Writer: Chuck Brown
Art: Trevor Fraley and Chiara Di Francia (colorist)
Publisher: Dynamite Comics
Release date: July 26th, 2023
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It’s the grand finale! Disney Villains: Scar #4 is masterful tale, and incorporates this story into the events of the movie. There are some slight continuity problems though. In the movie, Zazu alerts Mufusa to the presence of hyenas in the pride lands after he is playfully attacked by Simba, yet in the issue, he alerts him to hyenas being in the pride lands after he himself was being chased by hyenas. While it could be more a homage to the scene from the film rather than the actual scene, the presence of young Simba by Mufasa’s side reinforces the idea that’s actually supposed to be directly from the movie. The scene immediately following that in the film is when Simba visits Scar, so obviously some time passes in between these two scenes if this comic is to be considered canon. Despite these potential errors, the comic still keeps all of the characters in character.
After the first issue, some critics believed that Rafiki wasn’t portrayed well, and that how it ended made him culpable with Scar’s plot to assassinate Mufasa, even though he wasn’t directly involved, because Scar told him of his plot to usurp the king. It can be argued that Rafiki maintains some responsibility in this, but there is no evidence that he didn’t try to tell Mufasa about Scar’s plot. Here, we see Rafiki confront Scar yet again, this time in a dream sequence, showing him the fate of the kingdom if Scar rules. Scar’s takedown of the hyena queen is ruthless and effective, foreshadowing his eventually killing of Mufasa as well as his own demise.
The art in this series has been consistently good, and Disney Villains: Scar #4 is no exception. Even though it doesn’t always match the animation style of the movie, it does a fairly decent job. The facial expressions of the characters really capture their essence, particularly with Zazu. Di Francia’s colors do a terrific job of signifying to the reader that Scar is dreaming and it differentiates the dream world from the real world. The meerkats looked a lot like Timon, but it is unclear if the one speaking is actually Timon, since Scar never really interacted with him in the movie. Zuhour’s demise is depicted well and foreshadows what is to come with Mufasa’s eventual death, but also includes a new element that we didn’t see in the film: an army of vultures.
Disney Villains: Scar #4 is a great conclusion to this story, despite some continuity errors. This series presented an insightful look into Scar’s life and motivations for his villainy. While it might have been nice to see more of his life as a lion cub or how he received his scarred eye in the first place, it’s nice to see that they kept him a ruthless villain and didn’t attempt to turn him into a character we’re meant to sympathize with because that probably would have ruined him as a character. It truly showed how cunning and calculating he could be, even perhaps more than in the movie. It shows that he is just using the hyenas to get what he wants, as a master strategist. This series has been an excellent spotlight one of Disney’s most nefarious villains.