Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Authors: Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt
Artist: Ron Garney
Colours: Bill Crabtree
Release Date: 29th June 2022
Advertised as the first instalment of this series’ “stunning conclusion”, Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt’s narrative for issue nine of BRZRKR probably left many within its audience scratching their heads in bemusement during the twenty-four page plot’s opening half. Indeed, just where in subatomic space the spectral body of Unute finds himself floating about is anybody’s guess, especially when the immortal warrior subsequently confronts the electrically-charged visage of his progenitor and fails to find any answers to his questions whatsoever; “You have to tell me something. After all this time it’s — Father! Answer me! Don’t Go!”
Sadly, the co-writers’ exposition doesn’t get any better once the titular character finally returns to Earth and, without any obvious motivation, goes on a mass killing spree throughout Caldwell’s state-of-the-art military complex. Admittedly, this surprisingly lengthy action-sequence proves a real feast for the eyes of any perusing bibliophile who happens to have a penchant for extreme bodily mutilation and endless gory entrails being spattered all over the place. However, for those readers with less leathery stomachs, the endless panels of heavily-armoured soldiers being torn apart like tissue paper for no evident reason quickly becomes a little much.
Disappointingly, even at this comic’s end, when it finally appears that the Bezerker’s handler Jim has managed to manoeuver the mass-murdering maniac inside a large incinerator, the logic of the penmanship seemingly goes awry with Doctor Diana Ahuja somehow escaping her recuperation inside a liquid-filled bio-tube just in time to burn out Unute’s eyes with her own energy-crackling eye-beams. Of course, the mental (and emotional) connection between these characters has long been established, but it is arguably hard to accept that the surprisingly athletic psychologist is suddenly able to manipulate all sorts of physical matter as if she was some sort of Jean Grey clone.
Ultimately though, the vast majority of this book’s storytelling rests upon the artwork of Ron Garney and in this area the publication excels. In fact, the vast majority of the tale’s frantic pace is generated through the two-time costume illustrator’s incredible ability to repeatedly interchange between panels depicting Jim’s mounting apprehension at the deadly, supernatural form racing towards his position, and the barbaric violence of Unute as he literally tears through the bodies of the best servicemen the American authorities can throw in his direction.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]