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Preview: Brik TPB

BRIK TPB

(W) Adam Glass and Michael Benson
(A/CA) Harwinder Singh
(C/CA) Gonzalo Duarte
AGE RATING: Teen, 16+
GENRE: Adventure, Fantasy
PRICE: $19.99
PAGE COUNT: 152

When Drew, a 12-year-old Jewish boy from Yonkers, loses his beloved grandfather to anti-semitic gang violence, he turns to tradition, anger, and Kabbalah to serve vengeance. Conjuring a supernatural defender to protect his city brings Drew unimaginable power—power he may not be able to control.

As the gangsters grow closer to discovering the identity of Yonkers’ new vigilante and the soul within the golem begins to take permanent hold of the creature, Drew must decide what’s more dangerous, the devil you know or the savior you don’t. From writers Adam Glass (Suicide Squad, TV’s Supernatural) and Mike Benson (Deadpool, Moon Knight), amazing debut illustrator Harwinder Singh, and colorist Gonzalo Duarte (The Bunker, Big Trouble in Little China).

Review: Brik #6

brik-6-marketing_preview-1It’s the final issue in what has been a stellar story arc. Brik has had undertones of some of the best that comic book land had to offer in the eighties. It’s dark, gritty, real and honest. A welcome throwback to when comic books provided social commentary and gave you a glimpse at the world from the perspective of an outsider and often an oppressed group.

Writers Michael Benson and Adam Glass have given us a consistent story that we could get behind, main characters we could root for because of their imperfections, and humanity and villains that we feared and were intrigued by. I hate to see them go but I couldn’t wait to see how they would bring this storyline to a close.

I think that is an issue you need to read for yourself in order to fully appreciate the pure genius and kick ass storytelling that the Brik team has pulled off. Benson and Glass closed out this arc and I’m legit praying that this is just the end of the arc and not the series because I’m hooked, with one hell of a bang. There’s double crosses, sneaky tricks, moral ambiguity, characters not being who you think they are and heroes, or anti-heroes, rising where you least expect them.

Harwinder Singh‘s artwork continues to give us all the grit and realness that’s story like this needs and deserves. Every panel becomes a piece of the tale being told and has the look of a movie story board allowing you to picture things that are happening and suck you into the comic.

There are no gimmicks, cheesy unnecessary plot twists, or unrealistic speeches in this issue. Every panel and word is crafted in a way that evokes emotion but doesn’t feel cheap or manufactured. The story as a whole has evolved organically and it’s nice to see that creators chose to keep that organic style of storytelling when it came to closing out this arc.

There are aha moments that creep up early into (and on the later pages of) this issue but they don’t feel like a trick. The writing leading up to, and inside of, this issue had us so engrossed in the story that yeah we should have seen some of these things coming but we didn’t because we felt like we were a part of the story. There were no tropes or red herrings in this issue, just good old fashioned comic book storytelling and an arc so tight that you got just as wrapped up in it as Sebastian did in the Neverending Story.

Issue #6 not only gave Brik a soul but it gave the story one too and I really hope this isn’t the end of the line because I’m beyond hooked and am open to all of the possibilities that this issue proposed. I even appreciated the epilogue that followed the big showdown between the big bad guy and our reluctant and new hero. I could legit hear the end credit music playing as I looked at the beautiful panels and read the words.

Overall issue #6 ended this arc with a bang and I can’t wait for them to reload the gun and give us another shot!

Story: Michael Benson and Adam Glass Art: Harwinder Singh
Story: 9.8 Art: 9.7 Overall: 9.9 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Brik #6

BRIK #6

(W) Adam Glass and Michael Benson
(A/CA) Harwinder Singh
(C) Gonzalo Duarte
AGE RANGE: Ages 15+
GENRE: Fantasy, Adventure
PRICE: $3.99
32 PAGES

With Brik gone, Drew is left to confront Little Stalin on his own. But is Drew ready for that showdown? Will he be able to put a stop to the violence engulfing his neighborhood or will he be just another victim of it? And what fate lies ahead for the golem? Get all the answers in this thrilling conclusion!

