Gwenpool, or Gwen Poole, is a slightly ditzy, humorous nerd with absolutely no
superpower whatsoever. Intrigued? Not totally, right? Well what if I told you Gwen comes
from what is considered “our world.” So although she may not have super strength,
healing, or even flight – somehow this completely regular nerd finds herself in the Marvel
Universe among characters like Doctor Strange, Ms. Marvel, Howard the Duck, Thor, and
Spiderman. Slightly more interesting right? Now this is where you take a moment to think
about what you would do if that were you…

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Now, while I may be the only one to go silently freak out in a corner for a few issues, I’m
sure most others would have the same idea Gwen did: become a superhero, kick some
ass, and have tons of fun while doing it. And with a bright, heroic future in mind, Gwen
Poole becomes Gwenpool, and enters the world of superheroes with unstoppable
tenacity and vigor only to be tossed into countless positions which construe her as more
of an anti-hero. (SPOILER!) Examples of this would include but are not limited to:

  1. In issue #0, where she chooses to sell a virus to Hydra for money for her
    superhero costume, believing its okay because the Avengers will just stop them
    anyway.
  2. In issue #1, where she hires a felon to be her sidekick.
  3. In issue #2, where she deliberately kills a man in an attempt to save her own life,
    possibly dooming hundreds in the process.

So as you can see, in pretty much every issue Gwen pushes her luck and the title of hero
slowly shrinks farther and farther into the distance and antihero becomes more of a
reality.

As mentioned briefly before, she does all this with no abilities, no experience, and no
physical training. What she does have is unique, and to be told she had not used it very
wisely this far. This ability? Nerd knowledge.

Since she comes from ”our world,” she’s read “their comics,” so she knows those she
comes in contact with. From Howard the Duck, Ms. Marvel, Jane Foster as Thor or Miles
Morales as Spiderman, she is well versed in this universe and it’s characters. She tries to
use this as an advantage, though truth be told is not doing it very cleverly…

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In the middle of a fight, she calls out Jane’s name while she is disguised as Thor. Later,
she sees Miles Morales on the subway and basically fangirls over him, referring to his
costumed abilities.

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In both instances, she could be smart about what she says and how she uses it, but true
to her character so far, just word vomits everywhere. Which I guess brings us to the big
question:

Why read?

I read it because she’s funny. I enjoy fourth wall humor in a comic, and it really does
read like a PG-13 Deadpool. Yes, at times I wish it was darker and more vulgar, and yes,
at times it does read a little like an advertisement for other newer comics or films, but I
have hope that she can blossom and evolve in the upcoming years. It has the potential to get deep and real. It has given us glimpses of this so far, one notable instance being when
she begins to question whether she is a hero in her own comic, or simply a naive arc in
someone else’s (issue #2, after her fight with Thor).

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Her character is still a child in this universe, and there is still a lot left to learn about her.
Like, how did she get to this new world? Why does she not try to go back? What is she
running from? Why does she not understand the line between hero and antihero more
clearly? And when will she ever get pants???

As I reader, I can hope that my devotion can pay off in the future, and hopefully be
quenched by issue 50. Or at least twist slightly, and be a dash more daring, because so
far we only get glimpses of her badass-ness. There are times when she fights with
hesitation – like she has something to lose, and I don’t know about you, but I prefer my
characters to have nothing left, and fight dirty. Maybe she’ll get there too, and we can
transition from PG-13 to R, and therefore get a bit more freedom. Until then, I’ll be an
occasional reader. So thanks for the laughs, Gwenpool, but it’s time I pick up something
with a bit more blood for now.

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