Subject 29: Gwen Poole aka Gwenpool

I don’t think people believe me when I say GwenPool is my favorite book every month. But it’s true. Now I’m not trying to make a joke when I say “Gwen Pool is the best book you’re not reading.” but hey, nobody listened when the same thing was said about Wild C.A.T.S. 3.0 either. So I don’t expect my recommendation alone to win you over. 

This isn’t a pump and dump, GwenPool’s a book I really enjoy and believe in. I don’t much care if people start reading it, because clearly a book that sells an estimated 20K copies without the ratio variants is acceptable at Marvel… these days anyways. Issue #15 has been solicited so it doesn’t look like GwenPool is getting cancelled… yet.

There’s this misconception that Gwen Pool is just another Gwen Stacy thing. Not True, she’s Gwen Poole, there’s an e at the end and everything. So, no Stacy.

Another misconception is GP is some Deadpool knock off. Also not true. Yes, like Deadpool, she’s self aware of her predicament. She’s a girl who has been transported into the Marvel comic universe from our world… and sorta breaks the 4th wall. But that’s really it.

Gwen starts out as any of us would by testing the bounds of her new environment. If your were in the Marvel universe wouldn’t you blow some stuff up? Once she gets her bearings she’s less destructive than Deadpool.

How many of you ever dreamed of being in a comic book, fighting alongside Spider-Man or Batman? Don’t lie, we’ve all done it… Well, as kids of-course, because as adult, I think it’s called cosplay … not to knock on cosplayers. In GwenPool’s case, she owes a lot to them. Cosplayers dressing as her at cons is what gave her the chance to become more than just a snazzy variant cover.

She’s living that childhood dream… accept rather than Spider-Man, she’s hanging out with Batroc. No superpowers, no magic. Just a teenager armed with knowledge of every character in the Marvel universe and she’s in a comic book. Hate all you want, but that’s still pretty cool, like first Matrix movie cool. Think about it, for her it’s probably a lot like the Matrix and she’s Neo… I know right, Mind Blown!

Being the main character of her own book isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. While things typically go her way, not always. She’s quickly taken down a few pegs when she’s reduced to M.O.D.O.K’s henchmen. Along the way she meets Jane Foster Thor, Doctor Strange, Ms Marvel, Miles Morales. She fight’s Space Aliens, a Doombot, Modok, Blade….

I think what I really love about the series is how just when I think things are getting a little predictable, that all changes. Gwen Poole has actually evolved/matured in her first 13 issues. She understands there are consequences to her actions in the Marvel Universe. She does feel remorse and is striving to be a positive force in the MU rather than just another carefree killer.

Sadly, some of GP’s other appearances outside her own title haven’t gone so well. During Marvel’s Civil War II she skipped town because “C list super heroes like her always get killed off in crossover events.” Which lead to the rather unfortunate team-up in Rocket and Groot… that actually made me sad. Rocket and Gwen Pool team up could have been awesome! Yet it was severely lacking. Gwen Pool’s a hard character to write apparently… Unless you’re Christopher Hastings. She just sounds like a lunatic when other writers try.

Guess I should list out some GwenPool books and appearance, luckily there’s not a ton.

Deadpool Secret Secret Wars #2. GwenPool Variant Cover, first cover appearance.

Howard The Duck #1 Back up story part 1, first interior appearance.

Howard The Duck #2 Back up story part 2, her origin begins to unfold.

Howard The Duck #3 Back up story part 3.

GwenPool/Marvel Holiday Special #1 According to writer Christopher Hastings this was the first Gwen Pool story he wrote… even though it wasn’t the first published.

GwenPool #0 Reprinting the 3 part Howard the Duck back up story and the short from the Holiday special… so you could start with issue #0 through the latest issue if you’re just interested in reading it.
GwenPool #1 First Action Packed issue! With more than a few variant covers to choose from. I’m partial to a few of the covers myself.

GwenPool #2 She meets/battles Thor.

GwenPool #3 She meets Doctor Strange and some more origin stuff.

GwenPool #4 GwenPool vs Modok.

