BRZRKR #2 Review

by Nick Devonald on April 28, 2021

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

The first issue of BRZRKR introduced us the titular hard-boiled Berserker, as he commits acts of extreme violence for the U.S. government. It was a full on and bloody introduction, Keanu Reeves involvement apparent on every page, so it will come as no surprise that there are plans to give this comic the big screen treatment via Netflix at some point in the near future. It extends beyond the simple likeness of the character to Reeves, it’s hard not to hear his voice leaping off the page as you read it. Reeves and Matt Kindt have done an excellent job of transitioning Reeves to the pages of a comic, in one of his most action packed roles yet.

This second issue spends a little time fleshing out the origin of our protagonist, by jumping back in time 80,000 years to his birth. It was a brutal time of warring tribes, which is where B steps in, a living weapon to protect his tribe. Quite where he came from is open to interpretation, but it’s enough to understand in a time of need he arrived to help his people. The comic begins to explain just what it means to be a berserker, more about B's overwhelming rage, and goes a long way to explaining Reeves’ character to readers. There is a world weariness to Reeves character which is apparent on every page. He doesn’t want to live like this, immortal, filled with rage, it’s no life. We’re only two issues into the comic here, and now that the introduction and the origin have been covered the story could go in any direction, it’s far too early to predict, but Reeves and Kindt have an intriguing premise with B which is sure to appeal to action fans.

Ron Garney is the perfect artist for this series, rendering the brutal violence in all of its sadistic glory when the need arises, but more than capable of dialling things back for the quieter scenes amongst the tribe. Garney carried a lot of the story in the first issue, with Kindt and Reeves cutting back the dialogue to let the art tell the tale. This second issue has a little more dialogue in it, the nature of the origin story needing more exposition, never unnecessary, to fully tell the story. But this doesn't mean that Garney doesn't do a lot of the heavy lifting here too, there are large sections of the story where the art does all of the storytelling. It looks great, no matter the scene, and it’s not difficult to imagine the reader has been transported 80,000 years into the past.

Bill Crabtree’s colours are also an integral part of the storytelling, blues and pinks used to great effect to represent changes to the storytelling, as well as looking great and helping to set the scene. Whether it’s a cave lit by firelight, or dull sky as night approaches, all of it is excellently coloured. And of course there is the striking blue of B’s eyes when he goes into Berserker mode which is the strongest indication of all that he is possessed by an otherworldly rage.

The second issue does a fantastic job of telling B’s origins while progressing the story in modern times. If over the top, excessively violent and gory, action comics are to your liking you will love this. Readers familiar with Keanu Reeves recent work will recognise elements of it here, when you boil it down to its basics it’s a Reeves action film in comic form, with enough intriguing elements of the world weary, hard boiled action hero to set it apart from the crowd. Excellent storytelling, gorgeous art, intriguing concept, there is a lot to recommend here. Get on board this series now while it’s early on in the 12 issue run, you won’t regret it.

Our Score:


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