The Unbelievable Gwenpool, Vol. 4: Beyond the Fourth Wall by Christopher Hastings & Gurihiru

Gwenpool Volume 4


GoodreadsThe Unbelievable Gwenpool, Vol. 4
Series: Unbelievable Gwenpool #4
Age Category: Young Adult/Adult
Source: Library
Published: 2018


Gwen Poole’s origin story is revealed in the fourth volume of The Unbelievable Gwenpool. But, wait! There are those who want to see Gwen returned to the “real” world before she can destroy the Marvel Universe. And Gwen is not about to go quietly.

Star Divider

The fourth volume of The Unbelievable Gwenpool brings back all the elements that make Gwenpool great–and brings the series to the next level! As a superhero team seeks to return Gwen to the real world, so she cannot turn into a future villain, Gwen discovers that her knowledge that she is in a comic gives her more than insider info on her fellow characters. It allows her to manipulate the comic itself! The sheer inventiveness of this installment, along with Gwen’s character development, make Volume 4 a delight to read. I cannot wait to see what new adventures Gwen will have!

The key to Gwenpool’s appeal lies largely in how meta her comic is, and I was pleased to see that this new installment really chooses to lean into that. Previous storylines featured Gwen using her knowledge of the Marvel comics to probe characters’ weaknesses or try to get herself invited to a superhero team-up. And it was funny! Especially to comics fans who know all the references Gwen does. However, volume four has Gwen going beyond fun allusions to potential comics-world domination, all thanks to her ability to use her knowledge to change the very comic she is in.

I cannot stress enough how amazingly inventive Gwenpool feels in this volume. Her powers progress from simple character knowledge to the ability to shape reality. Gwen manages to step outside of the panels. She can see the comic she is in! She can enter the gutters. She can view the past, and the future. Wow! This is exactly what I want from a character able to break the fourth wall! And the art! Gurihiru take these plot developments and get creative. The illustrations are just as ingenious as the story.

But it’s not all flashy art and superpowers. Gwen really faces her herself in this comic. She sees herself how others see her–not as a superhero, but as a girl who has callously mown down dozens upon dozens of people because she thinks of them as “extras” and not as a real people. And she has to choose if she wants to continue down that path. If she wants to one day really become the villain. I honestly was not expecting Gwen to have as much maturity and growth as she did–especially when readers learn her origin story (which is not particularly flattering). This is the comic where I really, truly got to root for Gwen and not feel conflicted.

Too bad this is the fourth volume in a five-volume run. Is this the end for Gwenpool? And, of course, if it is, how will Gwen herself feel about it?! This is a refreshingly original volume that brilliantly sets up a future storyline sure to tug at the heartstrings. Time to dive into volume five!

5 stars

2 thoughts on “The Unbelievable Gwenpool, Vol. 4: Beyond the Fourth Wall by Christopher Hastings & Gurihiru

    • Krysta says:

      This is the volume that made the series for me! I think volumes four and five are fabulous. Three and two are kind of lackluster, but once you get past those, it picks up! The danger, of course, is that the writers might lose readers before that.

      Liked by 1 person

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