Gwen’s gambit for sales continues in GWENPOOL STRIKES BACK #3, out this Wednesday from Marvel Comics. Gwen is a force of chaotic energy, steamrolling her way through the Marvel Universe in her attempt to stay relevant.
Gwenpool has had a complicated history within Marvel Comics. Some fans loved her right off the bat. Others didn’t fall for her until Christopher Hastings picked up her series. Meanwhile, other comic readers just get her confused with Gwen Stacy. But that never slowed this girl down – not even for a minute.
Gwenpool Strikes Back is a miniseries focused on the one and only Gwenpool, aka Gwen Poole, and her fight to become famous, or at least slightly more well known, within the Marvel world. And she’s not afraid to drag other beloved characters into her battle. She’s already pounced on Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, and she even enlisted Deadpool for help. So what’s next?
As it turns out, she’s far from done. If anything, the third issue in the series ups the ante, with Gwen becoming painfully aware of everything that is at stake. And what she has to do in order to continue surviving. Mainly; she’s got to sell comics. Low sales are the death of many a series, and Gwen’s afraid of what that’ll mean for her character if she is again, relegated to team or cameo status.
Gwen’s fate has been placed firmly in the hands of Leah Williams, who has taken over writing the series. And it’s a task she’s having a bit of fun with. And who can blame her? It’s not every day you get to write for a wild, quirky, and fourth-wall-breaking character.
Previously, this series has been a load of laughs, even when it was making a more serious point (the argument about sales and fan loyalty). This issue turns the table, bringing the serious Gwen to the front. And Gwen is not a character afraid to fight dirty, especially when she’s cornered.
Gwenpool Strikes Back #3 quickly goes from a purely comical element to something significantly more intense. And it’s all courtesy of a realization made by Gwen. And her new tactic for becoming a hit series.
And frankly, it was refreshing to see this side of Gwen. It was an intensity bordering on insane, fueled by determination and desperation. But it was also a brilliant – if extreme – plan that Gwen came up with here.
The commentary running alongside Gwen’s plan brought everything to a whole new level and helped to lighten the mood slightly. It also highlighted the trials comic authors go through when they reference other much loved Marvel characters (and the hate that can get dumped on them for it). The honestly and quips were poignant, but also humorous. In short, it was perfect for Gwenpool.
David Baldeon’s lines were perfect for this issue, toeing the line between amusing and intense as needed. Meanwhile, Jesus Aburtov’s colors were brilliant – dynamic and bright, which is really a perfect fit for our pink-clad non-heroine. And finally, VC’s Joe Caramagna’s lettering got a chance to shine in this issue, with lots of thought bubbles, explanations, and Gwen-specific expletives.
The artists behind this issue had a lot to work with. But likewise, they also had a lot that they needed to pull off. It is no small feat to include over twenty Marvel characters into one issue, and do so in a way where each character is immediately identifiable. This task is even more complicated when said characters are outside of their typical garb. But the creative team did an excellent job here.
The portrayal of these characters was a source of entertainment, as were all of the exaggerated expressions stuffed within the pages. Gwen was the most over the top, but there were plenty of other moments to appreciate along the way.
Gwenpool Strikes Back only has two more issues left in this miniseries, so fans are forced to hope that it’ll be enough to kick up more interest in this insane character. On the bright side, that means that there are two more issues left for her to pull off more balmy stunts – plenty of time for a character such as this one.