Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer(s): Matt Kindt, Keanu Reeves
Artist: Ron Garney
Colourist: Bill Crabtree
Letterer: Clem Robins
Release Date: 3rd March 2021
This first issue of BRZRKR feels more like a proof of concept than an actual story. In a lot of ways, this is a lesser version of Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez’s The Old Guard. The group dynamic plays a big part in fleshing out the characters in The Old Guard, and their interplay adds life and energy to the overall story and experience. BRZRKR is the exact opposite. The main character, who isn’t given a name, is thrust into action as a soldier who cannot be killed. The violence, action and gore are depicted well, but the writing is frustratingly sparse.
In fact, there’s so little written that you could pretty much turn the auto scroll feature – if you have access to the book digitally – and for the most part you can read the whole issue without pausing or going back. The voiceover narration technique also makes what you’re seeing somewhat pointless. The reader continues to endure each panel until the story finally catches up with the character(s) in the present time. In this case, it takes 36 pages until you see who the main character is talking to. Honestly, BRZRKR feels so insular that I completely lost my excitement as the story went on.
It’s not all bad though. The art by Ron Garney is very stylish thanks to the use of silhouettes, colors, and highlighting. Think of Frank Miller’s Sin City except with brightly colored backgrounds. Bill Crabtree’s colors and textures have a granular quality to them which give the book the feel as if were watching a ’90s action television series starring Keanu Reeves. The reason I bring up other forms of entertainment into this review is due to the writing, done by Reeves and Matt Kindt. The writing is as minimalistic as Reeves’ acting style.
It’s not hard to image someone using this book to pitch a movie or series, and honestly, you might be better off viewing this issue (or if this approach keeps up, the rest of the series) as a detailed storyboard for a BRZRKR movie or TV show rather than an actual comic book.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece is: Laurence Almalvez
Laurence tweets from @IL1511