Seriously, who would’ve thought that Gwen Stacy would become a superhero with one of the biggest cult followings of this decade? While many know her as Spider-Man’s ill-fated girlfriend, an alternate universe version of her has popped up in recent years, whom you may know as Spider-Gwen. And, as the snowball continued to gain mass, that gave way to Gwenpool, an even zanier character (but, in all fairness, her real name is “Gwen Poole”).
Now, it appears as though Image isn’t content to let Marvel have all the fun as they’ve Gwen-ified one of their own with Invincible #135’s April Fools variant cover. It’s especially hilarious because it takes a jab at Marvel’s love for the “#1,” something many have had valid criticism concerning.
If you don’t get the joke, here’s a bit of backstory: Basically, Marvel relaunches many of its top books on an annual basis, usually following a major crossover event. While this does provide new readers with great jumping on points, it also means that a “#1” no longer carries the monetary value it once did. Don’t forget that comics appreciate in value due to significance or rarity. So, if there are a ton of first issues for a given character, well, it’s ultimately not going to be worth much more than the $3.99 you originally paid for it until Spider-Man 2099 dies of old age.
As, for the “Not really, but buy it anyway!,” that’s in reference to Marvel imbuing covers for issues that kickoff new story arcs with a gigantic “#1” in the top corner, with the actual numbering in small print in the bottom corner. It’s kind of like when Tom Clancy’s name occupies a third of a novel’s cover, with the actual author being credited at the very bottom. But, then again, Archie Comics have been known to do this as well.
Invincible #135 arrives in comic shops on April 19.