When Marvel first introduced the character of Gwenpool, a lot of people were instantly turned off by what seemed like a blatant cash-grab. She’s Spider-Gwen + Deadpool, and inspired by cosplay; there doesn’t seem to be much there to her at all.
However, under the watch of Christopher Hastings and Gurihiru in the pages of The Unbelievable Gwenpool, she’s actually one of the most interesting and complex characters in the Marvel Universe.
Today, we're looking at recent offerings from Marvel Comics that cater specifically to younger readers. Over recent years there's been a significant sea-change at Marvel that has allowed more young adult, kid-friendly, and inclusive titles to spring up and carve a corner for themselves, and we've chosen six of the very best for the kids and teens in your life.
Earlier this month on Super Tuesday, Marvel announced an upcoming series titled Vote Loki, featuring the God of Mischief setting his sights on The White House --- although they did so without a creative team in place at that moment. Yesterday at the “All-New, All-Different Marvel” panel at C2E2, it was announced that Christopher Hastings and Langdon Foss will be the ones ushering in Loki’s presidential bid this June.
Because somebody apparently demanded it, the character that Marvel Comics describes as "2015’s overnight sensation" is getting her own series by Christopher Hastings and Gurihiru. The Unbelievable Gwenpool #1 comes out April 13.
Despite what you might have reasonably assumed, Gwenpool is neither Gwen Stacy nor Deadpool. She's a girl named Gwen Poole, who comes from a mundane, non-superhero Earth just like ours, where she was way into Marvel Comics and video games. So when she finds herself in the Marvel Universe, she figures she can do whatever she wants, and it turns out she's right.
Q: Who is the best President of the United States in superhero comics? -- @SAWinchell
A: Ah yes. It's a Presidential Election year here in the United States, and with politics in the air everywhere you look, the next eight months are probably going to involve a lot of questions about elections, public offices, and other expressions of our American ideals of democracy. For those of you who aren't in America, this might seem like we're drawing things out a little bit, but I can assure you that it's been like this for like a year already.
Anyway, to the question! Given how rarely we actually see the President playing a significant role in superhero comics, there are really only a few directions we can go with this. The obvious choices are, of course, Prez Rickard and Beth Ross, the two teenage presidents who have starred in different iterations of Prez, or Calvin Ellis, the Super-President from Earth-23, and if I was up for a bit of political satire, I could try to defend the Lex Luthor administration again. But really, if we want to talk about the best Chief Executive in all of comics, then there's only one real choice: President Maria Funkhouser, from Christopher Hastings' The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
Marvel has announced an ongoing series for Gwenpool, star of the recent Gwenpool Holiday Special. The Unbelievable Gwenpool launches in April, written by Christopher Hastings with art by the team of Chifuyu Sasaki and Naoko Kawano, better known as Gurihiru. The Entertainment Weekly article announcing the book attributes the launch to the character's popularity, which means solo books for quantifiably more popular Marvel characters like Jessica Jones and America Chavez will surely be announced any day now.
I had absolutely no interest in Marvel’s Gwenpool Special #1 when it was announced. I like Spider-Gwen a whole lot, but what looked like essentially a gender-bent Deadpool in pink? Yeah, the best I could come up with was a shrug at the news that this random mash-up character would be getting a holiday issue.
Which is why I’m quite honestly shocked that I liked Gwenpool Special #1. I liked it a lot.
I know that seems like a clickbaity headline, but we're just quoting the front page of the latest edition of The Tea Leaves, as you'll see in this preview of Adventure Time #34 by Christopher Hastings and Phil Murphy... where you'll also get to see what happens next.
To say that The Adventures of Dr. McNinja is one of my favorite webcomics is putting it mildly. It's one of my favorite comics ever, period, and for almost ten years it's been delivering over-the-top action and comedy to readers three times a week. Now, though, that's coming to an end. With Monday's strip, writer/artist Christopher Hastings and colorist Anthony Clark followed up the print release of Dr. McNinja Vol. 3 from Dark Horse by officially starting "The End," the final story of the doctor who is also a ninja, and his increasingly bizarre supporting cast.
To find out more, I spoke to Hastings about the decision to end the comic, why he's doing it now, and who will survive the experience.
With this month’s Adventure Time #36, the award-winning run from Ryan North, Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb comes to a close, making way for the new creative team of Christopher Hastings and Zachary Sterling. It’s an interesting and exciting piece of news, especially for fans who know Hastings from his work on the long-running Adventures of Dr. McNinja webcomic, but after three years, North, Paroline and Lamb’s run is worth looking back on as one of the best comics — not one of the best licensed books or one of the best kids comics, one of the best comics — of the past few years.
Today, we conclude our two-part interview with Hastings and North by looking forward to what Hastings plans to do in his run on the title, why the wackier aspects of the show have to be held together with an emotional core, and the character than North "fake killed off" for his three-year run.
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