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Comic Book Reviews

BRZRKR #1 Review

Marc reviews the first issues of BOOM! Studios BRZRKR, written by Keanu Reeves, calling it “a visual feast.” Grab your copy now.

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BRZRKR #1 (BOOM! Studios)

Published by BOOM! Studios, BRZRKR #1 is available to purchase in print and on digital now where all good comics are sold.

The series is written by Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt with pencils by Ron Garney and colours by Bill Crabtree. Main cover art is provided by Rafael Grampa.

Synopsis

The man known only as Berzerker is half-mortal and half-God, cursed and compelled to violence… even at the sacrifice of his sanity. But after wandering the world for centuries, Berzerker may have finally found a refuge — working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else. In exchange, Berzerker will be granted the one thing he desires — the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence… and how to end it.

Review

BRZRKR #1 is introduces us to a world directly from the imagination of Keanu Reeves and co-writer Matt Kindt. This world is presented to us by artist Ron Garney and colours by Bill Crabtree with letter by Clem Robins.

I really enjoyed the art in this book. The main character is drawn to look like Keanu Reeves, but there is a Frank Miller-esque silhouette style to the inks and colouring which adds depth and grit, not just to the art but to the character itself. The entire first half of the book is driven by the art which looks incredibly cinematic with wide screen panel layouts that are simple yet dynamic and which mirror a movie theatre screen.

This book is NOT for the faint hearted! The action is brutal and entirely fitting of a Keanu Reeve’s action flick – I have never before seen a man rip out another man’s rib to use against another attacker! – and Garney executes the action perfectly, making this reviewer wince more than once! I also enjoyed the colouring from Crabtree which added to the Frank Miller-ness, as well as clearly defining present time and flashback scenes.

The premise of the book is straight forward, but the whole team do an incredible job of keeping it fresh and intriguing our lead is an archetypal action man wrecking machine, but what is interesting is that we don’t learn a whole lot about him, only that he is seemingly immortal, has been alive for 80,00 years and wants to die. What we do not get explicitly about the character we get through the nuance of the writing and the art. This is a tragic and deeply complex character, destined to kill others when all he wants is death for himself. The themes of what it means to be human and of self-destruction surprised me initially but helped me lose myself in this story and really engross myself in the character. And the ending leaves the reader with a mystery that I for one cannot wait to dive into!

Overall, this is a great first issue which I highly recommend to fans of comics and action movies alike. The book is a visual feast with emotional gut punching (literally and emotional) moments, a whole lot of depth and substance and leaves the reader on cliff-hanger craving for issue two. I was not sure what to expect from Keanu Reeve’s first comic book writing project, but he and the entire creative team pulled it out of the bag. It is a great action movie in comic book form, one I’m sure we will be seeing this on a big screen soon!

9/10


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