Pedro’s presidency and Uncle Rico’s freedom are imperiled, but Napoleon is on the case! Your Major Spoilers review of Napoleon Dynamite #4 from IDW Publishing awaits!
Writer: Carlos Guzman-Verdugo & Alejandro Verdugo
Artist: Jorge Monlongo
Colorist: Jorge Monlongo
Letterer: Christa Miesner
Editor: Tom Waltz
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 5, 2020
Previously in Napoleon Dynamite: With both Pedro’s student presidency and Uncle Rico’s freedom in the balance, Napoleon Dynamite will have to team up with Deb and amateur detective Joana Gato to set things right. A shocking accusation, a surprise promotion, and creative use of knock-off hot sauce make this the spiciest issue yet!
THE VINDICATION OF PEDRO SANCHEZ
After the reveal of additional falsified ballots in the election for class president (as seen in the 2004 movie), Pedro is on the cusp of losing his position. Thanks to Naploeon and Joana, though, evidence is presented that proves that the cheating was actually Pedro’s OPPONENT, or more specifically, her idiot boyfriend. Thus, the big plot of this entire miniseries is resolved by PAGE THREE, and things immediately move on to a bigger mystery: Napoleon’s Uncle Rico has been arrested for murder! Napoleon knows that he’s innocent (he saw him doing night yoga, apparently), leading the two sleuths into the field again to sift clues. The discovery of at the murder scene sends them to Deb for crafting expertise, which in turn has them seeking Napoleon’s sensei, Brock Montana.
Or, to use his real name, Ralph. Sensei Ralph apparently murdered City Councilman Young over a zoning dispute, and now he’s on his way out of town to escape prosecution. Fortunately, Napoleon knows martial arts…
A MURDER MYSTERY
…and also, hot sauce in the eyes burns like heck. Rico is freed and the story closes with another surprise election win for Pedro, Deb gets a promotion and all’s right with the world. It feels very much like the end of a sequel film, and successfully captures the tone and tempo of the original film. I really enjoy the art in this issue, combining the cartoonishness of Dan Clowes with a wonderful pastel color palette, and while it’s sometimes hard to figure out which character from the film you’re seeing, there’s never a question about the consistency of the depictions, once you figure that out. As with so many modern miniseries, this doesn’t really feel like a full chapter of comics so much as a story you bumped into on cable already halfway through. It’s not bad, though, and since the sensibilities of Napoleon are such that even the completed collection will be less controlled narrative than roundabout shaggy dog story, it feels very appropriate.
BOTTOM LINE: CHARMING, BUT MEANDERING
In short, if you enjoyed the film, Napoleon Dynamite #4 will provide the same earnest, goofy, not-at-all-self-aware but still good natured nonsense that you enjoyed, with lively and vivid cartoony art and enough of the trademark cringe to serve as fitting sequel, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. I’m quite convinced that this story is an unproduced sequel scuttled by the fact that it’s teenager protagonist is now 42 in the real world, and even though I’m not a massive super-fan of the film, I found this issue and the entire miniseries enjoyable and clever.
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NAPOLEON DYNAMITE #4
Come get some ham!
It feels like an official sequel, the art is charming and fun, and there's a happy ending for everyone but murderer and victim... What's not to like?