GWENPOOL STRIKES BACK #5, out this Wednesday from Marvel Comics, is an issue that once again forces fans to say goodbye to one of their favorite characters. Gwenpool’s series is once again coming to an end, and it is a bittersweet moment.
Gwenpool Strikes Back was a fun and crazy series for the fans to jump into and enjoy. It was a blast seeing Gwen create so much chaos, pulling in icons from all over the Marvel Universe. All while showing off Gwen’s abilities and tendency to break the fourth-wall.
Along with providing us many opportunities for laughs, this series opened up a chance to talk about the elephant in the room: comic book sales. It’s so easy to forget that sales make a sense. But that’s a fact that Gwen made readers painfully aware of, all while she was questing to keep her series (and thus, herself) alive.
Gwenpool Strikes Back #5 concludes this fun and dynamic series, and there’s no doubt that it is full of bittersweet moments. Much like the last time Gwen had to conclude her series, she’s very much aware of the ending. And that gives her a unique opportunity to say goodbye. That is something that makes for laughter and tears.
Leah Williams did a delightful job of blending humor and bittersweet elements in this issue. It all starts out with fun and laughs – like one would expect. But then it gets alarming heavy and dark in no time. In a way, this intensity is something the fans deserved. It’s certainly the sort of tale that Gwenpool herself has earned, what with her quest to become something important to her readers. That opened the door to something…more.
There’s so much to love about this issue, especially for the die hard fans in the audience. Yes, there were also a lot of changes (which Gwen herself directly addresses), but those changes leave us with hope. And that’s something we should hold onto with both hands.
While it would be so easy to just talk about the whole issue, we can’t do that. So instead, here are the highlights: there are several laugh out loud moments. The sort where you’ll get funny looks if you’re reading this in public, so do consider yourself warned.
The conclusion itself is full of feels, of the bittersweet variety. Gwen has made something for herself here, thanks in part to the changes made. It felt like every author of Gwen’s (Christopher Hastings, Kelly Thompson, and Williams) lent a hand in creating this conclusion. And that made it feel right.
Naturally, with Gwenpool Strikes Back #5 being the conclusion to the series, we had high expectations for the artwork itself. It did not disappoint. The funny scenes would not have been the same, if not for the artwork showcasing them.
Likewise, Gwen’s goodbye felt right, thanks to the artstyle provided here. The sticky note scenes was an especially nice touch, for a variety of reasons. David Baldeon was the lead artist for this issue, and thus the reason behind much of the tone for it all. And he did an excellent job. Gwen’s expressions were one of the major highlights in this issue, as you’ll clearly see when you get towards the end.
Jesus Aburtov and Guru-eFX were in charge of the colors, and they were perfection. The color palette on the whole was fairly bright and cheerful, which is more or less what we’ve come to expect from Gwen’s series. However, they were also not afraid to make use of the white spaces on the page, which is both brilliant and ironic, given Gwen’s abilities.
VC’s Joe Caramagna did the lettering, and as per usual he did an excellent job. And that just leaves one more thing of note: the cover. You may have noticed that it’s a bit different than normal. That’s because this is an actual cosplay – done by a fan. It’s really cool to see the fandom getting a hat tip here, in the end of the series.
Gwenpool Strikes Back #5 was a powerful and moving ending. It’s the ending that Gwenpool herself deserved, alongside all of her fans. Hopefully this won’t be our final goodbye to this amazing character. But if it is, we’re almost okay with it, thanks to these events. Almost.