Duke #4 Review

Duke #4 Advance Review

Duke #4 continues Conrad S. Hauser’s story of being the most wanted person in the country. Last we left Duke he was being held at gunpoint by Baroness as the M.A.R.S. Industries attacked the high security prison Duke was locked up in. Now Duke is left in an even more dangerous situation as friends and allies are becoming harder to come by. With that in mind, how will all this connect to the greater Energon Universe? We got the chance to check out an early copy of Duke #4. Find out how it turned out with our advance review of Duke #4.


Writer: Joshua Williamson

Artist: Tom Reilly

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Letterer: Rus Wooton


“Duke is close to discovering the truth about the alien robots that have landed on Earth. But who—or what—is M.A.R.S.?” – Image Comics & Skybound Entertainment


Duke #4 picks up where we last left things with Conrad S. Hauser in the clutches of Baroness. With Baroness introduction the M.A.R.S. Industries was not far behind. With all of that in mind Duke #4 carries the momentum created by carrying things forward with more great character-focus storytelling.

What immediately stands out with Duke #4 is the environmental storytelling by Tom Reilly. Reilly makes sure the chaos created by M.A.R.S. attack is always at the forefront. As one character states, this a FUBAR situation where survival becomes the key. The use of lighting through Jordie Bellaire coloring elevates the vibe that Reilly creates in his artwork.

All of this creates an intensity to the story that is told through all of the dialogue that Joshua Williamson writes for each character. Williamson does such a great job at conveying Duke, Baroness, Clutch, Stalker, Rock ‘n Roll, and other characters voices. There is a sense of desperation felt with how each character talks. With each minute that is wasted the likelihood of everyone’s survival is increased.

Duke #4 Preview
Preview of interior artwork by Tom Reilly and Jordie Bellaire for Duke #4. Credit: Image Comics & Skybound Entertainment

This works to establish the threat level of Destro, Major Bludd, and M.A.R.S Industries. As their debut in the Energon Universe, Williamson makes sure to maximize this time to establish the G.I. Joe villains as a major threat. This is especially the case for when we do see Destro and Major Bludd. Both characters are distinctly developed to their villainous personas.

As the story develops over the course of this issue it is the dynamic between Duke and Baroness that steals the show. Their conversation has a sense of importance because each one of them is picking their words carefully. Especially on the Duke side of things it did feel like he was walking a tightrope with how he was trying to turn things around for himself.

It all works to deliver what turns out to be another intense issue with Williamson, Reilly, and Bellaire delivering on the action fans expect from these types of stories. There are classic action-thrillers with blockbuster elements added in for fun.


Duke #4 is an intense ride from beginning to end. Joshua Williamson, Tom Reilly, and Jordie Bellaire maximize every panel and page they have to spotlight what makes each character special. It all further elevates how Duke and Baroness in particular are positioned as the leads of this chapter in the story. The way things end get you even more invested in wanting to find out how this story for Duke will end.

Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10

Check out the full preview of Duke #4 by clicking here.