BRZRKR #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on March 02, 2021

Writers: Keanu Reeves & Matt Kindt
Artist: Ron Garney
Colours: Bill Crabtree
Letters: Clem Robins

The first issue of BRZRKR is an oversized, action packed thriller with every page infused with Keanu Reeves. From the first page it oozes style and atmosphere, and Reeves involvement is readily apparent. From the titular Berserker, or BRZRKR, clearly based on him, to the dialogue which is written for Reeves, readers will be able to hear his voice as they read the comic. Most of the comic is filled with an over the top, extremely violent, and graphic, action scene, with a later conversation being narrated through the scene. It works incredibly well, and there is a cinematic style to the comic where it wouldn’t be a shock to see this translated to the big screen at some point.

This first issue focuses mainly on setting the tone and introducing the main characters, alongside the incredible action, and some small teases of where the story is going. Our main hero is immortal, having lived for 80,000 years, and is seemingly invincible. He has a world weariness which comes out in every scene. He doesn’t want to die, per se, but he doesn’t want to be immortal anymore. Which is where the American government come in. In exchange for doing jobs for them they will try to figure out how to make him mortal.

Keranu Reeves and Matt Kindt understand they don’t need dialogue on every page. Too often writers rely on the dialogue and narration to tell the story, with the art playing almost a secondary role in telling the story. Comics are such a visual medium that it’s great when writers not only understand this but leave the heavy lifting to the artist, which is exactly what Reeves & Kindt have done here. There is no text on the first page at all, in fact the first three pages have a grand total of three lines of dialogue. But thanks to Ron Garney’s art the scene is set, the tone and atmosphere established, and readers are sucked deep into the story.

Garney does an incredible job with the art. The largest part of the comic consists of a long, extremely graphic battle, which Garney brings to life with its ridiculous amount of gore. Think of it like the action sequence at the start of a movie and you’ve got a pretty good idea what to expect. Relatively self contained it introduces the characters and sets the tone for the rest of the series. There’s blood, detached limbs, guns, explosions, smashing glass, more blood, more explosions, and more guns. It’s full on and intense, it takes a special kind of artist to create an action scene this energetic and extended.

He captures Reeves character really well, not just his likeness but even just the way he holds himself. It’s cinematic, and considering there a minimum of dialogue throughout this scene, barring the conversation which is being narrated from after, he manages to carry the entire comic with his unique style. But that isn’t to say he can only pull off the non-stop action, the quieter moments like the intro to the comic are not only beautifully brought to life but ooze atmosphere, set the tone and convey so much emotion. And they are an excellent contrast to the excessive gore found in other parts of the comic.

A fantastic introduction to a brand new series which holds plenty of promise. Action filled in a way that is more reminiscent of a movie than a comic, Keanu Reeves involvement is clear, not just because the protagonist is based off him, there is a certain style of action that will remind readers of John Wick turned up to 100. An intriguing concept there is plenty here to keep readers coming back for more.

Our Score:


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