Updated: Feb 21, 2020
Writer: Denton J. Tipton, Art: Kagan McLeod, Color: Luis Antonio Delgado, Lettering: Neil Uyetake, Editor: Tom Waltz.
Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues #3 is yet another flashback issue of Johnny Lawrence's story from The Karate Kid film. If you can recall, during my last review of issue #2, I expressed that I was nervous about where writer Denton J. Tipton plans to go with the story. I really shouldn't have been, because in my heart I knew what was going to happen. Issue #3 begins with another moment in the present where Sensei Johnny Lawrence trains with his top three Cobra Kai students. He is telling the young Miguel Diaz about his past run-ins with LaRusso so he learns to watch out for them as they are connivers and thieves. We are then served a heavy tray of flashbacks from the end of Daniel and Ali's first date, to the country club scene and Johnny's perspective of the pair's argument at the arcade. All of this serves as the lead up to the film's conclusion of the All Valley Karate Championship tournament. Thankfully, Johnny's Story is to conclude in issue #4. Daniel's story is then likely to commence afterwards.
There isn't much action taking place in this issue. Artist Kagan McLeod and colorist Luis Antonio Delgado will have their work cut out for them in the next as it will largely be about the karate tournament where Lawrence and LaRusso will finally go head to head. My hope is that they do not take the blocking and framing from the film and just copy it over into the panels of the comics. Delgado does a great job with his color story, distinguishing tones and colors for night and day, interior and exterior locations. Even in a flashback within a flashback, he offers up a change of tone. I can't say much for Tipton, however. Sure, he sprinkles in a couple of panels worth of moments here and there of things that weren't said or seen in the original film, but it is not enough to make the comic be a story of its own. Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues is essentially CliffsNotes in comic form. At this point, all I can look forward to is what Daniel's Story will consist of, being as much of the film is covered in the first four issues.
Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues #3 is published by IDW and goes on sale February 19, 2020.