THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #21 BY CHRISTOPHER HASTING, GURIHIRU
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #21 is chock full of the fun and weird violence we've come to expect from GWENPOOL. Gurihiru bring bright colors and anime influence to the book, while Christopher Hasting writes Gwenpool a new mission and a very new power.
93 %
World Breaker

THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #21 contains Gwenpool shooting snakes, talking with her giant fuzzy roommate, and deciding to join the Avengers. In other words, Gwenpool is everything I heard she was and everything I hoped she would be. As a new reader, I was happy to see that THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL is easy to jump into and hits all the notes I expected. There was crazy dialogue, gunfights, and a twisted desire to be a hero. Christopher Hastings and Gurihiru craft the persona I always imagined for Gwenpool — an overeager, overconfident fangirl on a sugar high.

Scaly Problems

THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #21
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #21 begins with Gwenpool dealing with a mass of snakes in the New York subway system, while the cops unhappily wait for her. Gwenpool’s confidence as she goes in becomes one of her more endearing traits throughout the book. She demonstrates plenty of insanity, but there is a bubbly nature to her that’s impossible to dislike. It gives her a sense of merry heroic anarchism that I loved reading.

Despite her confident entrances, we don’t get to see much of her battle with the snakes (or their master). Her battle against them takes place in secret, which is a disappointment since there was such a great set up for mindless violence. Officer Grey attempts to arrest Gwenpool but there’s no real charge. Oddly, the officers don’t remember anything else Gwenpool has done.

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Gwenpool returns home to her giant purple dog-man roommate and pizza. This scene highlights Gurihiru’s art with the smooth lines and bright colors of the apartment setting (along with Gwen’s anime-esque face). The art doesn’t show any grand artistic moments, but pieces like this prove it doesn’t need to. It’s as much of a joy as the dialogue, which only gets better as Gwen decides to join the Avengers (and make money).

The scene plays out very weird for a first time reader (why is there a purple dog-man?!), but coupled with the beginning, it gives a good sense of Gwenpool’s life. We see her desire to be a hero, the oddities of her life, and her unique way of thinking. It feels like a great set up for a future story that makes sure everyone understands where we started from.

New Goals

Gwen insists her goal of joining the Avengers is attainable and leaves to prove it. She adds some emotion to the moment by asking about her lost brother. It’s a brief humanizing touch among the insanity, which I appreciate. It reminds the reader that Gwen is out of place, and despite everything, is still lost in a very different world than her own. Consequently, it acts as a slight breath of fresh air before her encounter with Paste-Pot Pete (who looks like Jack Nicholson in the museum scene of BATMAN).

THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #21
Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

Gwenpool’s battle adds a new edge to the insanity, as she takes out Paste-Pot Pete with some dark new powers. This part was a nice surprise, as it showed Gwenpool has more to her than sugar and guns. She can knuckle down and go through all odds to accomplish a goal, in ways that remind us she isn’t entirely sane. Her goal shows that, too, as she insists that she will use her power to eliminate Dr. Doom and be taken seriously.

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Final Thoughts on THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #21

In conclusion, THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #21 works as a great taste of Gwenpool’s world and the start of an exciting new arc. It also establishes Gwenpool as someone who seems silly on the surface, but has a dark streak as well. The first issue of a new story arc needs to be strong to grab new readers twenty books in. This one does it by balancing a sugar high and a dramatic ending. This is a good enough issue to make fans want to read the rest of Gwenpool’s story. It also keeps them interested going forward.

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