Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Authors: Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt
Artist: Ron Garney
Colours: Bill Crabtree
Release Date: 27th April 2022
Supposedly depicting the titular character’s ‘mental journey reaching its culmination’ whilst being voluntarily trapped inside a metal box buried deep beneath a featureless desert, Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt’s storyline for issue eight of BRZRKR certainly tries to maintain the sense of savage destruction which has followed “Unute” since this mini-series’ start. Yet despite the twenty-four-page periodical containing so violent an earthquake that the American authorities lose eleven men to Caldwell’s grand experiment, it’s decidedly difficult not to imagine that some within its audience will be disappointed with the central plot’s seismic shift in direction.
Indeed, having seemingly been simply preoccupied with the immortal warrior’s outrageously violent journey through the ages, and his tragic inability to bare children with the plethora of women he has fallen in love with, this particular publication instead transforms “B” into an energy being capable of ‘breaching the quantum realm’ in an effort to finally come face-to-face with his ‘biological’ father. Such an arguable change in focus from science fantasy to science fiction is a little befuddling, especially when the notion of a new energy source, the synthesisation of “novel amino acids” and the viable animation of “the Unute [clone] Assemblage” are all bandied around within seconds of one another.
To make matters worse however, it is never explained just why the unkillable test subject is suddenly able to conjure up such a massive amount of distinctly dark, almost Sith-like looking energy, from within his body. Sure, the eternal soldier has been able to generate a modicum of such power before, to regenerate his physical body when it has been badly mauled or even obliterated. But just why he’s able to suddenly tap into the fantastic force’s actual source is rather ‘up in the air’ – unless it somehow comes as a result of all Doctor Diana Ahuja’s trials and tribulations; “What are you doing? We’ve pulled all our men back. It’s not safe.”
Lamentably though, this comic’s lack of solid storytelling also seems to adversely affect Ron Garney’s layouts, with the former “Captain America” artist somewhat struggling to find much inspiration with the script he was given, as Caldwell predominantly waxes lyrical to something resembling a Jedi Order remote droid whilst pottering through a well-equipped laboratory. In addition, it’s hard for even a two-time Eisner Award nominee to make a bland backdrop terribly exciting, even when the sun-baked landscape itself is being torn asunder by crackling energy beams and the occasional Humvee is shown fatally falling into a crater.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]