IDW; $3.99

It’s hard to argue a case for Johnny Lawrence not being the bad guy in Karate Kid, but perhaps he can be given a bit of leniency? That’s the question that permeates the Cobra Kai TV show and the new comic series, Cobra Kai: The Karate Kid Saga Continues. Presenting Johnny’s story, the first issue opens in 1979 when he learns of Cobra Kai, it sees his relationship with Ali, and shows him winning the All Valley Tournament. This is all told in flashbacks as Johnny in 2018 prepares his students for the big tournament.

Denton J. Tipton wrote a good opener for this new series by providing a backstory that gives Johnny some sympathy without trying to excuse his bullying behavior. Though the issue bounces around in his timeline, the narrative flows well, including the first time Johnny and Daniel meet on the beach. It’ll be interesting to see where Johnny’s story goes from here and if he’ll express remorse for his actions.

-Amanda Sheriff