Arcade is one of my favorite Marvel villains. What's not to like about a guy who constructs elaborate and deadly amusement parks just to mess with some heroes? He's built Murderworlds for the X-Men, the Thing, and most recently Patsy Walker, among many other heroes. Typically a foe for the X-Men-associated heroes, he's one of the most playful assassins out there. Hey, maybe he'll duel with Bullseye in that miniseries at some point. Arcade's next scheduled appearance is in the Elektra series and they're both part of a new "Running With The Devil" branch.
This issue is filled with not only a ton of gaming references, but also a mystical mystery. You see, Arcade is switching things up. No longer content with just trapping a hero or two in a deadly amusement park, he's now snatching up groups of mercs and pitting them against various challenges. Gwen turns out to not just be a Marvel nerd, but also a gaming nerd, saving the rest of her team's skins without a lot of collateral damage. Well, mostly. Some mercs were enchanted into frogs and they're dead, but, you know, comes with the territory of being recruited by Arcade.
On another note, is it just me or does Arcade look like Weird Al Yankovic? He's officially on my list of people who I want to see play Arcade in a film, alongside Andy Samberg. He gives them an ultimate challenge to complete, seeing as Gwen ruined his fun with the shopkeeper scene. They must slay the Unkillable Beat, a mysterious foe. As the robo-shopkeeper says before his decapitation, "If you let it speak, it will drive you mad. If you make it bleed, it will not last." I'm going to hide the identity of the beast until the end of the review, so just skip the rest now. I'm really just going to write about who created the issue after this. Go, go!
The identity of the Unkillable Beast is...Deadpool! It's a really great mystery and it makes a lot of sense. Deadpool can heal and he'll definitely irritate you with his babbling. We're finally getting a Deadpool/Gwenpool team-up! In the past, Christopher Hastings has hinted at this interaction by questioning why Gwen hasn't mentioned Deadpool at all if she knows so much about seemingly everyone in the Marvel world. Could there be a moral conflict in the making? We'll have to wait for the next issue to find out!
The Unbelievable Gwenpool is written by Christopher Hastings, drawn by Gurihiru, and lettered and produced by VC's Clayton Cowles. You can find it at your local comic book shop.
Zachary Krishef is an evil genius. Do not question his knowledge of Saturday Night Live trivia or Harry Potter books.