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Review – Gwenpool Strikes Back #5 (Marvel Comics)

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Gwenpool Strikes Back #5

Writer: Leah Williams
Artist: David Baldeon
Colorists: Jesus Aburtov and Guru-eFX
Letterer: VC’s Joe Caramagna
Publisher: Marvel
Maturity Rating: T+
Release Date: December 18th, 2019

Gwenpool Strikes Back #5 is the final issue in Gwenpool’s latest run, concluding her mad race for relevancy. This issue is every bit as bittersweet as you might expect.

 

Saying Goodbye and So Much More in Gwenpool Strikes Back #5

Gwenpool Strikes Back #5 concludes the chaotic Gwenpool’s latest run in series format. But that doesn’t mean that her story is over. Fans of the series and character have long held out hope that we’ll see her again. So this is a feeling we’re used to, and we’ll just go back to hoping we’ll see her once again.

Gwenpool Strikes Back has been a chaotic and fun series, one bursting with fourth-wall-breaking elements. That includes Gwen’s painful awareness of her fate should her series come to a true conclusion. It made for some painful moments (for the fans who adore her). But it also opened up the room for some frank discussions about comic book sales.

Gwenpool Strikes Back #5 (Marvel Comics) photo cover by Judith Stephens and Elena Strikes
Gwenpool Strikes Back #5 (Marvel Comics) photo cover by Judith Stephens and Elena Strikes

This is also a series that gave fans more opportunities to laugh and enjoy the character we love so much. Yes, Gwenpool is quirky and crazy. And we love her for it. So this issue is already a given for being bittersweet, since it forces us to say goodbye. Again.

Writing

Gwenpool Strikes Back #5 was in many ways the most surprising issue of the series. Each and every issue of this miniseries has had something different to offer; be that a cameo, an insane plot, or an emotionally compelling twist. But this final issue takes all of that and rolls it into something so much bigger—a proper sendoff, if you will.

Leah Williams gave Gwenpool—and the fans—and ending she deserved. It hit many of the notes from Gwenpool’s first series ending. But it also wasn’t afraid to strike a path of its own. This was not the goodbye I was expecting. It was just as powerful and emotional as I had hoped—but of a completely different sort.

There are several laugh-out-loud moments in this issue (which I refuse to spoil for the readers—they’re worth waiting for!), so don’t try drinking anything while reading this issue. Unless you like soggy comic books.

There’s a dramatic switch about halfway through, and it is quite a shocking one. It’s not shocking from an emotional standpoint, being that it’s a series ending. But it is a surprise for some of the changes it brings with it. And it ultimately left me (and hopefully other readers) filled with hope.

Art

As with the rest of this series, Gwenpool Strikes Back #5 was full of some seriously fun artwork. Gwen’s powers have always lent well to some creative scenes, and that’s a fact that was once again pushed to the extreme here.

Those scenes were beautifully rendered—and quite comical at times. That is not the highlight of this issue, however. That goes to the sheer amount of expression on our beloved character’s face. Gwen is so beautifully and painfully expressive in this issue. It made the whole ending that much more bittersweet.

David Baldeon was the lead artist for the issue, working alongside Jesus Aburtov and Guru-eFX for colors. Then there’s VC’s Joe Caramagna, who provided the lettering for this issue. All together they did a remarkable job, showing off several vital scenes to this conclusion.

Conclusion

It’s hard to believe that Gwenpool Strikes Back #5 concludes this series. In many ways, it’s so tempting to pretend otherwise. At least this series has given fans a new sense of hope, and a feeling like we’ll have a chance to see this amazingly adorable and quirky character again.

So thank you, Leah Williams, David Baldeon, Jesus Aburtov, Guru-eFX, Joe Caramagna, and everybody else who was involved in this project. You made at least one fan very happy with what you produced here.


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About the author

Cat Wyatt

Cat Wyatt is an avid comic book reader, as well as a reader of novels. Her favorite genres are science fiction and fantasy, though she's usually willing to try other genres as well. Cat collects Funko Pop figures, Harry Potter books (different editions), and has more bookshelves than she's willing to admit.

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