GWENPOOL STRIKES BACK #1 / Writer: Leah Williams / Artist: David Baldeon / Colors: Jesus Aburtov / Letters: VC’s Joe Caramagna / Publisher: Marvel Comics / Publish Date: August 14, 2019.
A More Interesting Gwenpool
Gwenpool is back in her second solo foray. This time she knows that if she wants to keep her solo book she has to make herself more interesting to readers. That’s right, she knows she is in a comic. She actually came from our world and decided to stay in the comic world with the help of Doctor Strange. The only problem is she is now stuck there, and if her title isn’t picked up she will be on other teams for a while before disappearing! Although her “power” to the white space (AKA between pages and panels) is back, she knows having a real power will keep her on the shelves. So of course she needs to hold up a bank and con Spider-Man into biting her…right?
Fun, Chaotic, and Oddly Relatable
Leah Williams steps in to write this kooky character, and she does so with flying colors. Known for her great, slightly crazy inner monologue, Gwenpool explains her own backstory while taking action and having random thoughts. Williams is able to juggle through the chaos and not only propel the story forward while explaining the backstory, but also add horribly funny thoughts that will have the reader rolling. Williams helps the reader understand this character, her motives, and her comic fangirl moments. She makes Gwenpool oddly relatable.
Fans of West Coast Avengers will also be happy that Williams has kept Gwenpool’s adorable land-shark Jeff in mind. It’s hard not to love that duo. Drawing from social media, comics, Twilight-Zone-like powers, and banana factoids, Williams truly takes readers on a roller coaster with a twist. Bringing in Spider-Man to heighten the snark, but also allow the reader to draw a comparison between funny and crazy kooky was a genius move, my Williams. Seriously, the Geiger counter and boundaries, just so wrong, yet so funny. The character is so well written that the story or goal is bareley needed. We could just watch Gwenpool putz around cracking jokes and having random thoughts all day. Luckily, there is a story, and it adds to the fun.
David Baldeon’s art is fantastic and fun. It’s not easy to draw a character slipping between panels while also making those skewed panels quality. The in-between world he has created is trippy and magical without being confusing. He also plays to Williams’s sense of comedy, making Gwenpool’s action over the top funny. A pigeon toed, PJ and hoodie covered, hero with a huge gun is not something you often see in comics. A female tastefully and comically dropping her pants out of excitement is also a rarity. Baldeon does all of this with skill, precision, and humor. Gwen’s senior picture alone deserves kudos.
Jesus Aburtov’s colors pop without making the pink too obnoxious. As a girl who hates pink, I find myself loving the muted, dusty rose color of the PJs and costume. It’s a tougher pink instead of a prissy pink, and it’s appreciated. The coloring of the in-between world adds to the magical feel that was created by Baldeon and heightens Williams’s humor. Add in Joe Caramagna’s brilliant lettering and this wild ride is complete. Caramagna’s emojis and leet speak dialog boxes are hysterical. His ability to differentiate the constant monologue from inner monologue had to be tough, not to mention the lettering in the social media sections and the fun of Geegle.
Overall, this book is a must! Whether you are a past Gwenpool fan or Gwenpool curious, this book is the way to go. I have never laughed out loud so often when reading a comic. As a fan of the first solo run, I was really looking forward to this book, and it did not disappoint. Leah Williams was made to write Gwenpool in all her kooky, inappropriate, and misled glory. I’m so excited to see what this team comes up with next and how our Gwenpool will adapt to them.
Verdict: 5 out of 5