Gwenpool Strikes Back #5
The conclusion of Gwenpool’s beachside battle royal! Reveals! Romance! Flashbacks! Friendship! Retcons! The last adventure of Gwenpool Strikes Back!
I ended my review of last issued stating that I was losing hope of something more than just wacky hijinks from Gwenpool Strikes Back. I was a fool. This issue delivered in a way that not only made up for my gripes about the last four issues but referenced them in the self-aware nature that I should have expected from Gwenpool. Be warned, I could think of no way to talk about my appreciation without major spoilers for the big reveal so consider this your warning and this picture of Cap and Tony in a “get along shirt” as your spoiler buffer.
Throughout this series, I’ve felt that something was missing. Now I know what it was: Leah Williams’s crafting depth through her dialogue. Most of Gwen’s conversation has been with us, the readers, or to Deadpool about us. In this issue, we get Gwen’s therapy session with Mama Kamala.
The art team of David Baldeon and Jesus Abutrov shine here. Kamala’s concern, Gwen’s anguish. It all shows clear on the panel. Only a single punch is thrown the whole issue (a sloppy right hook to be exact), but there is no doubting the tension and emotion in the art.
Then there is the very nature of the plot. Ms. Marvel notices the very same offness that has been throwing me for this series. Gwen is not okay. Despite being told that Gwen is fearful for her very existence in the first issue, the morally corrupt wackiness of the series made it easy to forget that everything Gwen has done, is from fear. It’s in this moment of raw realness, with Gwen unable to provide proof of her claims of being from our world that Kamala reaches a far more reasonable conclusion.
The following scene is heart-wrenching as Gwen sticks to her origin gives up her battle for existence. Only Williams isn’t done with Gwen yet (Gwen owes Leah a big thanks). In a very logical and yet surprising response, Gwen’s existence is saved from her retcon… by the very retcon that she denied.
Gwenpool Strikes Back (Williams, Baldeon, Aburtov) is an emotional ride with deep narrative and expressive art. The twists and turns gave me whiplash and kept me at the edge of my seat. The finale of this series shows the clear purpose behind the whole series and leaves me excited to see what is next for both Gwen and the creative team.
And if there was any doubt as to Gwen’s status as an official Krakoan, you only have to look as far as her very own, Hickman inspired data page.
Gwenpool Strikes Back #5: No More Gwen (Spoiler Level: High)
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 9/109/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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