Exclusive: Guessing That Gwenpool Goes Ga-Ga For Legacy
Jul 12, 2017
by Vince Brusio
If you take a campy cult 80s action movie, splice in a canned laughter soundtrack, then dip it into egg nog spiked with plutonium, you might have something that looks like Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #21. It’s an issue that’s a stepping stone into the Marvel Legacy event, and writer Christopher Hastings and editor Heather Antos drop a few hints about where Gwen might go if she chooses to follow the yellow brick road. Anything could happen, though. You know, like, she could warp reality to the point where a bunch of cosplayers buy up issue #21 before you can make it to the counter. It could happen. So read the interview, already!
Vince Brusio: Gwenpool seems to be the culmination of prayers sent to the sky. It’s like that opening scene of It’s a Wonderful Life. All the people in town are sending up prayers to heaven, hoping that the divine being will answer with a benevolent gesture. If one of those prayers was for an old school Marvel “What If” adventure that could last longer than a one-shot, the creation of Gwenpool seems to be the prayer’s answer. Would you say that’s a fair assessment? After all, you’re writing about a character that doesn’t seem to be affected by physics. How, as a writer, do you keep from going off the deep end, especially now when Gwenpool apparently will dare to defy Dr. Doom?
Christopher Hastings: Ha HA! I would love to see that scene of It's a Wonderful Life, but instead it's dozens of Gwenpool cosplayers! That would be pretty funny. Yeah, Gwenpool wouldn't exist if it weren't for all the fan-art and cosplay that came out of the first appearance of her costume on a Deadpool variant cover. They basically "secreted" her into existence, and I got the call to try to make it into something that might make sense.
I'm definitely a writer who's spent his career hanging around the deep end, as you put it. If I can make something crazier or weirder, I usually will. Most of my energies are put into keeping a firm hand on that harness to keep me from falling all the way in. My biggest core philosophy that usually keeps things from getting too insane, is that I try to follow the rules of logic that are established, no matter how crazy they might seem, or even if something seems like a tossed-off joke. It's an old saying in comedy, "If the unusual thing is true, what else is true?"
In this case, as Gwen Poole knows she lives in a comic book, and so that awareness is growing to the point where she is aware of the *physical comic page itself*. And with that awareness comes the ability to act beyond it. If Gwen wants to disappear from a scary situation, she just needs to leave the panel! Does she need to go back in time to fix a mistake? Well then she can just browse through her own comic and jump back in a few pages earlier. That's a tremendous power, and she's ready to test it on the big guy, Victor Von Doom himself.
Vince Brusio: Heather, who doesn’t envy you? To say you’re an editor on a Gwenpool book must be akin to saying “I drink spiked plutonium for breakfast.” How do you get a handle on physical boundaries for a character that didn’t quite start out as a character? Christopher Hastings was at the front of this experiment. How do the two of you sit down to decide on what laws of nature apply, and those that don’t in the “real world”?
Heather Antos: I *do* drink spiked plutonium for breakfast! How’d you guess?
As soon as Chris suggested that Gwen be a comic fan from “our” universe that somehow would find herself in the Marvel comics universe, I knew we were in for something special. The best part about working with such brand new territory is that we’re learning what Gwen can do the same time she is. There’s no precedence for someone quite like her in-universe. Every day I read a new plot or script it’s an adventure!
Gwen now lives and breathes within the comic pages themselves. There really aren’t any normal laws of nature when it comes to comic book science. Just ask Reed Richards! Chris and I will usually meet in person at least once before each arc gets plotted to discuss what’s next for Gwen as she continues to grow and bond more and more in the Marvel U. The biggest question we have to ask ourselves is simply, “What makes sense?” If someone who *knows* she is for a fact within the pages of a comic, what *else* would she know? What sort of things make sense for her to be able to do/see/control? Add in some pink balloons, penguin bazookas, and comic manipulation, and you’ve got Gwenpool!
Vince Brusio: Christopher, as we move on from “Generations” to Marvel’s “Legacy,” do things shift gears any in Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #21? Might we be on the cusp of a new horizon?
Christopher Hastings: Gwen's new honest to goodness super powers definitely change up how the book works, but she's also gaining an awareness of her place in the Marvel universe. When she first showed up, she was completely selfish and irresponsible, believing it to be fictional and thinking that nothing she did had any repercussions. Nobody else's lives were real to her. But as she's getting up to nearly two years in the comics, she's made friends, and seen the consequences of her actions. She's trying to become a better person, but at the same time she sees that some powerful force in the Marvel Universe wants to cast her as a joke and a low-rate villain. Things are getting existential for Gwen!
Vince Brusio: Heather, how do you feel about Gwenpool’s involvement in Marvel Legacy? In the grand scheme of things, she’s the new kid on the block. So how can the character possibly fit into the new world order? Not that we’re asking for you to commit to anything, but do you think there’s room for her having a bigger presence in the Marvel Universe down the road? Would you be open to seeing the character evolve more?
Heather Antos: The thing is, Gwen realizes she is the new kid on the block. She’s learned a ton since her first adventure in Howard the Duck. She’s made friends and even a few enemies! But she also knows to make it in the big leagues, you have to play in the big leagues – she’s read Marvel comics for her entire life, after all. And now she’s ready to make a name for herself the only way she knows super heroes do – take down one of the biggest baddies once and for all!
GWENPOOL, THE UNBELIEVABLE #21
(W) CHRISTOPHER HASTINGS
(A) IRENE STRYCHALSKI
(CA) PAULINA GANUCHEAU
DOOM SEES YOU
Since arriving in the Marvel Universe from the real world, Gwenpool has made a name for herself as one of its most exciting heroes. From teaming up with Spider-Man and the Mighty Thor to tackling villains like M.O.D.O.K. and Arcade, no one can top her combination of demolition and off-the-wall adventure. But now Gwenpool’s looking for the biggest and baddest foes she can think of and she’s going right to the top of the list with…DR. DOOM!
Look for it in the August Marvel PREVIEWS!
Vince Brusio writes about comics, and writes comics. He is the long-serving Editor of PREVIEWSworld.com, the creator of PUSSYCATS, and encourages everyone to keep the faith...and keep reading comics.