Review: Unbelievable Gwenpool #11

It's a thriller night!

Written by Christopher Hastings,  Art by Gurihiru & Myisha Haynes.

So. The introduction of this one is quite simple. I've been writing a lot about games recently and I wanted to something comic book related. Preferably something I could pull off quickly, I am still rather busy after all. It's also the month of Halloween and while I don't really enjoy the 'spooky season' myself it is on my brain enough that I feel like doing something with it. Enter this issue Unbelievable Gwenpool, a quick and not at all scary look at all kinds of monster tropes. How does a real girl turned comic book character deal with vampire, zombies and the like? Is this humourful Halloween tie-in issue worth a read? 

Let's find out!

After a rough patch that involved sending her supervillain boss into outer space and the dissolution of her mercenary group, Gwendolyn Poole AKA Gwenpool is a merc for hire once more. Burying herself into work so she doesn't have any time to think about how much her life sucks right now, she accepts. Arriving at the picturesque and quiet suburb named 'Doodkill' she is greeted by the major. He lays down the deal, there's a vampire in the area and she has to kill it. But that's it. Only the vampire. Nothing more, nothing less. Even if she sees skeletons and zombies skulking the streets at night, the vampire is the only one that has to go. I mean, zombies and skeletons are a perfectly normal sight to see in a typical American suburb, right?

What's made quite clear from the get-go is that even more so that the rest of the series, this issue is very much light and humorous. There are serious moments, in this case, Gwen's underlying sadness about her life, but that takes a backseat to the fun. To Gwen's chaotic nature, her love for pop-culture and also some of her inner-struggles, but only some.

It's not mocking monsters stories and its tropes, more so respectfully pocking fun at them. I get the feeling that Hastings has both an appreciation and a good understanding of it all. I'm not an expert when it comes to Halloween and monsters and whatnot, but I'm certain that the people who are will get much more out of this then I did. The emphasis on humour does have a (small) downside to it. For instance, the appearance of Blade is fun but is more there for comedic effect than anything else. His appearance lacks 'punch' is the best way to put it.

The sense of humour and fun is underscored by the art. It's very cartoony, as you can see from the panel below, which is a perfect style for a book with a humorous tone. It works well here but I can't say the art is particularly good. It's rather sloppy, there's a panel where a characters glasses has only been half-drawn for example. It just doesn't compare to the Unbelievable Gwenpool's regular art. The story itself is also by the numbers. It's, again, fun, but you can see where the book is going fairly quickly. The story does strike a nice balance between the 'this is just a one-and-done romp' with 'it's still clearly part of the larger Gwenpool story'. It gives you a recap about what happened in the first page, shows Gwen's state of mind in the opening section and let's that linger throughout the rest. A good, non-intrusive, way to do tie it into the rest of the series while still easy to understand for those who haven't picked up a Gwenpool book in their lives.

As a Dutchman I can tell you that this is only half correct. 'Doodkill' isn't a Dutc word. 'Dood', however, is and means 'death'. In other words, this town's name is 'Deathkill'.  Subtle.

Conclusion

Don't have much else to say here. I wanted a light and breezy issue, one that I could get a quick review out of, and the Unbelievable Gwenpool issue 11 is just that. It's a very fun and humorful look at Halloween/monster pop-culture through a superhero lens. It's a one-off but it that is still a part of Gwen's journey. Easy to pick up for newcomers, has value for long-time readers. The art might not be all that special and the humour can take away from some elements but it's not a bad book to pick-up at all. I can definitely recommend it if you're in the mood for something like it.

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