Gwenpool Strikes Back #1 // Review
Gwenpool (alias of Gwendolyn Poole) is back! Though in her mind, she never truly left, just hid in the white space until she was needed again… it's complicated. Just rest assured that she breaks the fourth wall even more than her similar counterpart, Deadpool. Writer Leah Williams (War of the Realms: Giant Man) teams up with artist David Baldeón (Domino: Hotshots), colorist Jesus Aburtov (Jane Foster: Valkyrie, Domino), and VC's Joe Caramagna (X-Men: Phoenix-Warsong, Absolute Carnage) to bring Gwenpool back to her own story. Well, not her own story, she's still living in a comic book world and not her real world, but a brand new solo story of her very own.
As a "normal" human living in a comic book world, Gwen doesn't have any superpowers unless you count breaking the fourth wall and panel jumping. To earn her place in the Marvel Universe, she's determined to get her own superpowers. To do so, Gwen plans to go the route of Spider-Man and expose herself to some radiation. Being a real human being though, there's a good chance this may not go the way she wants.
The great thing about Gwenpool is she's absolutely ridiculous and over-the-top. She has the snark and costume of Deadpool, as well as the tendency to break the fourth wall and bug the living hell out of Spider-Man. While it would be easy to try and make her a Deadpool clone, Williams helps Gwenpool stand out by leaning into the ridiculousness that is the character. She explains her story via youtube "storytime" video (appropriately labeled "not clickbait"), dabs, crawls outside of the panels, and generally just has fun not taking herself seriously. Williams' clearly has a lot of fun writing the character, and it shows, making the story a great read.
There are so many fun art moments in this issue. Gwenpool the cartoon shark, Gwenpool flossing, her senior yearbook photo, and of course her adventure beyond the panels of the book itself. Between the ridiculous scenarios and creative panel use (and lack of panels) Baldeón and Aburtov go all out to make Gwen's return as funny as possible, while still making it look good.
Since her first adventure in The Unbelievable Gwenpool #0 (originally Howard the Duck volume 6 #1) Gwen has appeared on and off, as a member of the West Coast Avengers (until their book was canceled), again in Spider-Man: Deadpool #50, and she even fought in the War of the Realms. After all of her adventures, it's great to see Gwenpool in her own solo series, even if it's only five issues. This is a great place for new fans to get started with Gwenpool and for existing fans to get more Gwen content.