First off, Gwenpool isn’t actually in this comic all that much. The holiday special is more about She-Hulk as she runs an office Christmas party to help lift the spirits of the building’s current owner. It’s a fun story that involves alien real-estate developers who use some sort of depression spell. Mixed in are three smaller stories, bringing in Ms. Marvel, the Hawkeyes, Deadpool and of course, Gwenpool.
Written by Charles Soule, the main story feels like it wouldn’t be out of place in his She-Hulk run that ended this past February. Even the art by Langdon Foss fits the same mood, with a simple and somewhat classic look. The panel where she texts a bunch of different characters is a nice visual gag, with five different “Caps” and the artists from Soule’s 12-issue run listed in her contacts. Megan Wilson’s simple yet colourful art makes this story appealing to the eye.
First up with the mini stories, Ms. Marvel stars in writer Margaret Stohl’s Ms. Grinch. This story does a great job at exploring how Christmas can affect those who don’t celebrate during the holiday season. Kamala is clearly grumpy, but after a man in a Santa suit tries to rob a store, she heroes up and improves her mood immensely. She later speaks with Captain Marvel in a nice little scene that helps her realize its ok to enjoy a holiday, even if it’s not from your own religion. The art by Juan Gedeon and colouring by Tamra Bonvillain is simple but good, and captures Kamala’s varied moods well with facial expressions.
The second story is about the Hawkeyes working with Deadpool to catch a pick pocket, written by Gerry Dugan. It’s nothing special, but it’s a fun story with a few nice jokes and Deadpool actually being a decent person. The ending is a nice moment between the three stars. The art by Danilo S. Beyruth is deceptively simple. Although the general look feels kind of classic, there’s actually a lot of detail in the backgrounds, whether it’s a bunch of varied crowds or the well-varied buildings in the streets. Chris Peter’s simple colouring works well for the art’s style.
And finally, writer Christopher Hastings’s Gwenpool’s story caps off the issue in a bit of a bizarre tale. She’s basically a wannabe mercenary who’s studying sword fighting on YouTube. As much as this story, written by Christopher Hastings, is fun, I’m not sure how long this character can last. At the least, the art and colouring by Gurihiru is great. There’s a slight anima look to this story, with an overall clean appearance and a good amount of details in the backgrounds. It’s a little on the cute side, but that works for this story’s mood.
Overall, this is a fun comic. The main story with She-Hulk is a welcome return to Charles Soule’s She-Hulk writing and the Ms. Marvel side story is both fun and dramatic. The other two stories aren’t as good, but they’re at least kind of fun. That’s what a Christmas special should be anyway, fun. She-Hulk fans should pick this up, Ms. Marvel fans should at least read this, and anyone who loves Christmas specials should find something to enjoy in this issue.