Review – BRZRKR #12 (BOOM! Studios)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Authors: Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt
Artist: Ron Garney
Colours: Bill Crabtree
Release Date: 15th March 2023
Considering that this “epic conclusion to the ground-breaking original series” is a staggering fifty pages in length, it’s doubtful many within this comic’s audience will be particularly impressed with what they read. True, this book’s opening certainly holds true to its publisher’s promise of the nefarious Caldwell facing off against the titular character in a frantically-paced showdown. But by the time Matt Kindt and Keanu Reeves’ script purportedly provides a horrific-looking demise to Diana Ahuja’s treacherous boss at the hands of the cosmically-powered Doctor herself, many a bibliophile will arguably be wondering just where on Earth the rest of his hefty tome is going to take them.
Disappointingly, the answer turns out to be a somewhat sedentary journey towards ‘sequel-land’, where the creative team slowly establish all the elements needed to establish a follow-up storyline, rather than focus on actually explaining just what happened somewhere in the middle of a Saudi Arabian desert. Indeed, rather than try to explain just how the immortal warrior suddenly becomes corporeal, or why the US Government’s physician is somehow able to utilise extra-terrestrial-based energy waves, this publication instead starts to tell a tale with elements potentially taken straight from the pages of Kenneth Johnson’s screenplay for the 1984 American television show “V: The Final Battle” – such as Diana miraculously giving birth to a baby girl who exhibits both superhuman powers and physically matures at an accelerated rate.
Perhaps this plot’s saving grace therefore lies with the tremendous sense of betrayal generated by this comic’s handling of the ‘powers that be.’ Having declared their overall scheme to cajole Unute into helping them make contact with his creator a success – “mostly”, the authorities cold-bloodedly decide to eliminate all witnesses to their mission, including the now vulnerable Berserker himself. Such treachery really does strike home just how untrustworthy the American administration have become, particularly when handler Jim Keever readily accepts the order to shoot the man who previously saved his own life during a botched military assignment; “I’m sorry son. It’s been an honour.”
Ultimately, a vast amount of the storytelling in issue twelve of BRZRKR rests upon the shoulders of artist Ron Garney, who unquestionably excels when it comes to illustrating the almost bestial nature of the insanely savage close-combat fighting Diana’s ultimate survival entails. However, even the Inkwell Award-nominee appears to struggle to make his panels interesting as this over-sized tome plods ever onwards, most notably towards its end when Garney has to repeatedly sketch each of its considerably-sized cast stoically standing alone as they look up towards an uncertain future.
[PREVIEW ARTWORK – CLICK TO ENLARGE]
The writer of this piece was: Simon Moore
Simon Tweets from @Blaxkleric
You can read more of his reviews at The Brown Bag
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