PEARL #3 by Brain Michael Bendis, Michael Gaydos, Joshua Reed, Curtis King Jr., Michael McAllister, Exotik Alek, Diego Martin, Jessica Schrufer, and Alisa Bendis
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
PEARL #3 does well in progressing the plot, however, there's nothing in the story that stands out. Michael Gaydos continues to deliver on his art in this issue with strategic color use.
82 %
Medicore Interest

A gang war begins in PEARL #3, written by Brian Michael Bendis with art by Michael Gaydos and brought to you by DC Entertainment. We meet Pearl’s new enemy, see her disobeying orders from Mr. Mike, and learn how she came to own her tattoo shop. Overall, PEARL #3 does well in progressing the plot; however, it’s not as interesting as previous issues.

Warning, potential spoilers for PEARL #3 are below!

Shots In the Club

We see Pearl, Rick, and Kim in the club from PEARL #2. Pearl showed up because Mr. Mike wanted her to kill Rick, since he’s from a different clan. She thinks hard about ending Rick’s life, but then goes for Shiba (a member of the Yakuza, the clan Pearl is associated with). Instead of killing him, she shoots him in the hand before he can harm Rick.

PEARL #3
PEARL #3 page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

We then cut to Mr. Mike and Mr. Kai discussing what Pearl just did at the club. This leads to talking about Pearl’s mother’s funeral, before we flashback to five years ago. Mr. Mike and Pearl talk about how Pearl’s mother left the shop to her. Mr. Mike gives Pearl the chance to stay out of the business and be a normal girl that goes to college and travels. To that, Pearl declines and pays Mr. Mike the money she received from the Yakuza to own the shop.

The Wow Factor Lost in PEARL #3

While reading this, there wasn’t anything in PEARL #3’s plot that stood out as something to react to. Sure, we’re introduced to Shiba and we’re told he and Rick know each other, all while watching Shiba attempt to kill Rick and Pearl effortlessly saving his life. Yet, after this part, the narrative goes quickly downhill. We’re just seeing a conversation between Mr. Mike and Mr. Kai, then we transition to a short flashback, and then we return to the club.

Pearl reveals that she spared Shiba on purpose. The assassin tries acting nice, then attempts to attack her again, before Rick punches him in the face. Rick, persistent as ever, asks Pearl and Kim if they’re hungry, to which Pearl informs him she was sent by Mr. Mike to kill him. Rick’s shocked, all while Kim asks why she saved him.

Yes, the plot does well in progressing the story by adding layers to our characters; however, if you look at it as a whole, PEARL #3 isn’t as interesting as the previous two issues. Nothing shocking happens. This issue seems to just be a building block to bigger, more interesting points for future installments. Which is fine, but the story could’ve been so much better.

Consistent Art in PEARL #3

The art by Michael Gaydos remains consistent in PEARL #3. The club scene is just as colorful and vibrant as it was in the previous issue. What was enjoyable this time around was the strategic way Gaydos used colors to define the mood of certain situations. The club setting is self-explanatory, but if you look closely, our characters change colors every so often because of all the lights. Pretty cool, right? Another stellar example of Gaydos’s strategic use of color is the funeral scene. The colors in this setting are bland and dark, which fit the sorrow Pearl must feel after losing her mother.

Pearl’s mysterious tattoo is subtle. Now, whether or not that’s good is up to individual opinion. This particular reader is indifferent to how the tattoo looks visually.

PEARL #3
PEARL #3 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Hoping For More in PEARL #4

I still love the PEARL series, despite this issue not being the best thus far. It’s understandable that the series does need an issue to build more of the story, but it could have done more to keep things interesting. Hopefully, with Rick spared, we can finally see him and Pearl becoming more romantically involved. I’ve been waiting ever so patiently for them to finally talk about their feelings (leaning more towards Pearl on this point). Please let it happen Brian Michael Bendis. Just once.

Also, when will we find out who Rick is associated with? We still don’t know which clan he’s a part of. Hopefully, we’ll see some of this in the next issue.

Stay tuned for PEARL #4, coming soon!

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