Duke #3

Duke #3 Advance Review

Duke has kicked off G.I. Joe’s part of the Energon Universe with a hot start. Taking the developments from Transformers to make Conrad S. Hauser a most wanted story was certainly not how G.I. Joe’s entry was expected to happen. To Joshua Williamson and Tom Reilly’s credit this storyline has given Duke a unique entry point that connects him to the greater Energon Universe. We got the chance to check out an early copy of Duke #3. Find out how it turned out with our advance review.


Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Tom Reilly

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Letterer: Rus Wooton


“Duke’s search for answers has led him to a classified holding site for America’s most dangerous prisoners. Now he’s the most wanted man in the world. Unfortunately, everyone seems to prefer him Dead over Alive.” – Image Comics & Skybound


Joshua Williamson and Tom Reilly do not miss out on the opportunity of the prison setting they set up in he previous issue. This setting allows them to not just further explore Duke’s frame of mind. This was also an opportunity to introduce Baroness and what she brings to the table. In the process the chemistry between Duke and Baroness helps to further develop the Energon Universe.

For a small setting, the prison that Duke, Baroness, and Clutch are locked in had a sense of importance. Baroness in particular shines with how she tries to manipulate Duke that they can help each other out. Williamson balances out Baroness desperation to get out while making sure her antagonistic ways shine most. Just as soon as you think Duke should team-up with her, Baroness says a word that makes you question her motives. It’s a balance that gets you invested in her character and what her role will be in this series.

Duke #3 Preview
Preview of interior artwork by artist Tom Reilly and colorist Jordie Bellaire for Duke #3. Credit: Image Comics & Skybound

Baroness also provides a challenge for Duke. Right now, Duke is a guy who has had his country and former allies turn against him. The only person that is on his side, Clutch, is locked in the same prison cell as him. With that we see how Duke must be mentally strong to prove his innocence. If he is not, then it wouldn’t be hard to see him suddenly make the turn to the dark side.

That’s where the way Major Bludd, who appears in one of the variant covers, presence is timed perfectly. Everything from how Reilly draws the character to how Williamson writes him, makes Major Bludd a dastardly villain. With Baroness playing the more complex villain side it is great to see that balanced by Major Bludd. Keeping things simple makes Major Bludd standout as there doesn’t need to be anything complex with him. He loves being a villain and shows that in his words and actions.

Reilly continues to deliver the goods when it comes to the artwork. Duke #3 has a great mix of classic G.I. Joe designs with more of a modern-day look. The double page spread that shows Baroness origin story does a great job condensing all the information you need to know about her. Her past makes the present-day Baroness an even more compelling character. Reilly also delivers even more great action choreography. When things blow up you feel it.


Duke #3 does an excellent job introducing Baroness and building her chemistry with Duke. Every character shines, which in turn makes the Energon Universe even more compelling. The way this issue ends creates a lot of intriguing questions for what could happen next.

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10

Get a look at a preview of the covers and interior artwork for Duke #3 by clicking here.