PEARL #4 by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos
Brian Michael Bendis keeps the story interesting while taking a breather from the gang war in PEARL #3. Michael Gaydos keeps his art consistent; however, in this issue, the visuals don't seem to stand out very much. Overall, PEARL #4 is a good, consistent comic.
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In PEARL #4, it seems Brian Michael Bendis is giving us a break from the fast-paced gang war of the previous issue. Bendis tries to develop Pearl and Rick’s bond while also furthering the mystery of who Pearl’s mother is and who killed her. We also get to know more about the Endo Twins and their hand in the gang war. Michael Gaydos’ art remains consistent, however, it seems somewhat blander this time around. Overall, PEARL #4 is still a great breather with enough suspense to keep you entertained and interested.

Warning, potential spoilers for PEARL #4 are below!

The Tattoo, The Twins, and A Mysterious Mother in PEARL#4

Since PEARL #4 slows down the overarching plot, we go a little bit into another of Pearl’s tattoos, more on the Endo Twins, and a short bit on Pearl’s mother both in the past and present. Rick brings up noticing the tattoo on Pearl’s face and wants to know what artist did it. We then find out said artist is none other than Pearl herself! Meanwhile, the Endo Twins — from what we can see — seem to be either be paying off law enforcement, or they’re master manipulators. The latter wouldn’t be surprising, considering their murder of Shiba, the assassin who tried to kill Rick in PEARL #3.

Lastly, we see a flashback of a younger Pearl and her father. Her dad wants her to honor her mother if he’s ever unable to. In the present, Mr. Mike and Mr. Kai also talk about Pearl’s mother. Mr. Mike’s fears that, if Pearl learns who her mother really was, she’ll kill everyone. Hopefully we’ll find out more on that in the next issue!

PEARL #4 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Rick’s Underlying Feelings and Pearl’s Memory Loss

It’s obvious throughout PEARL #4 that Rick has always had feelings for our protagonist. I like that Bendis allows Rick and Pearl come together on a sentimental level. This comes in the form of her sharing the story about the tattoo with him.

Pearl doesn’t seem to recall doing the tattoo at all, which may indicate something powerful within the ink. What that power might be is currently unknown. The crazy thing is that I cannot think of another theory as to what made Pearl forget, or what else the ink may have done to her. Pearl’s father wanted her to honor her mother and Rick said that she really is her mother. Maybe she doesn’t remember tattooing herself due to the pain, or something else completely unorthodox? Also, how did she do it so well? Given Rick’s comment, what if Pearl and her mother’s spirit are infused into Pearl’s body? Hey, it’s comics. Weirder stuff has happened!

Whatever the case, I’m a fan of seeing Rick trying to understand Pearl and her also opening up to him. Maybe we’ll see more growth between our two main characters? It would be nice since Rick is so into Pearl. Anything romantic between those two would great.

Consistent, Yet Flat Art in PEARL #4

Michael Gaydos does well in keeping the use of color and everything else consistent throughout this issue. However, there’s not much that stands out in PEARL#4. The only aspects that really have any “stand out” quality are scenes where different colors are utilized; a bold red during the Endo Twins’s part of the story and Mr. Mike’s body art, seemingly luminous and shining. It would have been nice to see more from Gaydos after all the color pop from PEARL #3 in the club scenes. Overall it’s still very high-quality work, but not as creative as we know the art team can be.

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

What Might Happen in PEARL #5?

Well, we’ve certainly got a lot to look forward to! Are we going to learn more about Pearl’s mom and see her rampage as Mr. Mike predicts? Or are we going to see more development in the gang wars? Maybe a little bit of both? Who knows? All we can do is stay tuned!

Keep an eye out for PEARL #5 on December 19th!

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