What would you do to remain relevant, prove your worth and ultimately survive in a world that seems determined to forget you? That’s the question posed by Leah Williams in Gwenpool Strikes Back as the eponymous heroine of the book, the fourth wall shattering import to the Marvel Universe Gwen Poole, faces and fights back against the constraints of life in the world of comics.
Convinced that she’s facing relegation and cancellation, Gwenpool determines that the only way she’s going to make the suits and bean counters take her seriously and ensure her continued place in Comicsville is by doing something so extraordinarily crazy and magnificently over the top that they’ll have no choice but to push her to the top of the hero pile. Which is why, over the course of the five issues collected in Gwenpool Strikes Back, Gwen attempts to unmask Spider-Man, seduce Reed and Sue Richards (with a little help from Wade Wilson), sets up the most humungous, slobber-knocking battle royale in superhero history, and ultimately ends up discovering who she really is.
A beautifully thoughtful and intelligent consideration of mortality, existence and the human condition, Gwenpool Strikes Back also explores the idea that the impact we have on the world, and those around us, helps to define not only who we are, but also who we eventually become. Leah Williams’s deep dive into Gwen’s psyche combines humour, characterisation and a moving and incredibly involving story to elevate Gwen to the forefront of Marvel’s Premiere League. Partnered with the mind blowing, gorgeous art of David Baldeon, Williams’s tale hits multiple successive story-telling homeruns and propels Gwenpool toward the future that she so richly deserves. The world really is yours Gwen… Tim Cundle