With Fayola Afolayan held hostage, Chuck waits at a monastery to plan a rescue. But an army of corrupt cops, mobsters, a zealous cult leader, and a disgraced insurance adjuster come knocking at the door. The monastery is the one place she felt safe and now it’s being threatened by invaders. Will Lady Luck be at Chuck’s side or is the moment her luck runs out?
One simple case of finding a missing person had led into a complex cat and mouse game. From Papa Freedom’s church burning down, exposing crooked cops in their own precedent, putting a mob boss into jail, Chuck was racking up many enemies in a short time. Fayola Afolayan, Chuck’s reluctant client, and a house full of monks are what is left of Chuck allies. Fayola had slowly gained Chuck trust and someone she is willing to risk her life to save. The monks were the people that have tried to teach Chuck about her curse and accept it’s power. With a mob of angry people looking for revenge against the disaster maker, Chuck will have to see if her luck has changed for the better or the worst.
Issue #4 brings the quicky detective story to a close. Lela Gwenn paced the story well between four issues and just scratched the surface with everything about Charlene ”Chuck” Manchester’s life. The story quickly established the core concept while dishing out little pieces about nuggets of info about Chuck. Most of Chuck’s origin is told in dialogue and leaves a bit of desire to see the crazy events in Chuck’s past. However, Chuck is just one part of the story full of eccentric characters. Gwenn introduces a handful of characters that encounter Chuck and get their world turned upside down. Papa Freedom has a funny introduction that gives a great picture of his personality. Investigator Ean Sterling has been trying to nail Chuck for insurance fraud for some time and has reached his boiling point. Mob matriarch Mrs. Afolayan has been trying to mastermind a perfect plan but runs into trouble at every turn. Their frustration and responses keep the story fresh and hilarious.
Bad Luck Chuck has the spirit of a neo-noir drama seen through a comedy lense. At times the series could have fallen into a more serious tone or slapstick but rides the middle most of the time. Matthew Smith and Kelly Fitzpatrick bring a suspenseful visual flair. There is heavy use of shadows and muted colors add to Chuck’s dim perspective of her life. While the series could have explored more, it reaches an ending that brings shows a change in the characters. It’s a fun read that is doesn’t overextend itself and is fast paced to never leave the reader bored.