Betrayal is all around her, but Amber still has her eyes on vengeance. Your Major Spoilers review of Amber Blake #4 awaits!
Writer: Jade Lagardère
Penciler: Butch Guice
Inker: Butch Guice & Mike Perkins
Colorist: Dan Brown
Letterer: Robbie Robbins
Editor: Elizabeth Brei
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 12, 2019
Previously in Amber Blake: Amber Blake has finally found the person responsible for all of the pain in her life – and there’s no way she’s letting him get away again. But nothing is as it seems, and when the people closest to her betray her, she’ll have to use all of her skills to get out alive – and to get the vengeance she’s longed for.
IT COULD BE A TRAP
We open (oddly, for a traditional spy story) in a computer lab, as Amber performs a facial recognition search for a man thought long dead. His location is identified, but there’s no way to get there without a parachute jump, leading to our hero stuck in a tree, only to be saved by the very man she’s seeking. He explains to her that he went underground after discovering that the CEO of Cleverland, the company that Amber wants to unravel, has been abusing children for years and went so far as to try and kill him in retaliation. His plan is already in place, centered around Cleverland’s latest big public presentation in Dubai. A face-paced chase ensues, with Amber trying to outrun Cleverland’s security while her partner Matt prepares to broadcast evidence of child abuse and worse on a worldwide stage, ending with Amber in a coma after falling nearly to her death, saved only by a jetpack. It’s pretty exciting stuff.
LUSH AND COMPLEX ART
The real star of this issue is the art of Jackson Guice, incredibly detailed and lovingly rendered on every page. When the first page of the book is a woman sitting in a a bank of computer monitors and it’s still beautiful and fascinating to look at, you know you’ve got something special on your hands. Amber’s parachuting accident is only the first of a number of gorgeous sequences, and the final rooftop chase sequence is dizzying in its scope. The story isn’t quite as perfect, but it all comes together for an intriguing mystery with a satisfying ending, in a very dark, “punish the guilty” sort of way. There’s something very European about the story and the way the plot breaks down, which makes perfect sense when you find that the original series was published in France and IDW is representing it for American audiences. I can’t help but compare it favorably to the likes of ‘Velvet’ and ‘Criminal’, and I’m especially interested in what happens after the unexpected, shocking reveal at the end of the issue.
BOTTOM LINE: IT WAS A TRAP
In my opinion, Amber Blake #4 is worth $3.99 for the art alone, and I’d happily even read it in French just to look at Guice’s work, but the story here is engaging and the ending strong, leaving the issue with a very impressive 4.5 out of 5 stars overall. The strength of this issue’s presentation sent me back to find the previous three in order to fully appreciate what all is happening here, and if you’re looking for exciting comics that don’t have caped crusaders in them, this book is well worth your time.
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AMBER BLAKE #4
It's an exciting and well-crafted story (though as the final chapter there are some things that really aren't clear unless you have read the first three) but the amazing art is worth the price of admission by itself.