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Welcome to an all-new edition of Parlay Points! It’s the comic book review blog to the ODPH podcast!

For this entry, we’re checking out the early days of Conrad S. Hauser in the Energon Universe. The flagship character of G.I. Joe has become the center of attention since his run-in with Starscream. Now locked up un the Pit, Hauser’s life hasn’t slowed down.

An attack on the facility proves to make dangerous alliances. How will Hauser survive this latest obstacle on the way to discovering the truth about the Transformers?

DUKE #4 by Joshua Williamson, Tom Reilly, and Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton (Skybound entertainment/Image Comics) sets up events for an explosive finale.

Let’s take a deeper dive into all the action!


The chapter begins with the attack on the Pit in full swing. More soldiers from Major Bludd’s group decent onto the building. Stalker is holding them back in a losing effort. His situation is ironically more controlled than what lies beneath the Pit…

DUKE #4 by Joshua Williamson, Tom Reilly, and Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton (Skybound entertainment/Image Comics) COVER: Andrei Bressan & Adriano Lucas

The Baroness has Duke at gun point. After shooting Major Bludd last issue, she is poised to collect the bounty on Duke’s head. Duke bluntly tells her to get it over with after telling her what the fallout will be with her actions.

With the amount of people looking for Duke and his information, there is no such thing as a certain pay day. The Baroness backs off. Stalker gets the drop on her. Duke says to hold his attack.


With Clutch and Rock n Roll in tow, Duke leads them on an escape from the soldiers moving in. There is no turning back. There’s only one way out for the group. They need to dive further underground.

Readers witness as the unlikely allies prepare to ascend and take the fight to Bludd’s forces. The conflict hits the gas pedal and never lets up. How will the alliances hold up?

With time running out, choices are made. One steers Duke onto a new path. Greeting him might be the answers he is searching for. However, there’s an obstacle in his path on the final page that might derail plans once and for all!

One thing is for certain: If you want action, you have come to the right place! Williamson orchestrates huge moments while delving into Duke’s complex situation. The conversation with the Baroness is filled with an uneasy tone of reluctant trust. Fans will gravitate towards how Duke takes over running the escape mission. For any new readers to the fandom, it’s prime example of how he has become the legendary leader of G.I. Joe.

DUKE #4 by Joshua Williamson, Tom Reilly, and Jordie Bellaire and Rus Wooton (Skybound entertainment/Image Comics – cover: Ben Oliver)

Williamson also sets events in motion for the finale through this chaotic scene. Duke is written as unbreakable much like his spirit. This drives the final act forward. Once events lead to the closing pages, the writing places the key players in their spots for what will be no doubt a classic finale.

Reilly and Bellaire spare no expense in giving fans bold action images. The face-off with Baroness and Duke is boiling over with tension and anxiousness. Duke’s demeanor shines through leading to its’ eventual outcome. The escape from the Pit kicks off with a HUGE two page spread that locks readers in for the action.

Wooton’s lettering here is the perfect touch to the frantic motion going on. These images guide readers into a solid final act. The closing full page panel will have readers pacing for the final to drop. It’s another sign of fantastic work from this creative team.


With danger at every turn, the franchise of the G.I. Joe fandom shows why he is that of legend with another excellent read. Williamson constructs a hero’s unbreakable will through his writing. Reilly, Bellaire and Wooten give fans much to be excited about with their energetic action imagery. All signs point to an epic finale based off this strong lead-in chapter.

Hit me up on ODPH social media and let me know your thoughts on Duke #4. Thanks for reading Parlay Points on Nerd Initiative!


Ken M.
Ken M.https://odphpodcast.com/
Executive Producer/Host of the ODPH (Ocho Duro Parlay Hour) Podcast. Ken is also Nerd Initiative's Comics Editor-In-Chief/Brand Advisor and host of "Turn A Page". Ken is also a freelance Pro Wrestling Blogger and an all around fan of Sports, Movies Tv, Comics and Pro Wrestling

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