Out of all of the comic miniseries that have hit shelves this past year, none have been as bizarre, meme-filled, and wonderful as Gwenpool Strikes Back. The five-issue narrative saw Gwen in a self-aware fight for relevance in the Marvel Comics universe, which led to her kidnapping Spider-Man, trying to break up the Fantastic Four, and creating a swimsuit-themed battle royale between her and basically every Marvel hero. For those who have been loving Gwen's hilarious and heartfelt journey, the final issue of the miniseries was sure to be an emotional one -- only for things to head in a completely different and poignant direction. Spoilers for issue #5 of Gwenpool Strikes Back below! Only look if you want to know!
The issue began by continuing the bizarre circumstances of Gwen's battle royale, which unintentionally led to her needing to fight Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel. Kamala was reluctant to fight Gwen, in part because she had begun to realize that Gwen had reality-altering superpowers. Gwen decided to tell Kamala her origin story - that she's a real person who initially knew Marvel heroes as comic book characters, and convinced Doctor Strange to erase any trace of her life in the real world. Kamala didn't believe it, but questioned if Gwen's newfound powers signified that she was a mutant.
Gwen told Kamala that she was right, and that the notion of this being a "comic book world" was a coping mechanism for her powers. Gwen then forfeited the battle royale -- but quickly told readers that she knew she wasn't really a mutant.
Gwen then prepared for her impending demise, only to stumble upon a portal to Krakoa. She decided to try to go through it, even if it killed her in the process -- but it didn't. Gwen began to process the fact that she made it into Krakoa, before being greeted by Wolverine and Quentin Quire. Gwen soon learned that she still had her reality-manipulating powers in Krakoa, and began to celebrate all of the potential journeys she had ahead.
To make things official, the issue included a Dawn of X-style data page, which dove into Gwen's official history as a mutant and otherwise.0comments
While the reveal is certainly unexpected, there's something about Gwenpool being "retconned" as a mutant that is incredibly fitting. Given all of the storytelling that Dawn of X still has in store, it will be interesting to see if and how Gwen's role in the mutant utopia evolves in the future -- and what team-up book she ends up being a part of.
All issues of Gwenpool Strikes Back are available now. The collected edition is set to be released in stores in February.