Comic Review: John Wick #4

We’re back once again with John Wick issue #4 and now that Calamity is finally free the stakes are starting to rise. Issue #4 does a pretty solid job of showing Wick’s resourcefulness, something I really liked seeing in issue #2. The action does once again overtake the actual storytelling after Calamity puts a bounty on Wicks’ head. It is, for the most part, entertaining, even when it feels like filler, and serves as a decent set up for the comic’s finale.

This Review Will Contain Spoilers

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Story

John Wick issue #4 written by Greg Pak with artwork from Giovanni Valletta, David Curiel and, Tom Napolitano forces John to work with what he has against a foe who’s, unlike anything we’ve ever seen so far. Calamity is easily the most enjoyable villain of the series. After being released from her mental hospital by Billy and Buffalo she decides to pay the doctors back for their many years of care…by shooting up the whole ward. Probably because she wasn’t treated too good, and certainly because she’s insane. She is, however, the only character in this series which has action on par with Johns own fights and that is extremely cool. She feels more and more like a genuine threat as the issue goes on. Her specific skill set and her blatant disregard for Continental rules give her some common ground with Wick. They are obviously opposites but it remains to be seen if they are equals in combat.

Billy and Buffalo get her caught up to speed, as we see Wick tending to his wounds from the previous issue. More of Wick’s history in Mexico is expanded on as we see a friend of his die in the explosion. At first the stuff in Mexico never really grabbed me but after being expanded on in recent issues I’m really starting to dig it. Wick gets a quick visit from Charon and a doctor before Calamity puts out a public hit on Wick. Charon offers his good friend some help, but Wick passes him up on the offer claiming he has all he needs.

We see some of the bounty hunters looking to claim Wicks bounty hiding in plain sight, again yet another very cool call back to the movies before Wick gets to work. Once again the action is brilliant, Wick takes out multiple assassins in various ways, gradually using their own gear against them.

Maria shows up yet again offering Wick the same deal she’s been offering him since the start and honestly, it’s starting to get really irritating. Every time she asks he says no and her randomly showing up halfway through the action really broke the overall feel of the issue. The issue ends on a literal bombshell as calamity fires off a rocket launcher at a building full of people to get Wicks attention calling back to her earlier attack in Mexico.

As entertaining as the issue is it does feel a little like filler. They could’ve had Calamity track down and fight Wick directly rather than having him fight a load of nameless goons first. Plus Maria adds very little to the story so her inclusion feels pointless. There are some good developments with Wicks character through, some extra backstory to Mexico was cool and once again the action is stellar.

Characters

Calamity is the star here, and she successfully avoids feeling like an “evil John Wick”. She’s clearly crazy but her time in hospital could’ve done her more harm than good, not that it excuses executing the staff or blowing up a building. She’s the only villain in this series who is shown kicking as much ass as Wick and feels like a genuine threat to our hero. Well as a much of a threat as anyone can feel going up against John Wick.

Wick, himself is still as awesome as ever. It was espcially nice to see his more tactical side again rather than simply going in guns blazing, although he does do a fair bit of that too. Any emotional tension is taken out of the fight when its just henchmen or random assassins but like I said, the build-up is there for his and Calamity’s final confrontation.

Everyone else this issue felt underwhelming to me. Billy, Buffalo and, Maria all do very little and barely affect the story after Calamity is released. It’s a real shame but the whole story has basically turned into a royal rumble match between John and Calamity with Billy and Buffalo probably getting what they deserve in the finale too.

Artwork

Yet again, Giovanni Valletta, David Curiel and, Tom Napolitano do a fantastic job with the look of John Wick. The acton sells the entire issue as always and I actually love Calamity’s “cowgirl bandit” look she has going on. Hopefully her and Wicks final battle will be the best the series has to offer.

John Wick issue #4 at times feels like filler whilst also giving a surprising amount to Wicks character. The setup Calamity gets here is well appreciated and elevates her above the rest of the series’ villains but ultimalty this is just the set up for them to finally fight it out. Now thats, what we all want to see.