By: AJ Lieberman (writer), Riley Rossmo (art) & Clayton Cowles (letters)

The Story: After sorting how who the good guys and bad guys were last issue, Duncan, Nix and Professor Ghislain try to stop the dastardly schemes of Mr. Blaq.

What’s Good: The first three issues of CNV were just a zany exercise in weirdness.  I loved the heck out of them, but there wasn’t a lot of story and I couldn’t have really told anyone what they were “about”.  Issue #4 really tied up a lot of loose ends and put the pieces in place to start to tell an actual story and now we are starting to get a real story and it is a good story so far. We’ll probably know over the next few issues whether CNV has enough story to be a real ongoing series.

Story aside, this continues to be a really cleverly written comic.  I spent the entire time reading it just snickering audibly to myself and wishing I wrote half as well as Mr. Lieberman.  Most of the clever parts come from the odd coupling of the larger-than-life Dr. Ghislain, Duncan (with his triple personalities) and Ms. Nix playing the straight-person.  Ghislain has really grown into a great character!  I also loved how in this issue for the first time they showed the triplets speaking with all three personalities without always using insert panels showing the character dressed up as a cowboy, cook, sniper, etc.  It really hits home how nuts these characters are when you see them essentially arguing with themselves.

Finally, the last panel is a great homage to the X-Men (substituting multiple personalities for mutants).  Describing it in words doesn’t do it justice, but I’m pretty sure we never saw Xavier rolling around with a martini in hand!

What’s not so good: There are a few places with I lost track of who was doing what in this book.  With these triplet characters, each one has three personalities and keeping track of which character has which personalities is a little hard.  It’s a fun book, but you do find yourself flipping back and saying, “Is the big guy with the crew cut the one with the Navy SEAL personality?”

Conclusion: This continues to be one of the biggest breaths of fresh air out there.  I’m sure at some point it’ll get stale, but it hasn’t so far.

Grade: A-

-Dean Stell