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Quote1 This world isn't fair, Teddy. But look. There's a better one, right in there. A shared escapist universe built by hundreds of human creators over decades... a singular linked vision. It's real! I can almost touch it! It's been calling to me! I know that! Quote2
-- Gwen Poole src
 

Origin

Gwen Poole originally lived in a universe not unlike ours, a place where all super-heroes and super-villains were fictional characters that manifested through comic books, movies, and other media.[4] Gwen's difficulty to find a job after having been unable to graduate from high school, combined with the fact all of her friends moved away, led her to submerge in fiction in order to escape from her reality and fantasize about a better world, becoming lazy and apathetic, to the chagrin of her parents.[5]

Gwendolyn Poole (Earth-TRN565) from Unbelievable Gwenpool Vol 1 6 001

Gwen Poole, in her home universe

Through unrevealed means, Gwen and her brother Teddy ended up in the Prime Marvel Universe. However, both became separated on arrival, and believed the other hadn't survived the transition.[6] Unwilling to being relegated as an "extra," Gwen went to Big Ronnie's Custom Battle Spandex and requested her own costume to stand out. The tailor Ronnie complied, but she also misread Gwen's form, and thought the young girl went by the alias of "Gwenpool."[7]

Gwenpool's first misadventure involved stealing a virus from the Black Cat and selling it to Hydra for quick cash, believing that the Avengers would deal with any sort of consequence. When Gwenpool attempted to kill Howard the Duck, who had been coerced by the Black Cat into finding the thief, he made Gwen see the error in her nonchalant attitude, which originated from Gwen undervaluing the lives of the inhabitants of the Marvel Universe, whom she believed were nothing more than fictional characters. Gwen rectified her misdeed by infiltrating into a Hydra facility and getting rid of the virus with Howard's help.[8]

Life as Henchman

In order to find a stable source of income, Gwen decided to become a mercenary, getting contract jobs from the tailor Ronnie. [9] While trying to carry out the job of taking down a Teuthidan squadron stationed on Earth, Gwenpool murdered another mercenary that had completed said mission and took credit for his work. The employer of the hitman Gwen murdered turned out to be M.O.D.O.K., who tracked down Gwenpool to have her take the place of his deceased hitman in his Mercenary Organization Dedicated Only to Killing. In order to coerce her into joining his namesake organization, M.O.D.O.K. killed Cecil, a hacker Gwen befriended who had become her mission control.[2] Gwenpool's teammates in M.O.D.O.K.'s elite were Batroc the Leaper, Mega Tony, and Terrible Eye.

Unbelievable Gwenpool Vol 1 4 Textless

Fighting M.O.D.O.K.

After catching notice of Gwen's lack of skills during her first mission,[10] Batroc helped her become a better fighter. With M.O.D.O.K. growing suspicious of Gwen's absolute lack of back records, which also prevented her from getting paid, she sought Doctor Strange's help. The sorcerer transplanted every trace of Gwen's existence from her home universe to her new reality.[3] Even though Gwen now enjoyed the benefits of getting paid and Batroc's training, the appearance of her back records allowed M.O.D.O.K. to discover she was in fact a completely normal person with no real skills. M.O.D.O.K. confronted Gwen and tried to kill her for it, but with a mix of luck and Batroc's training, Gwen managed to fend off M.O.D.O.K., ultimately defeating him with the help of Cecil's ghost, whose presence was made possible in the land of the living with Doctor Strange's help.[11]

Head of M.O.D.O.K.

With M.O.D.O.K. gone, Gwen was appointed as the new representative for the team's client, an oddly normal man named Vincent Doonan, who referred jobs to M.O.D.O.K. in order to eliminate threats for the sake of his utopian vision of a mundane world.[12] When an army of Teuthidans invaded Earth looking for retribution for the killing of their squadron, allegedly at the hands of Gwenpool, Doonan tried to turn Gwen over to the aliens after doing the same to her teammates. Gwen's plan for getting rid of the invaders consisted of creating public commotion, which collided with Doonan's vision, so he concluded handing her over would be the most peaceful way to get rid of the alien threat.[13] As Gwen escaped from Doonan, he revealed himself to be a rogue Doombot in disguise.

