In our first Four-Color Fave of the new year, Louis Skye gets to talk about Gwenpool, a character whom she’s only just recently met, but has clearly fallen in love with. And really, what’s not to love about a character that gets to live out our fandom dreams by becoming a part of the world she reads about?
Who is Gwenpool and how did you ‘meet’ the character?
Gwenpool, or rather Gwendolyn Poole, is a geek and massive Marvel Comics (and DC Comics) fan from our world who falls through a portal and lands up in the Marvel Universe. She is elated to be amongst her favourite characters, but soon realises that she may be on the wrong side, and worse, that she’s not a major hero or villain, she’s just a disposable henchman.
I was recommended Gwenpool by a comic book club I was going to and I ended up marathon-reading her entire run in one weekend. I love her!
What appeals to you most about the character?
Gwenpool is ‘us’–she’s a fan and she gets to ‘live the dream’ of being in the universe that she so loves. But she also has these amazing powers that she slowly learns about–she can escape through the gutters of comic pages and control the Marvel comics universe. It leads to some amazing artwork and very cool twists.
What I love about Gwenpool is her reaction to living in the Marvel universe. It’s exactly how any fan would feel–she’s elated to be hanging out with Kate Bishop/ Hawkeye, and Kamala Khan/ Ms. Marvel. She’s such a fan of Miles Morales and Peter Parker/ Spider-Man, she actually makes their lives quite miserable, and practically outs them as Spidey. She’s also devastated when she finds out her run is about to end because the higher-ups in Marvel want her to be a villain, and she wants to be an Avenger. Her emotions come across as so human.
Gwenpool’s enthusiasm for her new life is infectious, but she’s also a bit of a screw-up because she’s young and doesn’t realise the consequences of her powers. Plus, she’s also really funny, and the art for her initial run was adorable. What’s not to love?
What is your ideal vision for Gwenpool within the Marvel universe? Have any of her outings been written well enough to meet this ideal?
Gwenpool is lovely and imaginative, but I want her stories to really push the boundaries. I love that we get to see a future version of Gwenpool, who has allowed her powers to go to her head and has become a full-blown villain–she knows the comics universe and bends it to her will, even though it means hurting the very heroes she cares so much about. That was a good storyline, and was made better by present-Gwenpool rejecting her future self’s ideals. But the new Gwenpool mini-series seems to hell-bent on placing her as the villain she didn’t want to be–and also sexualising her, which is super gross because she’s 19 and looks like a munchkin. I need Marvel to let Gwenpool be the super-geek she is–that’s what is most appealing about her. She needs to be relatable, funny, and adorable–that is the version of Gwenpool that I love and need to see more of.
Also, can Gwenpool get pants one day, please, Marvel?
What would you like to see in a Gwenpool movie or series? Who do you think should play her?
Oooh, this is a tough one. I think Gwenpool would be better suited to the series format, rather than films. The serialised stories would give her and the audience more time to understand her powers. I think something along the lines of the first Deadpool film would be fun–lots of fourth-wall breaking, but it will also need to have plenty of cameos and a crazy-high special effects budget.
Who should play her? I think it will have to be a completely unknown actor who takes on the role–a familiar face will lose the relatability of Gwenpool. She is supposed to be the super-fan stand-in for all Marvel readers, so she can’t look like a well-known actor–that will take the viewer out of the experience.
More than anything else, I think a Gwenpool series will need to be charming, sweet, and funny–because those are the qualities of Gwenpool that first made me love her, far more than all the fourth wall-breaking and her ability to traverse the white space of comic books.