GwenPool #5 -6  2 part Mile Morales team-up.

GwenPool #7-10. GwenPool: Head of M.O.D.O.K story arc. She battles Space Aliens, a Doombot and the NYC police department.

GwenPool #11 Meets/Fights Blade.

GwenPool #12 GwenPool in Murderworld pt1.

GwenPool #13 Deadpool vs GwenPool in Murderworld pt2! And if that’s not enough, the Venomized cover would be the first “Gwenom Pool” appearance… assuming a Gwenom Pool ever makes an actual interior appearance it could be sought after… plus it’s just a friggin cool cover!

Rocket and Groot #8-10 Some character that vaguely resembles GwenPool battles against Rocket and Groot. They team up towards the end of the arc.

GwenPool Holiday Special Merry Mix Up. The Diehard homage cover is pretty cool, if you can afford one.

I do think issue #13 is worth a look for people who’ve never read a GwenPool comic before. It’s probably not the best jumping on point, but it’s a pretty good snapshot as to what the series is like.

I can’t lie. There was a time when I would have hated GwenPool. If something like GwenPool was out in the mid to late 80’s or 90’s I would have thrown all the shade in the world at it too.

Just for a point of reference. I read Tim Vigil and David Quinn’s Faust before I read Watchmen. I read lots of indy books… Mostly ones I should never have been able to get my hands on.

Now that i’m older, everything doesn’t have to be death, gloom and doom. It’s ok to laugh once in a while… if mentioning Faust and Gwen Pool in the same article can’t make you crack a smile … well… I just don’t know. Seriously though, don’t even get me started on the comparisons between GwenPool and Faust. There’s more than a few.

Should you be investing in it? Probably not. I’ll level with you. If you’re not interested in reading it, why tie up money in it?

Gwen Pool makes me laugh, it’s a cute book and that’s a good enough reason to keep reading it.

Till Next Time…

16 comments

  • Nice article…I totally agree with you.

  • jason jones

    This article almost makes me want to read it…almost 😎

  • Gwenpool is one of my favorite characters. I’m in the minority but I love reading comics that give me lots of laugh or have childish humor. Love this series and I’m sticking with it.

    • Skot Whitman

      I find the issues not illustrated by GURIHIRU to be a little rough going at times. Their art really helps embellish the humor and fun of Hastings writing. I laugh out loud almost every issue.

      • Iñigo

        If there’s anything putting me off from this series is the art, I really don’t like it at all. However, I did enjoy the Deadpool team-up so I might give it a try.

        Awesome article as always, Skot!

        • Skot Whitman

          You’re not the first person to say that Inigo. “Anime style” isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. I think it’s definitely limited the ability for some people to get into the book… and the use of the color pink lol

  • That Gwenpool # 1 Campbell (Paris variant) is fantastic !

  • Gwenpool4President
    Gwenpool4President

    Bravo!

    She is a normal comic book reader that gets sucked into that world of comics. There is something very accessible and yet ultimate fan fantasy about the whole thing. I’ve compared her series to the Disney movie ‘Frozen’, because it is like a Super Hero comic, but with everything a few degrees off. Every trope, every cliche, and every plot twist is just slightly different than what you would expect. Christopher Hastings balances goofy fun and actual heartfelt moments amazingly well. It is a crazy good read, ignore those that poo-poo it before even trying it.

    Gwenpool has appeared in the Contest of Champions game, so there might be some push for her from Marvel. Her series has the first appearance of Mega Tony, Terrible Eye (Issue #2), and Cecil (Issue #2). For what it may or may not be worth down the road. Clearly, I am biased, but I can realistically see her becoming a much bigger force in the Marvel Universe.

  • Gwenpool4President
    Gwenpool4President

    *Cecil’s 1st appearance is Issue #1

  • vanix

    Great article. Nice to get some insight on the character and series!

  • Gwenpool 🙂

  • This and the fix are my two favorite series currently. Like you said I love gloom and doom as much as the next guy but I genuinely think this is the best book marvel is putting out right now. They finally found a new character that they can tell different stories with and what marvel needs most right now is a change of pace!

  • Great article!

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