Comic Reviews

Johnny Boy Unleashes His Big Plan In This Review of Little Black Book #4

In this review of Little Black Book #4, Johnny Boy goes to save Little Stevie one final time — or does he? See Johnny Boy’s final plan in our review of the final issue of the mini-series.

 

little black book #4 main cover
Little Black Book #4 main cover by Francesco Francavilla

Little Black Book #4
Writer: Jeff McComsey

Artist:  Felipe Cunha
Color Artist:  Marco Lesko
Cover:  Francesco Francavilla
Variant Covers: Jacob Phillips; Chris Ferguson and Felipe Cunha
Release Date:  June 12, 2024

 

This Review Contains Spoilers

I have enjoyed Little Black Book from the start. In just four issues, readers were met with several twists and swerves. So, with the release of Little Black Book #4, I expected nothing less from Jeff McComsey and Felipe Cunha. And unsurprisingly, they delivered. While I may have thought it was going to play out the way it did, getting there was the fun part.

When we last saw Little Black Book, Johnny Boy seemingly double-crossed his son, Cole, and daughter-in-law, Tess, by taking his little black book and going to meet Little Stevie to make one final move to help the son of his former boss.

Little Black Book #4 picks up not long after they meet. Little Stevie has a problem with the Carson Family that he’s having trouble dealing with. However, Johnny has something — or someone — that could take care of that Carson problem. He only needs to make a phone call. Before he does so, he has to ensure he and his family (both Cole and Tess) are safe. With that, he’d not only make that phone call, but he would give Stevie the black book once everything was done. Stevie agrees.

 

page from little black book #4
Do we have a deal? (Credit: AWA Studios)

 

Unlike the previous issues, there is very little violence in Little Black Book #4. In fact, the only bit of violence occurs near the end of the issue (we’ll get to that shortly). What we get in this issue is a lot of dialogue. Some might think that it is too much. However, it is clear that the excessive talking is setting the climax up. The only question that needs answering it how McComsey will make it happen.

Johnny, Little Stevie, and his boyfriend, make their way out of town and into the mountainous desert of Arizona, apparently on a native reservation as they trek to meet One Horse — the problem-solver. As this goes on, McComsey takes readers check in on Cole and Tess. They’re still waiting by their truck where Johnny left them the night before. The soon-to-be mom can’t get over the life she took that night in Little Black Book #1. Tess wants the victim’s family to know what she had done.

Cole wants nothing to happen to his wife and unborn child. To ensure they remain safe, he decides when everything is over, he’s going to go to the police and turn himself in. It’s the only way to keep anything from coming back on Tess.

After miles of walking in the desert heat, Johnny and the duo reaches the end of their trek as the trail comes to an abrupt end. With nowhere else to go, Johnny pushes the two off the cliff, sending them to their deaths. From here, McComsey lays out Johnny’s true plan. There was never a One Horse. The Native American Stevie thought Johnny was talking to was in fact Cole. Johnny’s plan was to eliminate Stevie. It was always the plan.

Early the next morning, Cole and Tess find that Johnny has returned. He destroys the black book. Cole tells his dad about the accident and his plan to turn himself in to save Tess. Johnny asks him to sleep on it for just one more night. As the couple makes their way into the county sheriff’s office, they find out the Johnny has turned himself in for hitting the old lady in issue #1. Cole’s dad made the ultimate sacrifice for his son.

 

 

The ending to Little Black Book #4 came as quite a surprise. I personally expect for Johnny to not make it. Yet he did. McComsey provided a pretty decent story that ended in a way that was best for the parties involved. In the end, he made Johnny the loving father willing to sacrifice himself for his son. In the end, I appreciate that the protagonists did not have to die — even if one will have to do hard time.

If there is one thing I can appreciate about the art from Felipe Cunha, it is that it was really simple and not complex at all. The linework was thick where it needed to be. There were no complex drawings, even with the depiction of the mountain region. What was even better was the colors from Marco Lesko. I have been a fan of his since his work on Robotech from Titan. Like with the artwork, the palette he uses is simple with the shades of brown in the desert. However, his perception with shading in the sunlight vs. fireside was well done. Yet he also didn’t have an issue changing that palette when the scenery changed to the city.

Final Thoughts

Originally, I thought that four issues were not enough for this series, much like other series from AWA. However, after reading Little Black Book #4, four issues ended up being just right to bring things to closure. Readers looking for a quick read will enjoy picking this up.

 

AWA Studios provided The Comic Book Spot with an advanced copy of this comic for review purposes. If you enjoyed this review, you can find more reviews here. If you would like to buy a copy of this title, and help support the Comic Book Spot at the same time, consider purchasing this book digitally at Amazon or physically at Things From Another World.

little black book #4 featured image
Little Black Book #4
Final Thoughts
Originally, I thought that four issues were not enough for this series, much like other series from AWA. However, after reading Little Black Book #4, four issues ended up being just right to to bring things to closure. Readers looking for a quick read will enjoy picking this up.
Story
7.3
Art
8
Colors
9
8.1
Final Score
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