From Supernaturals‘ Adam Glass and Entourages‘ Michael Benson comes the second installment of Oni Press‘ BRIK. 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