The Unbelievable Gwenpool was an odd book when it was first announced and it continued to be an odd book when it came out. The initial inspiration for the book was a variant cover for Deadpool’s Secret Secret Wars #2, which depicted a female Deadpool wearing a hot pink and white costume lounging in a pool.
This image then took off with fans and cosplayers, gaining enough popularity that Marvel commissioned a series about Gwenpool to be written by Christopher Hastings (the writer of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja) and illustrated by Gurihiru (an art team consisting of two Japanese women, which I didn’t know until today and is pretty awesome). Together, this team put out a book which...well, I already used the word “odd,” so let’s also use the word “awesome.” It was oddly awesome and extremely metatextual. And not just in the “Deadpool knows he’s in a comic” way, but in the “Gwen Poole is literally from the real world and now that she’s in a comic book, believes that in order to survive, she needs to become a superhero or supervillain and doesn’t really believe that any of her actions have consequences since nobody is real.”
Whew. It’s a premise that is a little tough to explain — it’s basically a cross between the fourth-wall-breaking of John Byrne’s Spectacular She-Hulk and the fourth-wall-deconstruction of Grant Morrison’s Animal Man. Only starring a woman in a hot pink costume running around telling people that, no, it’s okay, it’s only a comic book.
Needless to say, however, this attitude is shown to be not okay as time goes on. Her recklessness comes back to bite her and finally, she is shown a future version of herself that becomes a full-fledged supervillain, using her fourth-wall-breaking powers to ruin all the superheroes’ secret identities. Not liking that one bit, Gwenpool literally erases her future self...and then sees (from an outside observer’s perspective) that she only has a limited amount of pages left. Her book, literally, has been cancelled.
So the last two issues (#24 and #25) have been about Gwen trying to figure out what to do. At first, she tries to be a supervillain again, persuading her mentor Batroc the Leaper to join her in a heist, but that doesn’t work.
And in the space-between-panels, the two Gwens have a conversation about the amazing power of comic books.
And so Gwen takes control of her future, quite literally, moving through snippets of her future adventures, like one where she teams up with the Avengers and Doctor Strange and Squirrel Girl. And then...
And in three pages, we see the true power and potential of comic books, not just how they live on, but in how they inspire.