So who is this pink and white lunatic running around Marvel’s universe? Where did she come from?
Gwenpool’s inception was originally an amalgamation of Gwen Stacy and Deadpool. She appeared in Howard the Duck, volume 4, the “Gwen Stacy” variant of Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars issue 2, and in her own one-off special. Despite her similar look to Peter Parker’s once dead girlfriend, now alternate universe superhero, Gwenpool is actually a girl named, you guessed it, Gwen Poole. Gwen is from our world, the one where Marvel characters only exist in comics. And she is a huge fan of them all. Gwen gets to experience what any comic fan would give a left tit or testicle for (we’re all-inclusive here) and is sucked into the fantasy world of Marvel.
As she struggles to understand whether this new reality is in fact real, or just a very convincing dream, Gwen finds Marvel’s version of Edna Mode and is outfitted with her very Deadpool-esque costume and the idea to be a “superhero-merc” for hire. Gwen has no superpowers to speak of, except a freaky in-depth knowledge of every character in the Marvel pantheon.
Gwenpool at first glance feels like a gender bent Deadpool, and at a second Marvel’s attempt to cash in on the popularity of Harley Quinn with a version of their own. The series, having only debuted in April is too early in its run to speculate on its staying power.
If Marvel can establish her as a unique character rather than a quick cash grab and lazy mash up, Gwenpool stands a chance. Coming from our world gives her the ability to make commentary on her surroundings that could stand in for the reader. The “no consequences” mentality of Gwen is reminiscent of early Harley Quinn and as DC’s sales tell us, people love crazy girls with questionable morals and big hammers. (see the cover for Unbelievable Gwenpool #2)
Do we need a character like Gwenpool? Not really, as there are long established characters that fill her M.O. However, Gwenpool may just surprise us all and anyone looking for a light-hearted read (so long as there is no aversion to violence) may be apt to pick it up.