The Gwenpool Strikes Back! #2 preview caused a bit of a stir on AiPT! Twitter this week as folks were not happy about Gwen kissing Mr. Fantastic. Cries of, “He’s not consenting” and “Isn’t she a teenager?” were shouted into the blue bird ether. I say this because these numbskulls should read the comic before casting judgment, as Leah Williams plays around with the true meaning of the cover, and with expectations as Gwenpool attempts her “sex sells” issue. It’s a delightful little ditty.
So what’s it about?
Read the preview.
Why does this matter?
Williams and artist David Baldeon are on fire with this fun miniseries (Gwenpool reminds us it’s not an ongoing at one point) which breaks the fourth wall and loves doing it. This issue also features Deadpool which adds to the fourth wall-shattering meta chaos.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
This issue is a lot of fun, opening with Gwenpool talking at us, grabbing us, pulling us in for a kiss, and then slamming us with her butt. It’s ridiculous from the word go and it’s not trying to pretend to be anything but raucous fun. Things get particularly meta when Deadpool pops in seemingly to have a little fun and nothing more. Soon they are scrounging around the Fantastic Four basement and directly making reference to the cover which upset so many folks. It’s a fun plot and it’s particularly smart since they knew folks might be upset with the cover. The plot dives headlong into the controversy before anyone can get upset over it (that is if they read the book) and it does a good job making sense of it all. The fact that it doesn’t tie into the last issue very cleanly doesn’t even matter since Gwenpool can pull a panel back and do whatever she wants.
Baldeon continues to do great work here too. Aided by colorist Jesus Aburtov, the two play with perspective well and hammer home the “sex sells” themes. It’s fun to see Gwenpool riff off Deadpool, who attempts to push things even further. Gwenpool is expressive and spot-on in her energy. Probably the coolest aspect visually in the story is Mr. Fantastic and his stretchy body. Baldeon explores the space as Reed flops around like a snake and it all culminates into a dark wrapping around Deadpool and Gwenpool that plays the part as a suitable location for a confrontation. Comedic elements like Deadpool throwing around a snack work too thanks to Baldeon keeping the chaotic energy of Deadpool on point.
It can’t be perfect, can it?
After two issues I’m not exactly sure where this book is going besides chaotic fun. On the one hand, it’s entertaining to not know what may happen next; but on the other, the next issue has Hulk and Gwenpool flexing on the beach, giving me no idea what we’re going for. As long as you’re willing to buckle up and go with it this should be fine, but don’t expect a concrete exploration of character or plot.
Is it good?
Another fun and chaotic experience with Gwenpool in the bag. Add in Deadpool, a raucous “sex sells” issue and slick visuals, and it’s easy to see this as the funniest book on the stands right now.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!