Unbelievable Gwenpool Vol 1 9 Textless

Against Vincent Doonan

After discovering that M.O.D.O.K. counted with an army of soldiers previously unheard of,[14] Gwen travelled on M.O.D.O.K.'s mobile base to Vincent's neighborhood, Bay Ridge, where the Teuthidans were holding her friends captive. Using the base's arsenal, Gwen managed to take down most of the Teuthidan ships while the henchmen, now rebranded as the Poole Boys, killed the alien footsoldiers. The mobile base collapses due to enemy fire, forcing Gwen to flee, but its destruction took down the remaining alien ships. With their base destroyed and all ties with their client surely cut, Mega Tony, Terrible Eye and Batroc agreed to dissolve M.O.D.O.K., much to Gwen's dismay. Even Cecil's ghost left her, when he decided to return to his home town for a while. With her enterprise gone, Gwenpool relegated to taking jobs from Ronnie again.[15]

Subsequent Team-Ups

After being taken down by an evil clone of Squirrel Girl named Allene Green and being imprisoned in the Negative Zone, Gwenpool joined forces with the real Squirrel Girl and the other heroes freed by her in order to finally defeat Allene.[16] Not long after that, as the second superhuman civil war heated up, Gwen decided to temporarily relocate to rural Georgia to avoid the conflict entirely, convinced that her status as a "D-list character" would make her an easy target to be killed as part of what she viewed as a comic book event storyline.

While there, Gwen came into conflict with Rocket Raccoon and Groot after accepting the job to capture an alien fugitive known as Chammy. They teamed-up once they reached an agreement that would let Gwen keep the bounty.[17] Gwen initially refused to help Rocket and Groot capture the alien that had set the bounty, Reeve, who intended to murder Captain Marvel, arguing whichever person was writing Rocket and Groot's "comic book" wouldn't be allowed to kill her off. After falling under the mistaken impression that the comic she was currently in was being written by a "big-deal comic book writer" with the editorial authority to kill Captain Marvel, Gwen accompanied the team to New York and successfully prevented Reeve from killing her.[18]

Unbelievable Gwenpool Vol 1 15 Textless

Gwen, Hawkeye and Ghost Rider

Without a team, Gwenpool decided to join the newly-formed Champions.[19] Gwen tried to help the young heroes take down the corruption in Daly County's police force, though her violent methods were quickly frowned upon by the Champions as soon as they met her, as well as her reasoning that the corruption could only originate from a supervillain plot rather than naturally. Once Sheriff Studdard was exposed as the person that had been facilitating the recent wave of xenophobic violence towards minorities, Gwenpool promptly left, annoyed that it wasn't secretly a plot by some supervillain.[20]

Following a depressive episode caused by the dissolution of M.O.D.O.K. which led her to taking numerous dangerous jobs,[21] Gwen reunited with her old crew when they were all abducted by Arcade into a fantasy RPG-inspired version of Murderworld. While making their way through enemies in order to escape, Gwenpool met and confronted Deadpool,[22] eventually convincing him to join forces and defeat Arcade. After escaping, Gwen helped Mega Tony land a job at Parker Industries.[23] Continuing with her efforts to help her friends get their lives on track, Gwen reunited with Cecil's ghost and, following a misadventure which involved Hawkeye and Ghost Rider, managed to give him a new body to inhabit, that of a Nordic beast a group of rogue Dwarves intended to use as a vessel for the soul of one of their own for criminal purposes.[24]

Beyond the Fourth Wall

While Gwen went on to become a mercenary, Teddy had tried to accustom to living in the fictional world. During Gwen's early days as a mercenary, Ted witnessed her in action and became horrified by her disregard towards the well-being of the native inhabitants of this universe. He was also approached by future versions of Spider-Man, Vincent Doonan and Terrible Eye, who travelled back in time to prevent Gwen from becoming a powerful supervillain.[6] When Gwen decided to visit the location of her house to see if her family had fictional counterparts, Teddy forced her through a portal that transported both of them to a pocket universe created by Terrible Eye which recreated the Pooles' original universe, and also erased Gwen's memories of her life in the Marvel Universe.[5][25] Even though Gwen went on to live a normal life, her unique perception of the Marvel Universe caused her to become aware that she was still in a fictional world, and even developed the ability to interact with the elements of the comic medium, such as title cards or the border of panels. Gwen eventually managed to go beyond the panels and reach the Gutter Space.[26] By observing the comic book world from there, she regained her lost memories and learned of Teddy's alliance with the future versions of her allies. Gwen returned to the recreation of her universe, and took Teddy with her back to the Marvel Universe.[6]

Unbelievable Gwenpool Vol 1 17 Textless

When the future heroes tried to take down Gwen, the evil future version of Gwenpool used her presence in Spider-Man's flashback as a gateway to reach the present.[25] The evil Gwenpool wanted to ensure present Gwen went on to become her, so she tried to both eliminate the future heroes as well as to convince Gwen to become a villain. The evil Gwenpool took Gwen back to the Gutter Space so she could understand that by becoming part of the comic book world, she was bound to its rules so nothing she did really mattered. Even if her actions didn't have consequences, Gwen still frowned upon the evils her future self committed, especially for the things she did to the characters she loved. Gwen's show of determination to avoid becoming evil caused her future self to be erased.[27] From the Gutter Space, Gwenpool could observe the page count of her own comic series. When she renounced the possibility of becoming evil, she noticed that her remaining page count greatly diminished.[28]

