Monday, September 19, 2016

Unbelievable Gwenpool #6 Review - Marvel Monday

Team-Up Trouble

Written by: Chris Hastings
Art by: Irene Strychalski & Rachelle Rosenberg
Marvel Comics
Review by: Branden Murray

The titles that I faithfully follow have begun to dwindle from the current All New, All Different Marvel lineup. However, surprisingly enough, as some long time favorites begin to bite the dust, for one reason or another, the Unbelievable Gwenpool has become one of monthy books I look most forward too.  Currently, a highlight of the title is the fact that it has had no ties to the slug that won’t die, Civil War 2. This has only allowed me to enjoy this book even more as it provides an escape from all the whining, doom, and gloom that has riddled the main and any tie-in book to this event. So, with all that being said, let’s check in on crazy ol’ Gwenny and see what shenanigans are in store for us readers.

We kick things off in flashback mode as Gwen, back in her original universe (which happens to be ours), reads a comic book, about Miles Morales in his original universe (R.I.P. the Marvel Ultimate lineup).  Everything seems to be normal enough, for a Gwenpool comic that is, before she’s interrupted by a mysterious giant rumbling sound.  Are we about to find out how Gwen ended up in the cryptic world of Marvel comic books? I’m not one hundred percent sure, although that would be my guess, because the meat and cheese of our story comes flying in to intrude on any answers. This mystery will have to wait and be solved later.
As we enter the here and now, we jump into the middle of a conversation between Gwen and Miles in his bedroom. Miles is doing his best to ditch this doomed team-up with Gwen, especially after her handling of a school bombing last issue.  Gwen, pulling her best psycho girlfriend impression, is ignoring Miles' request, continuing to beg to help Spider-Man solve his problem.

In a last ditch effort to convince Miles she’s on the up and up, Gwen explains how she knows “things” about everyone, how its helped her develop a lead about the bombing, and tries to all without coming off as crazy cat lady.  Despite all Miles apprehensions about trusting Gwen’s “nonsense”, he ultimately decides to go along with the developing plan. We also discover that both Miles and this reviewer had to follow the same rule as a teenager; when a girl is over, the bedroom door remains open ... apparently this is a universal Mother’s decree to their sons.

Our two “peas in a pod” head off to pursue Gwen’s lead in a suburban neighborhood. It turns out she was crazy after all … crazy and correct. They end up peeking in on a teenager named Damien. Damien is a current and former (from the Ultimate Universe) classmate of Miles’, that Gwen remembered reading about, and who we saw in the flashback. Spidey and Gwenpool sneak into the perp’s house in what Miles thinks is an attempt to collect evidence and confront him.
When the bombs are discovered, Gwenpool goes for the quick and easy solution...introduce a bullet to young Damien’s brain.  This move forces Spider-Man to jump in, saving the misguided youth (damn no kill policy) while the gunshot draws the attention of Damien’s mother downstairs.  After that chain of events, Gwenpool, sensing shit has hit the proverbial fan, tries to escape only to be quickly stopped, fought with and captured by Spidey. A defeated Gwen is then webbed to a light post and left for the police as Spidey “webs up” the situation inside.

As the issue winds down the whole situation looks bleak for Gwen. She’s sitting in jail, dressed as the newest cast member of Orange is the new Black, all while failing to have met with her mysterious donor.  Just when all hope seems lost, Batroc the Leaper, with a team M.O.D.A.K. vehicle, busts into jail and break Gwen out. Despite Gwen’s abandonment of her initial responsibility Bartoc states “he will think of some lie” and try to set her meeting up again as our issue came to a close.  
I continue to think the Unbelievable Gwenpool is one of the runaway hits of the All New All Different Marvel line up however this issue was one of the weaker efforts in the series to me.  The whole school bombing plot and attempted murder of a teenage bad guy felt too heavy a topic for a title that has gone out of its way to be very light with its subject matter.  I come to Gwenpool to get away from real life damn it. The art remains serviceable this issue as Irene Strychalski and Rachelle Rosenberg continue their duties. They do a great job overall but it doesn’t live up to the expectations initially set by Gurihiru, who started the series with a vibe I’m sorely missing.
Bits and Pieces:
All books go through peaks and valleys and I feel that’s all that happened here. A two issue team-up between Miles and Gwen, while interesting at first, fell a little flat for me towards the end. Hastings' jokes, however, remain a saving grace. I find him able to hit my funny bone throughout the book and I love how the writer can always be counted on for a few good belly laughs each issue regardless of the subject matter presented. Despite various story elements coming up a little flat this issue, the title overall remains one of Marvel’s highlight comedies. Give Gwenpool a shot.


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