Cobra Kai #4 wraps up this Karate Kid miniseries.
Similar to comic books that would have come out in the ’80s, Cobra Kai simply illustrates scenes from the original Karate Kid film in a nostalgic watercolor format. This has been the case for the previous issues, although we were given some different perspectives on characters such as Johnny Lawrence and John Kreese. That is not the case with the conclusion of the series; if anything, it is strictly straight-to-illustration recreations of the final fight scene between Daniel LaRusso and Johnny Lawrence from The Karate Kid.
A big problem I had with this issue is that it contradicts what the Cobra Kai TV show was already doing with the current plot. In the comic book, the students show Johnny Lawrence compassion for what he had endured under the tutelage of John Kreese. They identify that John Kreese is a horrible, manipulative and abusive person. It is a beautiful moment in this comic book that is nullified by watching the second season’s finale of Cobra Kai, where John Kreese turns the students against Johnny.
While teenagers are generally very impressionable, they probably wouldn’t turn against the person they had previously respected and favored as a teacher. John Kreese is manipulative, but knowing that these students had prior knowledge of Johnny’s past means that this comic book plot beat does not work in the greater scheme of the Cobra Kai story. As a result, I have to now take this mini-series with a grain of salt and accept that it has no actual bearing on the story of the show.
This final issue is great for the Karate Kid collector. Lucky for me, I am a big fan of the Karate Kid franchise, so I enjoyed this fun little revisit down memory lane. This is also a good gateway for a younger Cobra Kai fan whose knowledge of this universe may solely be through the YouTube series, and they have not seen the original films. But for someone who is looking for a new angle on the story of Johnny Lawrence, that is not going to be in this comic.