Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Authors: Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt
Artist: Ron Garney
Colours: Bill Crabtree
Release Date: 21st September 2022
Considering that a physically scarred titular character spends half this twenty-four-page periodical quietly recovering on a bunk-bed having previously unleashed his full fury upon the American authorities, it is difficult to imagine many within its audience feeling that Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt’s storyline is actually building “towards a conclusion that will blow fans’ minds!” Sure, the immortal warrior does eventually find his way back to his ancient birthplace in the Nefud Desert, Saudi Arabia, so as to recover his biological mother’s mysterious “bird” artefact. But the sheer amount of technobabble and gobbledygook the reader must endure before this memorable moment occurs is incredibly off-putting; “Confirm floral formula series 2AK1. Execute new floral formula series 2AK2.”
Furthermore, this comic’s infuriatingly pedestrian-paced narrative never seemingly states what any of Caldwell’s directives are for the Machiavellian murderer’s “master plan”, or even simply what the covert government department are expecting to happen once “B” arrives at their intended destination. Instead, Unute is just told to recuperate for ten days, whilst Doctor Diana Ahuja blissfully wanders around a hydroponics garden firing black lightning from her fingertips, and then later operates a huge hyper-computer which requires so much power that “half the Western Seaboard is about to black out.”
Eventually, it does become clear that the suddenly telepathic physician’s herbal concoction is thought to be that drunk by her patient’s long-dead mother to help the ancient hunter-gatherer’s mind “make contact” with the godlike powers that created her son. However, besides sending Unute on a hallucinogenic guilt trip back to his parent’s uber-gory demise, this book’s writers don’t explain why this is particularly important nor how it causes a metal phoenix to inexplicably rise from ‘a mile deep in the desert’ and savagely skewer the supposedly undying combatant alive.
Debatably doing his best to at least provide this publication’s panels with something interesting to look at is Ron Garney. Sadly though, even the former Daredevil artist can’t work miracles with a plot featuring two stone-still characters sat endlessly looking at one another in a confinement cell. Yet at least he’s able to imbue the military’s climatic build-up with all the excited apprehensive a bibliophile might expect from the Armed Forces surrounding a target imbued with any number of unknown magical properties.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]