By Avery Kaplan
Well, you read through the first entry in the Pervert’s Guide to Gwenpool Strikes Back and you’ve come back for more. Did you bring hand sanitizer this time? Because you’re going to need some hand sanitizer. And water-based lubricant!
We open on a page sporting the traditional and familiar nine-panel grid structure. You’ll know this structure well by now from the work of Tom King (he uses pages like this emphasize emotional beats and key plot points), Alan Moore (he uses pages like this to cast low-grade magic spells), and now, Leah Williams (she uses this page to send the reader’s perspective straight up Gwen’s butt).
Gwen mentions that she has “Scarlet Witch-level powers of reality manipulation,” and while she may be overstating the nature of her abilities slightly… she’s on the right track. While Wanda can alter the whole of the universe with three words, Gwen has the ability to flash back to events that did not happen, apparently making them canon.
Gwen has hired Deadpool to help her sell more issues. Wade has a long and distinguished history of making an appearance in any Marvel book that the editors feel could use a little “bump.” She is not connected to Deadpool in any way other than her superhero name ends with “Pool”.
At the end of the page, Gwen remarks that with or without Gurihiru art, “you’d still hit it” – Gurihiru being the artistic team behind the majority of The Unbelievable Gwenpool, Gwen’s original 2016 solo comic run. Gurihiru normally create very nice all-ages art suitable for the whole family, making it all the weirder that people would be attracted to it.
The title of the issue is “Gweni, Vidi, Vici!” a play on “Veni, Vidi, Vici”, which means “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Came is a euphemism for [Ed: You can probably end this sentence there, Avery]
Beneath the title is Deadpool on a stripper pole! I don’t know, what else can I say about that, other than he’s right: you should support your local comic shop. Meanwhile, chibi Gwen declares it to be the “sex sells” issue, which… come on people, you’re supposed to leave writing the pervert’s guide to me!
Gwen calls Wade “Dead-pole”, which I’m qualifying as a double entendre.
After Wade asks whether or not Gwen can afford his rate, being a teen™. Gwen then directly addresses the reader regarding her age – she’s 19. She acknowledges that this makes her “‘legal’ by most metrics”, which answers a question some may have had on their minds, especially since the perspective of the reader was just shoved up her butt a few pages ago.
In classic Gwen fashion, she considers her age in the context of Marvel’s “sliding timescale”, the temporal hand waving that Marvel uses to ensure that their heroes stay forever young, sexy, and marketable. Gwen concludes that even though she entered the Marvel universe three years ago, at the age of 19, the slow-moving passage of time in the 616 means she’s probably still 19, and will be for the foreseeable future.
Once the question of legality is resolved, Gwen leans so hard on the fourth wall she breaks into the gutter and seems to hang off the page as she predicts it to be inevitable that a future Marvel writer will pair her and Wade as a couple in spite of their age difference.
Deadpool comments that she’s “kink-shaming” from the past. Kink-shaming is the act of making someone feel guilty or embarrassed about what gets them going (provided that whatever it is legal which, as Gwen just pointed out, this pairing technically would be). But yeah, Gwen’s right, Gwen and Wade together would be (will be?) nasty. And not, like… good nasty.
Speaking of not-good nasty, Gwen says Wade looks like “what happens when a blister gets a blister,” which seems like as good a time as any to remind our readers that protection is always the best option and regardless of partner(s) you should always practice safe sex.
Gwen explains to Wade that the reason they’ve infiltrated the basement of the Baxter Building is because she needs an arresting image for the cover of the comic, and her goal is to “bang one or more members of Marvel’s most enduring marriage” in order to accomplish that mission. [Ed: I’m disappointed this means Mr & Mrs Fantastic, rather than Mantis and Swordsman]
Gwen then calls Wade “Executive Dysfunction Daddy,” but stops to clarify that when she says that, she doesn’t mean “Daddy™”. Daddy, in this context, means a respected and attractive person, usually of some authority, by whom you would like to be drilled. (Can I say that? Whatever, that’s the editor’s problem)
Ed: I miss the wholesome days of our Giant Days annotations.
Wade fishes a cardboard cutout of young Mr. Fantastic out of the debris in the basement and smacks it while telling Gwen that she can fit so many “questionable decisions in this bad boy”, referencing the twitter meme about slapping the roof of a used car.
Wade asks Gwen whether or not she currently has a boyfriend, a reference to her relationship with mutant Quentin Quire, a.k.a Kid Omega. The relationship was developed over the course of volume three of West Coast Avengers (2018) and subsequently undeveloped within a single panel here.
As Gwen breaks up with Quentin, her text history reveals that she recently texted him “LOVE U 3000”, a reference to the worst line in Avengers: Endgame. She also uses a “X-Baby” emoji beside his name in her phone contacts, which is kinda pretty incredible.
While the breakup with Quentin seems unceremonious, Gwen assures the reader that she’ll use her flashbacks to create a better ending for the relationship at a more appropriate time… and anyway, she notes that she’s not in a good place for a relationship at the moment as she tosses her phone over her shoulder.
Overhearing the vibrating sound of Gwen’s phone as Quentin protests their breakup, Wade remarks that he hopes she brought enough for the class, implying that the noise is coming from a [Ed: Avery!!]
