Christopher Hastings on how Gwen will handle one of Marvel's most intimidating characters.
Ever since finding herself in the Marvel Universe, Gwen Poole has wanted to be a hero. But the MU threw some roadblocks in her way. Now, as her battle with Doctor Doom approaches in THE UNBELIEVABLE GWENPOOL #23 on December 6, she’ll definitely have to step up her hero game!
We chatted with writer Christopher Hastings about what we can expect to see in this throw down.
Marvel.com: Gwen will soon go up against Doctor Doom, so she’s really in the big leagues now. And she wants to prove herself a hero. How will she handle it?
Christopher Hastings: Since Gwen first arrived in the Marvel Universe, she knew she was in a comic book. But due to an unsuccessful magical conspiracy to boot her out of the comic, her awareness has expanded to a higher level where she can actually see and interact with the physical comic book pages.
Gwen wants to prove her worth to with these powers, so her big plan is basically to shove Doctor Doom off the comics panel, into the white space limbo of the gutter. She thinks it will remove him from the Marvel universe.
Marvel.com: We’d of course consider Doom a formidable villain. But Gwen has the ability to mess with reality. Without giving too much away, how will that power help her take on Doom?
Christopher Hastings: Well here we run into the real trouble with Gwen’s powers. It used to be that her big leg up on the characters around her were that she knew their secrets and their backstories, having read them. But Gwen hasn’t been able to read any of the comics since she got to the Marvel universe, which means she never found out that Doctor Doom is trying to redeem himself. The ability to mess with reality, a la re-arranging panels and word balloons and such is supremely dangerous without the responsible knowledge of how it’s fully affecting those she uses it on.
Marvel.com: As you mentioned, Gwen knows everyone’s secrets. She may not know as much about his present story, but does she have any secret knowledge that will help her fight him?
Christopher Hastings: Gwen has some cynicism regarding Doom’s face turn. She’s familiar with the cycle of story arcs. She believes Doom will return to villainy some day, and with her new powers over space and time within comics, she might be able to prove it.
Marvel.com: Can you talk about the experience of writing Doom for a book like GWENPOOL, where you’re constantly breaking the fourth wall in big ways?
Christopher Hastings It was a lot of fun bouncing the two of them off of each other, as Doom is SO self-serious and Gwen just likes to poke holes in everything.
Marvel.com: Would you like to mention anything else coming up for GWENPOOL?
Christopher Hastings There’s a fun time travel mechanic that Irene [Strychalski] and I worked out within issue #22 that shows how Gwen can travel between the panels for a “do-over” at a scene, but it also shows the limits of that ability too. I love getting to explore new aspects of Gwen’s powers in each issue, and this one is particularly neat.