matter; publications; books; photographs; portraits; paintings; stationery; office and school supplies; temporary tattoos; foam stamps; party bags; shopping bags

Theres no mention of digital, television or film and seems to be a case of Marvel setting up the character for near-future use and perhaps a larger role in the comics, or protecting the character legally. It also could be paving the way for Squirrel Girl (real name: Doreen Green) eventually popping up in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Squirrel Girl with Jessica Jones & Luke Cage

Although not a major character in Marvel Comics, and one that’s actually been absent for years at a time since she was created by writer Will Murray and artist Steve Ditko in the early ’90s, Squirrel Girl has strong ties to The Avengers and more importantly, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones who are both getting their own series on Netflix. Cage and Jones have a kid together and Green helps out as their nanny. If she’s joining the connected Marvel universe where these TV shows share the same space as the films, then it’s likely if we ever see her it’s going to be there first.

Squirrel Girl was also one of the more obscure characters that launch with the video game Marvel Heroes so Marvel’s not shy about using the unique character in their multi-medium empire. Squirrel Girl is stronger and faster than normal humans and has enhanced senses, and just like Falcon in the comics, can communicate with the animals she’s named after. Squirrel Girl introduction – yay or nay? Share your thoughts in the comments!

More: Marvel’s 4 Netflix TV Shows

Guardians of the Galaxy opens August 1, 2014, The Avengers: Age of Ultron on May 1, 2015, Ant-Man on July 17, 2015, Captain America 3 on May 6 2016, and unannounced films for July 8 2016 and May 5 2017, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 on July 28 2017, November 3 2017, May 4 2018, July 6 2018, November 2 2018 and May 3 2019.

Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes for your Marvel movie and TV news!

Source: Bleeding Cool, USPTO