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Review: Brik # 5

brik-5-marketing_preview-1It’s the final countdown for this arc of the comic series Brik. Four issues behind us and only one more after this to finish the story of our young “hero” Drew and his faithful Golem Brik. Issue #4 ended with Little Stalin about to go gangsta on the neighborhood to crush the hope that Brik has given them. Drew is feeling himself and all about rocking his black hoodie and riding off into the night on Brik’s back to deliver street justice to any bad guy he comes in contact with.

Brik #5 is all about consequences and cause and effect. Drew’s actions in the last issue has Little Stalin and his minions out for blood and they’re taking no prisoners as they set out to squash the rebellion in the neighborhood. We see Drew get his first kiss and it was cute, not forced, age appropriate, and actually showed a bit of consent and questioning. Sera returns, meets Brik and reminds Drew of the rules. Unfortunately, by the time she gets Drew to do right by the Brik, Little Stalin and his boys are blowing things up an about to hold a public execution in the middle of the streets of Yonkers.

As usual, the writing is on point. Drew acts exactly how you’d expect a kid with a Golem to act. The interactions between him and the other adults in this comic book series are real and intuitive. Brik comes off as a well written tv show and the art keeps pace with the story. With one issue left in this series arc, I’m shivering with antici—-pay—tion waiting to see how this all wraps up. This was a placeholder issue but, unlike the usual placeholder issues it had meat. It was a well-drawn, compelling read that made me not only enjoy the issue I was reading but, call back to the previous issues and look forward to The finale.

Issue five ends with an edge of your seat cliffhanger that doesn’t feel gimmicky or forced. The organic progression of the series means that this issue is everything that you need it to be with a nice push to make it even more than you expected.

Story: Michael Benson and Adam Glass Art: Harwinder Singh
Story: 8.6 Art: 8.4 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Brik #4

We’re more than halfway done with this comic book series initial arc. I’m having some real feelings about the imaginary characters in Brik. Drew is either turning into a superhero or a super villain or some Punisher style hybrid of the two. I went into issue number four knowing that I matter which way the story went, I’m invested and can’t put it down.

Issue number 4 picks up with Dr. Hirsh trying to talk some sense into Drew in the aftermath of his mother’s attack. Drew is angry and feeling responsible, had Jenny been out getting revenge on his bully, he could have saved his mom. Hirsh thinks that leaving Yonkers is the best move for Drew and his mom and, Drew wants to fight the big bad Russians. This is the point in the story where Brik uses Hirsch as the narrator to this comic series King Pin, Little Stalin. Little Stalin is brutal and ruthless, he survived a Russian prison by eating his fellow inmates! He’s like Kaiser Soze on steroids making him a formidable opponent to Drew and his Golem.

Drew turning towards the avenger side of the comic book mythos, rides off into the night on the back of his Golem, now named Brik, saving those who need it and giving the neighborhood hope. Little Stalin is having no part of the neighborhoods new found spirit so, he is on a mission to get his territory back under his control, which is a pretty nice set up for issue #5. And, I for one can’t wait to see what happens next.

Adam Glass and Michael Benson‘s writing is tight and real. The characters feel like actual people instead of the two-dimensional drawings that they are. There’s a sense of urgency in Drew’s actions and a feeling of powerlessness and defiance in his words.

Harwinder Singh is still serving up some killer 1980s Punisher meets Daredevil darkness and grit and it really adds to the story. Every panel pulls you in and makes you feel like you’re in the story.

Overall Brik #4 serves up more of the consistency, superbly drawn panels, and well thought out story line that we fell in love with. I can’t wait to see how the next two issues pan out and what the creators do with this story.

Story: Adam Glass & Michael Benson Art: Harwinder Singh
Story: 9 Art: 8.8 Overall: 8.9 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: BRIK #5

BRIK #5

(W) Adam Glass and Michael Benson
(A/CA) Harwinder Singh
(C) Gonzalo Duarte
AGE RANGE: 15 and up
GENRE: Fantasy, Adventure
PRICE: $3.99
32 PAGES

Boosted by the strength and power the golem Brik, Drew finally finds the courage to make a move on his crush—but not everyone in Yonkers is feeling so confident. Threatened that respect and fear of his gang has diminished now that Drew and Brik are dealing out street justice, Little Stalin cracks down to tighten his control on the city. Sera returns and meets Brik but realizes Drew hasn’t followed her instructions exactly, and now the golem may soon turn dangerous and uncontrollable. And to top off Drew’s troubles, Little Stalin learns who’s behind this new vigilante of Yonkers.