After Gwen went through a failed attempt at becoming relevant by taking on Victor von Doom,[29] she reluctantly tried out villainy. She sought Batroc's help to this end, but since he knew it wasn't in her true nature to be a criminal, he made sure their first heist was to supervillain Chance, so he unwittingly sabotaged Gwen's last attempt at extending her series' life span. While lamenting over her series' end, and what it entailed to her friends, Gwenpool was visited by a future version of herself to comfort her.[28] Future Gwenpool explained her younger self her adventures will live on even after their end, and that the impact she made in fans will most certainly allow for her return one day. Gwen's future self also explained that renouncing a long-lived future for the sake of characters she once disregarded due to not being real made her a hero, and that would also ensure a future for her. Future Gwen encouraged her past self to use her abilities to exploit the medium one last time, and she used them to travel into various points in time and live possible future adventures.

Unbelievable Gwenpool Vol 1 25 page 21

Gwenpool looking back and thanking the reader

Once she returned to the present, Gwen helped Cecil regain his human body, spent time with her friends from M.O.D.O.K., met up with the Marvel Universe counterparts of her parents, and rescued Teddy, whose soul had ended up in Mephisto's hands. Decades into the future, Gwen had barely aged due to the sliding timescale and being a main character, and visited at a hospital an elderly fan of hers who once had been younger than Gwen but aged naturally due to being a background character. With only two pages left, Gwen jumped back into the Gutter Space to travel to the past, and thanked the reader. She then visited her younger self when she was lamenting the her series' end.[30]

West Coast Avengers

While visiting Hawkeye in Los Angeles, Gwen was unwillingly recruited into the reformed West Coast Avengers, because she appeared just after Kate rejected a roomful of incompetent candidates for the team.[31] The eventual final member of the group, Kid Omega, instantly got at odds with Gwen, with both having multiple arguments and personality clashes, but one particular shouting match ended with them kissing passionately. For their first assignment, Gwen and the WCA fought a giant Tigra, a confrontation that ended after the arrival of a muscled superbeing named B.R.O.D.O.K. It was later discovered, as Tigra and another set of giant monsters attacked Los Angeles, that it was Gwen's former boss M.O.D.O.K. in a new body.[32]

Gwen Poole initially had little regard for any lives aside from her own, property damage, or anything that transpired that didn't affect her directly. This was a consequence of Gwen presently living in a universe she believes is entirely fictional.[7][2][6] Gwen eventually learned to frown upon such unconcerned demeanor after meeting a version of herself from a future in which such disregard manifested in acting evil for the sake of it.[27] Gwen's actions and decisions are heavily influenced by the fact she believes the universe doesn't operate in shades of grey,[20] and it's ultimately ruled by storytelling devices and tropes.[7][2]

Powers

Gwendolyn Poole (Earth-TRN565) from Unbelievable Gwenpool Vol 1 17 002

Gwen reaching past the panel

Medium Interaction: When Gwen was transported to a pocket universe that recreated her home reality, Gwen's unique perception of the fictional world allowed her to gain the ability to recognize and manipulate the artistic medium in which she dwells. She can see and physically interact with lettering and caption boxes, and touch and even break through panel gutters, allowing her to transport objects short distances through space and time by moving them across panels, and interact with different instances of herself from multiple panels on the same page.

The reach of Gwen's powers extends outside the page. She's capable of exiting to the Gutter Space,[26] which allows her to observe pages from the outside and move through them. By moving to the Gutter Space and returning to the comic book on a previous page, Gwen can essentially travel back in time.[27] From the Gutter Space, Gwen can see how the remaining page count of her comic book, and deduce how much pages does it have left.[28]

Gwen can further forcibly remove characters from the narrative by dumping them into the Gutter Space, as she did with Paste Pot Pete, or alter characters, as she did by pulling a villainous version of Doctor Doom out of his more heroic current incarnation.[27] However, these changes are short lived and fragile, reverting after a short time.[28]

Once Gwen moved West, the other West Coast Avengers showed no knowledge of these abilities, though Kid Omega noted she had some unknown power he could not detect. There was an implication that Gwen used her medium-breaking powers to put 200 towels in Quentin's room in retaliation to him always leaving wet towels on the floor. However, when she was falling after being thrown off a flying B.R.O.D.O.K., Gwen noted she could not reach out of the panel to escape to safety as before.[8]

Abilities

Average Fighting Skill: With help from Batroc, Gwen acquired a few skills on hand-to-hand combat and the use of guns.[11]

Medium Awareness: Gwen possesses a relatively small degree of medium awareness, as she can't be certain of any fact other than that she lives in a world that is fictional,[10] to the point rather than knowing her adventures happen in a comic book, she assumes they do.[2] This limitation can also cause her to mistakenly assume things, like who the writer of a story she stars is.[18] Her medium awareness additionally makes Gwen a genre savvy being able to extrapolate the characteristics of things like video games to situations inspired by them.[8] She also can, or at the very least believes, that she can purposefully invoke cliches or tropes, or typical narrative elements, in order to aide herself, or indeed to help other people, such as making an extra say their name to turn them into someone the writers won't be able to easily kill off.[14] Once noting the medium interaction powers introduced in her solo title were not working, Gwen even questioned if she had been rebooted to not have them anymore.[33] The extent of how much effect such action actually has on the world, however, is unclear.

