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Unbelievable Gwenpool #23: Review

Dec 2017
Christopher Hastings, Irene Strychalski

Story Name:

(no title given)

Review & Comments

4 stars

Unbelievable Gwenpool #23 Review by (December 9, 2017)
This is the end of the Dr Doom sequence.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Unbelievable Gwenpool #23 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Last issue Gwenpool went after Dr Doom figuring defeating him would earn her a place in the Avengers. But she didn't realise that (since she last read him in a comic in the real universe [or something like it] before finding herself in the Marvel Comics Universe) Victor Von Doom has changed from villain to hero as (Infamous) Iron Man. Not fazed she stuck him with a large sword he had lying around in a stone, and out of the gash in his armour stepped the old villainous version (along with a lot of pieces of paper that were probably comics pages).

This Doom is pleased to be free to do a villainous rant. He understands why our heroine would prefer to gain kudos by facing *him* rather than the 'lesser' version. But he's not grateful enough to not kill *her*. He fires a blast and GP disappears in the explosion.

But she's really nipped out of the comic and re-enters in the next panel behind him. And then drags him out of the comic page with her. And leaves him there (like she did to Paste-Pot Pete [ie Trapster, or was it?] in #21) while she returns to continuity.

Her Doombot pal Vincent Doonan doesn't understand or believe what she just did. But he follows her from the underground lair to the Metro system and up to the New York surface. Gwen Poole tries to contact the Avengers to tell them what she's done but can't get past the automatic answering system with its keypad choices. (1 of the button choices is for if you have found yourself in another reality.)

Vincent Von Doombot was right to disbelieve how easily Dr Doom was vanquished, because he returns from the strange 'dimension' she banished him to with what he assumes was a simple rift-walking spell. Gwen interprets this in comics logic - she can't defeat the villain in the 1st few pages of the comic, especially not a master villain. Whatever, now she's got him angry.

A member of the public has the same trouble with the Avengers line when she tries to call for help against Dr Doom. But her companion says that can't be Doom because he looks like Iron Man now and fights super-villains. Meanwhile we see the (comics) pages being sucked back into the 'real' Doom's grey IM armour.

Old Doom easily shrugs off Gwenpool's bullets, and the Doombot's fist. He also shrugs off Vincent's low opinion of him before breaking the 'bot into pieces. GP tries to escape riding on 1 of Vincent's jet-booted legs, but Doom follows her. Quick learner that he is he grabs her and throws *her* out of the comic, and follows to continue the fight.

The reality they are in is a white space with comics pages floating in it, particularly a trail of earlier pages in this comic (and series). Gwen points out this is proof that Doom exists in comicbooks, and she is superior to him because she knows it and can manipulate that reality. Doom of course denies her superiority and believes this is just another dimension with a strange way of viewing his own.

But then the current Doom, his armour all healed up, joins them and tears old Doom to pieces, who disintegrates into a flutter of pages. *He* interprets this as GP having created old Doom out of 'paper memories'. But he can't detect what sort of magic she used to do it. Victor unmasks before her (showing his current unscarred face).

As Gwen breaks down in bitter laughter he commiserates with her over how stressful fighting old him must have been. But he assures her he's not like that anymore. GP says her hollow laughter is because her powers are a mockery. She didn't defeat *him*, and the version she fought was some sort of illusion. If she can't hack it as a heroine she's going to die soon.

Gwen too unmasks and tries to explain her situation. This Doom too thinks the comics pages around him are just a different way of viewing reality, but she asks him to humour her and imagine that 'reality' really is made up of comics. They are seeing the pages of her own comic series. The pages in 1 direction are her past, in the other is her future. And there's only about 2 issues worth of pages in that future.

Gwen says it's because she refuses to be a supervillain, which current Doom can relate to. An evil future version of GP said she was Gwen's destiny (#19-20). The only way she'd be a successful comics character would be to turn bad. Gwen swore not to do that, and most of her future pages vanished. When she came after Doom it wasn't really to become an Avenger (with money to live on) - it was to see if she could have a viable future as a heroine. But now she *can't* kill Victor.

Then she notices they are sitting on a comic panel featuring Trapster (but not anything I recognise from Paste Pot Pete's #21) who is claiming to have just had a weird dream. Gwen looks into the panel and asks Pete how he got back into the comicsverse and why he isn't wearing his original Paste Pot Pete costume. Trapster doesn't recognise her and says the old name and costume were lame. She ducks back out of the comic and figures that her past actions are being wiped out too because in this universe she has no meaning.

GP and Doom return to her comic. While Victor reassembles Vincent the Doombot he suggests to her that the best way to have a meaningful life is to be herself. Stop trying to become a villain *or* heroine and become what she wants to be. But as he leaves she reflects that she still *has* to become a villain to survive.

Irene Strychalski
Irene Strychalski
Rachelle Rosenberg
Gurihiru (Cover Penciler)
Gurihiru (Cover Inker)
Gurihiru (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Clayton Cowles.
Editor: Heather Antos.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Iron Man
Iron Man

(Victor von Doom)

Plus: Gwenpool (Gwen Poole), Trapster, Vincent Doonan.

> Unbelievable Gwenpool: Book info and issue index

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