The story becomes more complex in this issue. The episode opens with a flashback where the reader discovers that Gil was recruited by a secret Catholic order founded in the spirit of St. Francis (patron saint of the animals). A strikingly beautiful woman named Sister Kathryn Jane Sparrows who calls herself "Scout", invites Gil to aid the organization's efforts to maintain the Earth's ecological balance by protecting the animals from mankind. Flash cut to the present where Gil, now in a new superhero suit updated by this mysterious organization, is telling Scout to thank her benefactors. Scout tells her that they are "your benefactors" too. Calico, who values his independence (a classic lone hero) tells her that he is more of a "consultant". The new suit will be featured later in this episode with a fantastic full-page breakdown of all of the suit's functions.
At this point in the story, Calico is investigating the source of the dog snuff video featured in Ep 1 ("he can't stop thinking about it", he says) which the organization has traced to a company in Bensonhurst's Chinatown area. The company is owned by Wah Feng aka Dr. Claw and is named Easy Chow Ltd, a meat supplier based in Seattle. Calico chases down a lead and encases the owner's playboy son in a tub filled with cement hoping he will call his father. This scene is very amusing as the son is such a weasel.
Meanwhile, a separate incident involving a huge hulking janitor (a really great character design) who is muscle for a local gang is summoned to take care of a rowdy drunk who is also an ex-boxer/wrestler. They meet and recognize each other as old enemies. Their fight is the beginning of Calico's encounter with the new supervillain. Sounds complex when you put it into a plot synopsis, but it's much simpler when depicted visually in the comic.
I was very impressed with how the two ex-fighters come to Calico's aid in his seemingly helpless fight against the cowled supervillain who just trashes Calico. It seems that the new suit is only useful to a point. Nice irony and excellent writing. It does the classic superhero's first fight with a supervillain one better because Calico needs their help. Perhaps Calico is not such a loner after all.
There is not as much action in this episode although when it comes it's blunt and direct (a continuing feature of this comic series). The appearance of the Calico's antagonist is striking and their battle is depicted with style by artist Javier Orabich and colorist Daniel Grimaldi. The twist ending with Kingman and his thug (I love that guy) is excellent. I had to run back to previous issues of the comic to check the story references. I wonder if that will be necessary when you can read all 8 of the comics in one sitting?
Kudos to Mr. German and his crew for a very good comic. Issue 4 shows that Calico isn't just a comic about fighting, but one that has more subtle themes and characters. And that's what makes a good comic great! And, as usual, Sigma supports animal rights. Donate to The Abandoned Ones, an animal rescue group, to help save our innocent friends from the ravages of cruelty
Here Comes Calico #4 is highly recommended. You can check the main website of Sigma Comics for more info on the series and on how to purchase each issue. My thanks to Sigma for sending me a copy of this comic to review.