The Other Side of the Page: Books and Comics
Comic Review: Gwenpool Holiday Special
She’s pink! She’s sassy! She’ll stab you! It’s Gwenpool! Her holiday special dropped this week. Here’s my review to get you in the spirit of Christmas!
There’s one big problem to start out with:
If you’re buying this comic for Gwenpool, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. She doesn’t come into play until about 3/4 of the way through. Lucky for me, I wanted this for my Hawkeyes. This is a series of one-shots about guests (or un-welcomed guests in Deadpool’s case) at She-Hulk’s holiday party.
The Ms. Marvel story is one I feel is needed especially in this day and age of anti-Muslim sentiment. I don’t think people realize how difficult it is to be a Muslim American. I know I shouldn’t say anything since I’m a white Christian woman, but I do think a lot about my friend Yasmin. She told me once that she was seven years old when 9/11 happened. SEVEN years old and she said her teachers were suddenly wary of her overnight. Her classmates bullied her. People called her a terrorist from that day until she graduated high school. That’s why media like Ms. Marvel is so important. Diversity is something that should not be feared. It needs to be embraced, nurtured, and celebrated.
Getting off my soap box, Kamala feels excluded in the comic. The world is wrapped up in Christmas, Hanukkah, and the “red and green machine.” In the month of December, she’s never felt like she’s had a place to fit in. What I loved about this short is we see the Holidays from many Islamic perspectives. Some struggle with it, some enjoy the Rudolph special, and some think of December 25th as just another day. It’s a great read.
My Hawkeyes return with Deadpool following their formed friendship in Hawkeye vs. Deadpool. I really enjoy this trio together. Here’s three people who are sort of misfits in their own rights. Clint is the bow guy from the Avengers who’s never taken seriously. Kate came from a rich family, but that isolated her. She’s made a name for herself without her dad’s money. And of course, Deadpool is Deadpool. What I love in this trio is they all have a ton of heart. Clint understands being poor and helps those around him. Deadpool is a new dad and has those sympathetic sides of him. Kate keeps the boys on track. Writing wise, Deadpool’s outlandish humor meshes well with Clint’s dry wit. I loved everything about this short.
Now to the title character, the Gwenpool story didn’t do anything for me. Granted, this is coming from a person who thinks Spider-Gwen is overrated, and we never needed Gwenpool to start with. The dialogue of this one-shot felt incredibly forced. It’s trying too hard to be funny and falls flat. Also, the plot doesn’t make sense. Is this Spider-Gwen in the main universe pretending to be Deadpool? Or is Spider-Gwen and Gwenpool two separated characters? It’s not very clear at all. One good note is I love Gurihiru’s art. I’ve loved Sasaki and Kawano’s work on Power Pack and the Avatar: The Last Airbender comics. The Gwenpool one-shot is the weakest of the lot.
The running She-Hulk story is fun, fresh, and what we love about Jennifer as a character. It’s was a great through line to keep all the one-shots together.
This is a fun read overall. It’s not breaking any new grounds or anything. It’s just a good romp to enjoy for the holidays.
I gave the Gwenpool Holiday Special 7 out of 10 Santa Bartons.