Comic Reviews

Duke #4 Review: Escape From The Pit

In this review of Duke #4, Duke finds himself at the mercy of the newly escaped Baroness while the pit remains under assault at the hands of Major Bludd’s troops.

 

Duke #4
Written by: Joshua Williamson
Art and Main Cover by:
Tom Reilly
Colors:
Jodie Bellaire
Variant covers by:
Andrei Bressan, Tyler Boss, Taurin Clarke, Ben Oliver
Page Count:
20
Release Date:
3/27/2024

 

This review contains spoilers.
duke #4 variant cover
Duke #4 variant cover by Andrei Bressan (All images courtesy of Skybound/Image Comics)

Duke #4 begins as it has consistently — full of action. It picks up directly from issue #3. The Pit finds itself under attack by the forces of Major Bludd, who’s been tasked with finding Duke and relieving him of the drive Adele Burkhart gave him in Duke #1. However, after freeing The Baroness from her own cage as the attack ensues, Duke gets shot by Bludd only to see The Baroness pointing a gun at his head. Apparently, the bounty on Duke’s head is large.

Despite the backdrop of the intense fighting occurring above ground and, in the cells, Duke convinces Baroness to team up, at least temporarily. By this time, Rock N’ Roll and clutch have taken care of their assailants. Stalker has also joined the team, warning them that going up is a death wish. They needed to find another way out of the Pit. they go further down into the Pit to find exactly what they need — tanks and jets.

Duke and gang use these vehicles to make their escape while taking out more of Bludd’s force who arrived to reinforce the attackers. During the skirmish, Baroness is able to make her escape, much to Stalker’s dismay. Duke, for his part, takes his leave as well. he has to see things through, and he can’t do that by turning himself in to Hawk. He makes his way north into the mountains where he hopes to find a secret M.A.R.S. base.

Unfortunately for Duke, Destro is waiting on him and he orders Scrap-Iron to destroy the plane. Doing so doesn’t kill our hero, however, as he’s able to avoid death and enter the secret mountain base. He doesn’t get far, however. As he enters a dark chamber, he’s grabbed by a large robot — a Battle Android Trooper.

What Joshua Williamson does in Duke #4 is not any different from what he’s done in the three previous issues. Yet, let me be clear that this is not a complaint. With every issue of Duke, the Energon version of the G.I. Joe universe grows larger as a “new” character make their appearance. It is a tremendously fast amount of world-building. In three issues, we’ve seen at least six characters make their debut. And to be clear, these are not minor characters in any way. They all have a special place in G.I. Joe lore. This issue, we see Scrap-Iron and a Battle Android Trooper. Despite the many debuts in a short period of time, nothing feels rushed or cluttered.

With only one issue remaining in the mini-series, the only question that comes to mind is how does Williamson bring this to a close? While we know this won’t be the last we see of the beloved Duke as the Energon Universe continues to expand, what should we expect in this final issue come April. How does Duke escape the grasp of the B.A.T.? Does he get the answers he’s been looking for?

Tom Reilly’s art continues to be impeccable. I truly love his modern renditions of the classic Joe characters. This is particularly true in how he draws Duke. When I spoke with Joshua Williamson before the series’ release, he mentioned how he wanted to wear down Duke to his lowest. He’s done so literally. However, the way Reilly draws Duke adds more to it. I hope that once the miniseries ends that this visual depiction of Duke remains the same.

 

Final Thoughts

With only one more issue to go in the mini-series, Joshua Williamson’s world-building of the G.I. Joe Universe has been great as each new issue introduces us to another character from the world of G.I. Joe. I can only imagine who else will make their debut by the time the series ends in April.

 

Editor’s Note: Enjoy this review of Duke #4? Find more reviews here. Skybound Entertainment provided The Comic Book Spot with an advanced copy of this comic for review purposes. You can find this comic and help support us in the process by purchasing this issue digitally on Amazon or a physical copy of the title through Things From Another World.

duke #1 main cover
Duke #4
Final Thoughts
Joshua Williamson's world-building of the G.I. Joe Universe has been great as each new issue introduces us to another character from the world of G.I. Joe. I can only imagine who else will make their debut by the time the series ends in April.
Story
Art
4.1
Overall Score
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