Soon, Wade declares that he’s going to “deus-ex-doggy-style” the plot. This is a reference to “deus ex machina,” or “god from the machine,” a narrative device meaning that the plot is moved forward (or resolved) by what amounts to an “act of god” – an event or circumstances beyond the control of the characters. “Doggy style” is a sex position that involves one partner getting down on their hands and knees while another partner penetra [Ed: Avery I swear to God] I, um… Wait, I got distracted! What were we –
Right, Page Nine
After running through the pros and cons of seducing either Reed or Sue individually, Wade puts forward the idea of being the “bisexual unicorn they’ve been looking for” and just seducing both of them. Middle-aged couples posting ads online in search of younger bisexual women to have threesomes with them frequently refer to their quarry as “unicorns,” suggesting they are mythical and/or rare. Foolish mortals… they just have better places to be than your boring-ass bedroom! Like your local comic shop, evidently.
Gwen says sleeping with both Reed and Sue would never fly because she would be accused of “skankifying” Marvel’s “sacred cash cow,” highlighting how moral panic is used as a justification for smothering sexual content when ensuring continued marketability is the actual underlying motive for such censorship.
Next, Wade asks the downside of seducing the Thing, and Gwen remarks that she doesn’t even know how that would work anatomically. A similar question was brought up in the Kevin Smith movie Mallrats, when the character Brodie asked Stan Lee himself if “the Thing’s dork is made of orange rock”.
Wade tells Gwen to “smooch like you’ve never smeshed before.” Smeshed is a slang term that generally refers to intoxication but can be smeshed into meaning any number of different words – you know, one of those all-purpose words that eventually loses any smeshing meaning. Smesh yeah!
After being caught kissing Reed by Sue, Gwen calls the attention of the “Dodson(s)” to the incident, referring to it as “the money shot.” The Dodson are Terry and Rachel: the cover artists for the issue… and the main cover does indeed depict Gwen kissing Reed. A “money shot” is the moment in a pornographic movie that features the (literal) climax.
Gwen says she’s going home to cuddle with Jeff, which causes Wade to splay his hands together and make a “smak pap pap” sound that implies she’s going to have sex. However, Gwen corrects him by explaining that Jeff is the land shark companion who has now proven to be her most enduring relationship from that 2018 run of West Coast Avengers.
As suggested by Gwen’s earlier remark, Sue assumes that Gwen and Wade are a couple…
…which rightfully disgusts both of them equally.
Wade declares that he wants to fight “Big Boy”, referring to the Thing. I guess this one isn’t explicitly sexual, and maybe it’s just the nature of the issue, but Wade seems pretty excited at the prospect of this fight.
During the fight with Reed and Sue, Gwen tells Wade that this is why she doesn’t read his comics. The issue was previous raised in The Unbelievable Gwenpool #13 and builds comedy out of the fact that although uninformed readers are likely to conflate Wade and Gwen, Wade is actually one of Gwen’s few blind spots when it comes to her encyclopedic knowledge of the 616. He’s a bit “lol memes” for her taste.
Sue states that she’s defeated Doctor Doom, and Gwen replies that she has, too. In an attempt to ensure that The Unbelievable Gwenpool wasn’t cancelled, Gwen resolved to defeat Doctor Doom in issue 22. But things got complicated when it turned out Bendis had made Doom a good guy and then – you know, maybe just go buy the trade or something [Ed: tbh, do not buy that trade]
Gwen points out that Sue has also “smak pap pap’d” with Dr Doom. This is a reference to Fantastic Four Vol 3 Issue 23 (2000), which featured a cover image of Sue Storm wearing a wedding dress and kissing Doctor Doom. The cover is very similar to the cover of this issue of Gwenpool, so the remark is tantamount to Gwen pointing out that Sue is just as guilty of using sex to sell issues of her comic (and the cover was a bit misleading, as it was Reed imprisoned in Doom’s armor who Gwen was kissing).
There is also Valeria Richards to take into account, the daughter of Reed and Sue who for quite some time was implied to be the daughter of Sue and Doom through a narrative misdirect.
After being wrapped up and trapped inside Mr. Fantastic’s stretched out body, Gwen laments the fact that she’ll now have to kink-shame Reed Richards. This is most likely a reference to vore, a subset of pornography that involves one partner being literally swallowed by another. If you have an alternate theory as to what Gwen’s line may be referring to, please send the explicit details of your hypothesis to email@example.com and mark your email “okay to print.”
Deadpool calls Spider-Man “my special boy”, which is a special treat just for the shippers.
With both Wade and Gwen imprisoned inside his extended body, Reed begins to ask Sue whether this is what it feels like to be pregnant, but she unceremoniously cuts off the sentence before he can complete his question.
When Wade discovers that Gwen may have revealed Spider-Man’s secret identity to the world, he says that he’s going to pull out the big guns – which he means literally. Wade says that if Gwen read his books she would know that he can never resist “bad puns or big guns”, and I think he means for “big guns” to include “large biceps” – he was really into the idea of fighting the Thing earlier in the issue. [Ed: He probably got his thing for big guns off daddy Cable]
It looks like Gwen’s posing in a swimsuit with Hulk? Well, near the Hulk. Near a Hulk? You know what, we’ll figure out the dirty details next month right here at the Pervert’s Guide to Gwenpool Strikes Back!
Gwenpool Strikes Back #2
Written by Leah Williams
Drawn by David Baldeon
Colored by Jesus Aburtov
Lettered by VC’s Joe Caramagna
Avery Kaplan has written for sites including The Beat and The MNT…. and was very excited to write this piece, which should have been my first warning. For more from Avery, you can find her twitter page here!
Editor’s note: I’m not fact-checking any of this filth either.