THe UnbeLieVabLe gWenpOOL
Pool of talent
released OUT NOW! Publisher Marvel Comics
Writer Christopher Hastings Artist Gurihiru
Gwenpool is the latest in a line of comics never meant to be actual comics. There was Spider-Gwen, a one-off paralleluniverse story where Peter’s love interest Gwen Stacy has the spider-powers, and DC Bombshells, a series of retro WWII-style pin-ups reimagining DC’s heroines. In both cases the audience said that, actually, they’d buy those comics. In the wake of Spider-Gwen, Marvel did variant covers of various heroes as Gwen Stacy. Deadpool became Gwenpool. What larks! But actually, she looks awesome. Could you make that a thing? And all these comics are female-led. Almost as if there’s an underserved market crying out for books reflecting their tastes, isn’t it?
That’s how Marvel came to be publishing two unrelated books with “Gwen” in the title. And this one’s terrific. Gwen Poole is an eccentric young woman who comes from a universe where Marvel characters are… comics characters. She has no superpowers but she does know everyone’s secrets, because she’s been reading their comics, and she sets out to become a costumed mercenary.
So far, so meta. But the book doesn’t ponce around waiting for you to tell it how clever it is – it’s fast and funny. The art team Gurihiru is doing stunning work, combining cuteness (especially when it comes to Gwen herself, who’s guilelessly sweet even when punching someone into a furnace), oddness and violence. And as the series goes on it feels like writer Christopher Hastings is giving it greater depth. It’s a real oddity, but it could shape up into something special. Eddie Robson
Hastings is best known for long-running webcomic The Adventures Of Dr McNinja. Read it at: http://bit.ly/drmcninja.
Gwenpool: Like Deadpool, but with more pink.