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Review: Brik #3

brik-3-marketing_preview-1The moment that I’ve been waiting for since I read through issue #1 and reviewed issue #2 has arrived. By the time I finished reading Brik #3 it was clear that the break in between issues was worth it. The latest issue is such a page turner that I was caught off guard by its ending. That would be a good thing if I didn’t find myself needing to know what happened next right now.

The anticipation is one of the great things about Adam Glass and Michael Benson‘s work. They’ve created a unique and relatable mashup in Brik and I love every minute of it. With each issue it keeps on getting better, even Harwinder Singh‘s art work seems more refined this time around.

Issue three finds our young hero finding his creation mid raccoon kill in the middle of the park. He tries to teach him and goes on a tour of his city to see the limits of what his Golem can do. After assessing his monster pals abilities instead of going home to help his mother close up shop, he decided to show his romantic rival and bully some street justice.

The justice doled out is exactly what you would expect from a teenager. He lures his bully into an alley and sicks his Golem on him. The Golem turns out to be too powerful to control and nearly impossible to shut off which delays Drew’s return home.

I pointed out the Spiderman and Daredevil backstory comparisons in my review of issue #2 and at the risk of being repetitive, I will say it again. We all know what happens when our young and eager hero is out flexing his new super power and leaves a family member unprotected.

Brik does not disappoint us in the with great power school of thought and those pesky murderous Russian monsters from the first two issues rear their ugly heads again in issue three. This time around they go after the only real relative that Drew has left. The writers even split screen the attack so that you see the brutality that’s being dealt with as you see Drew getting his revenge on his bully. It’s a symbiotic relationship between vengeance and the right path and his karma was given to him instantly.

Drew doesn’t find out what happened to his mom in this issue but, we all know and we know how this story ends. Drew is going. To discover that  his mom was attacked while he was off dealing with a bully. He will seek vengeance and his path will either be that of the Spiderman or that of the Punisher. Either way works for me and I can’t wait to see how Drew’s story unfolds .

Story: Adam Glass and Michael Benson  Art: Harwinder Singh
Story: 9.6 Art: 9.0 Overall: 9.8 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: BRIK #2

BRIK-#2-MARKETING_Preview-1From SupernaturalsAdam Glass and EntouragesMichael Benson comes the second installment of Oni PressBRIK. While the first issue built up sympathy for the characters , mainly the series “hero” 12-year-old Drew, issue #2 trades in on that relationship and pushes the story along getting the reader ready for the exciting twists to come in issue #3.

Drew has had a lot going on in the beginning of his heroes tale, abandoned by his dad, his grandfather’s death, mobsters after “safety” money and a crush on a classmate. Issue #2 shows the aftermath of all of the information we got from issue #1.

The issue picks up after Drew’s vanishing act following the obvious murder of his grandfather. The sudden death leaves him with questions about the validity of the stories his grandpa told him and the mysterious tattoo on his grandfather’s body. He finds himself at a local shop trying to get one of his grandfather’s friends, a Kabbalist named Sera, to translate the ink. When he doesn’t get the help he thinks he needs he goes back to his life, angry and disenchanted.

After bumping into his crush, Chase, he gets third wheeled by a school bully who’s been “filling in for him,” while he was dealing with his grief. He finds himself almost about to get beat up when one of the mobsters trying to shake his family down shows up and scares the bully off. But, since no good deed goes unpunished that seemingly helpful interaction turns into a veiled threat. Unfortunately, Drew’s day doesn’t get any better when his mom informs him, after some buttering up quality time, that they might be moving to Seattle.