Out-Of-Universe Knowledge: Due to the fact she read countless of adventures that delved into the private lives of various superheroes she currently intracts with, Gwen possesses a vast knowledge on heroes' alter-egos and other such secrets,[3] including Jane Foster's double-life as Thor,[10] and the fact that Miles Morales hails from another universe.[4] She's even aware of writer trademarks, concluding (wrongly) after stumbling by Kitty Pryde that the author of the story she was in was Brian Michael Bendis.[18] Gwen's knowledge is limited by the amount of comics she has read. For example, her knowledge on Deadpool is very limited by the fact she didn't read his comics.[23] Her knowledge is also limited to events before she made the transition to the Marvel Universe; newer storylines and character changes, such as Doctor Doom trying to become a hero, are unknown to her until she finds out about them in-universe.[34]

Weaknesses

Editorial Oversight: Gwen's powers are limited to what she would be editorially allowed to do. Because of this, the Trapster's exile to the Gutter Space was limited, and he mysteriously found himself back from there with not even the memory of ever encountering Gwenpool.[28]



Weapons

Guns, Swords such as Katanas, Explosives like dynamites and Grenades.

Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars Vol 1 2 Gwen Variant
  • Gwenpool originated as a concept design for the "Gwen Variant" cover of Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars #2 by Chris Bachalo. The "Gwen Variants" were a celebration of the character Spider-Gwen. Each "Gwen Variant" cover for a certain series featured the protagonist(s) of the book mashed up with Gwen Stacy. The mash-up between Deadpool and Gwen Stacy was Gwenpool.
  • Based on Gwen's mugshot, she's 5'4".[4]
  • Back in her home universe, Gwen didn't read Deadpool's comics. She considered him to be "just a little too 'LOL memes'" for her taste.[23]
  • In Unbelievable Gwenpool #24, Gwen mentioned that Batroc the Leaper debuted 35 years before she was born. Since he first appeared in 1966, it would mean that Gwen was born in 2001. Christopher Hastings later confirmed Gwen was 18 years old.[35]
  • Christopher Hastings made the deliberate choice not to explain the mechanics of how did Gwen cross into the Marvel Universe. In a farewell letter in Unbelievable Gwenpool #25, he revealed it was the fans, making content based around Gwenpool that elevated her from a simple idea for a variant cover, thus creating a collective force that pried open the walls of the Marvel Universe and shoved Gwen inside.

Discover and Discuss

Footnotes

  1. Unbelievable Gwenpool #24
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Unbelievable Gwenpool #1
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Unbelievable Gwenpool #3
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Unbelievable Gwenpool #6
  5. 5.0 5.1 Unbelievable Gwenpool #16
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Unbelievable Gwenpool #18
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Howard the Duck Vol 6 #2
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Howard the Duck Vol 6 #1-3
  9. Gwenpool Special #1
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Unbelievable Gwenpool #2
  11. 11.0 11.1 Unbelievable Gwenpool #4
  12. Unbelievable Gwenpool #7
  13. Unbelievable Gwenpool #8
  14. 14.0 14.1 Unbelievable Gwenpool #9
  15. Unbelievable Gwenpool #10
  16. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Beats Up the Marvel Universe! #1
  17. Rocket Raccoon and Groot #8
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Rocket Raccoon and Groot #10
  19. Champions Vol 2 #4
  20. 20.0 20.1 Champions Vol 2 #5
  21. Unbelievable Gwenpool #11
  22. Unbelievable Gwenpool #12
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Unbelievable Gwenpool #13
  24. Unbelievable Gwenpool #14-15
  25. 25.0 25.1 Unbelievable Gwenpool #19
  26. 26.0 26.1 Unbelievable Gwenpool #17
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 Unbelievable Gwenpool #20
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 28.4 Unbelievable Gwenpool #23
  29. Unbelievable Gwenpool #21-23
  30. Unbelievable Gwenpool #25
  31. West Coast Avengers Vol 3 #1
  32. West Coast Avengers Vol 3 #2-4
  33. West Coast Avengers Vol 3 #3
  34. Unbelievable Gwenpool #22
  35. Hastings, Christopher (19 September 2017). How old is Gwenpool?. Twitter.com. Retrieved on 26 February 2018.
  36. Unbelievable Gwenpool #6



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