Things aren’t going so well for the kid and you really feel for him, he’s losing everything, his safety, his dad, his grandpa and, now his home. Help comes in the form of a late night visit from Sera, who is also leaving him, when she shows up with a translation of his grandpa’s tattoo. Stuck with a never-ending stream of heartache Drew only has one choice, try to build the Golem his grandpa told him about.

This issue is really emotional and well written. It draws you in with every turn of the page and makes you feel invested in the story, the characters and how it’s all going to turn out. You find yourself rooting for Drew and hoping that he gets some sweet sweet revenge, or at least a friend that he can trust.

The art work is really nice, it’s kind of retro and calls back to old school Daredevil comics, where you got to see some of the grit that NY had to offer back in the 80’s, it really adds to the story. There’s also lots of shout outs and undertones of old school Marvel comic books where things were not as sleek and stylized as they are now.

The creators admitted to a darker Spider-Man being part of their inspiration, which means that in upcoming issues, Drew’s story can go either way. The first two issues set this arc up so that you could see it going in any direction, Drew could be Spidey, Carnage or Venom and that makes it a really interesting read. There’s something very edge of your seat about becoming invested in a character and not knowing if you’re rooting for a hero or a potential villain. But, I’m all in and really looking forward to the ride and seeing how the story plays out.

As a stand alone issue, BRIK #2 is a complete mini story and, a really good read. Full disclosure, I started with this issue and without having read issue #1, finished it feeling connected and invested. I then purchased issue #1 and read it and after the sinking feeling in my stomach for Drew and his family wore off, found myself a fan.

Story: Mike Benson, Adam Glass Art: Harwinder Singh
Story: 8.9 Art: 8.1 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

ONI PRESS provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Brik #1

BRIK-#1-MARKETING_Preview-1Drew is a bullied kid in the Yonkers neighborhood of New York City whose family faces encroaching violence from Russian gangsters. Before his beloved grandfather is killed in an attempt to muscle the family out of the neighborhood, he’s able to pass down to Drew the story of a mysterious but dangerous protector who helped their people during other troubled times. When Drew finds his grandfather kept the secret to creating a golem, is it worth the risk to summon this supernatural avenger to take on the all-too-human darkness swallowing his world?

Brik is an urban fantasy tale of power and morality from writers Adam Glass & Mike Benson, amazing new illustrator Harwinder Singh, and colorist Gonzalo Duarte!

Brik is part modern fairy-tale, part coming of age, with a touch of ancient mysticism. The first issue also creates a sense of history, as Drew’s grandfather tells him how he learned of the Golem’s existence along with the secret of its creation. I’m curious to see how this story continues given the moral dilemma Drew has facing him. Does he bring about a dangerous weapon or let the Russian gangsters violence take over his home? Thus the morality tale of the Golem plays out with this new spin on the classic myth.

The artwork is realistic without managing to be overdone. It manages to capture the urban strife and the historical aspects of the story.

The comic focuses a lot more on the present than the past that does leave one wondering how much Drew’s grandfather actually knew. I’m curious to see if more of the grandfather’s past is brought about as the series continues.

Story: Mike Benson, Adam Glass Art: Harwinder Singh
Story: 8.5  Art: 9 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

Oni Press provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Brik #1

BRIK #1

(W) Adam Glass (@AdamGlass44) and Michael Benson (@MPBenson)
(A/CA) Harwinder Singh
(C) Gonzalo Duarte
Age Range: 13 and up
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
32 Pages
Price: $1.99

Drew is a bullied kid in the Yonkers neighborhood of New York City whose family faces encroaching violence from Russian gangsters. Before his beloved grandfather is killed in an attempt to muscle the family out of the neighborhood, he’s able to pass down to Drew the story of a mysterious but dangerous protector who helped their people during other troubled times. When Drew finds his grandfather kept the secret to creating a golem, is it worth the risk to summon this supernatural avenger to take on the all-too-human darkness swallowing his world?

An urban fantasy tale of power and morality from writers Adam Glass (Suicide Squad, The CW’s Supernatural) and Michael Benson (Deadpool, Moon Knight), amazing new illustrator Harwinder Singh, and colorist Gonzalo Duarte (The Bunker, Big Trouble in Little China)!

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