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Review: BRZRKR #2

BRZRK2 #2

BRZRKR has been an interesting series so far. While entertaining, the comic feels like a blatant pitch for a film (which is coming along with an animated series). While not a horrible thing, there’s a focus on big exciting sequences that will play well on screen but not as much in a static image. The first issue teased the concept of the story, playing out like an opening act full of action to suck you in. BRZRKR #2 dials things back a bit focusing on its main character B and giving us an origin story somewhat.

Now working for the US government, the immortal B is an ultimate warrior able to get into harm’s way, take damage, and eventually heal. The first issue hinted at it, but it’s BRZRKR #2 where we experience the profound sadness B has experienced in his life. With a story by Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt, the second issue has B talking to a doctor recounting what he remembers of his life. He talks about his early years and what he was told about his birth. While specifics aren’t given, there are hints as to the character’s origin and where his immortality comes from.

What we learn about B is that he was a warrior from birth. There’s a “feral” nature about him. And, like any weapon, he needs to be focused and pointed in the right direction. Without that sort of guidance, he seems to fall deep into the death and destruction he’s fueled by. We also get a sense this isn’t the life he wants. There are some interesting phrases thrown out and discussions, but it’s clear B is tired of his very long life. There’s some sympathy conveyed and empathy for us to give towards the living weapon.

And it’s impressive in some ways. Ron Garney’s art delivers a symphony of destruction. Blood flies as people are eviscerated in battle in gruesome ways. With color by Bill Crabtree, there’s a splattering of red as B goes on a path of destruction multiple times in the issue. But, the art also delivers a sadness through it all. The visuals show us the weariness and tiredness of B as he recounts his story. The weight of his life is clear in his body language and facial expressions.

BRZKR #2 is an interesting issue. It dials back the violence and action delivering a focus on the origin of the main character. While it keeps up some action, the focus is more on the character than the visuals like the debut. What happens next will be intriguing as the series has shaken up expectations of what comes next.

Story: Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt Art: Ron Garney
Color: Bill Crabtree Letterer: Clem Robins
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleTFAW

Preview: BRZRKR #2

BRZRKR #2

(W) Matt Kindt, Keanu Reeves (A) Ron Garney (CA) Rafael Grampá
In Shops: Apr 28, 2021
SRP: $3.99

U.S. government Doctor Diana Ahuja seeks to unlock the mysterious B.’s memories – lifetimes of violence and tragedy like no one else who has ever lived that began with a fateful decision in ancient Mesopotamia.

But is Diana here to help him… or is she serving a darker agenda?

BRZRKR #2

BRZRKR #1 Goes Back for a Fourth Printing

BOOM! Studios has announced that BRZRKR #1, the historic premiere issue of the original comic book series from the iconic Keanu Reeves and New York Times bestselling co-writer Matt Kindt, acclaimed artist Ron Garney, colorist Bill Crabtree, and letterer Clem Robins, about an immortal being’s eternal struggle with the hidden truth behind his existence,  has sold out of the second printing at the distributor level! The inaugural issue has already sold over 615,000 copies at the distributor level, making it the highest-selling original comic book launch in almost thirty years.

In response to the overwhelming support from retailers and fans, BOOM! Studios has announced the BRZRKR #1 Fourth Printing will be another foil edition featuring brand new cover art by Rafael Grampá.

The man known only as B. is half-mortal and half-god, cursed and compelled to violence…even at the sacrifice of his sanity.  But after wandering the world for centuries, B. may have finally found a refuge – working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else. In exchange, B. will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence…and how to end it.

BRZRKR #1 Fourth Printing will be available exclusively at local comic book shops on May 19, 2021.

BRZRKR #1 FOURTH PRINTING

A Brutal Look Into B.’s Prehistoric Past in BRZRKR #2

BOOM! Studios has revealed a brand new first look at BRZRKR #2, the highly anticipated next chapter of the twelve-issue limited series from Keanu Reeves in his comic book writing debut alongside co-writer Matt Kindt, artist Ron Garney, colorist Bill Crabtree, and letterer Clem Robins, available on April 28, 2021.

U.S. government doctor Diana Ahuja seeks to unlock the mysterious B.’s  memories – lifetimes of violence and tragedy like no one else who has ever lived that began with a fateful decision 80,000 years ago. But is Diana here to help him…or is she serving a darker agenda?

BRZRKR #2 features main cover art by superstar illustrator Rafael Grampá and variant cover art by Rafael Albuquerque, and John Paul Leon.

BRZRKR #2

Keanu Reeves’ BRZRKR Goes from Comic to Film at Netflix

It’s not a surprise that BRZRKR, the new comic series from BOOM! Studios and Keanu Reeves is getting a film adaptation. Netflix has acquired the rights to the comic to turn it into a film and then anime spinoff series. The anime series will expand upon the world of BRZRKR exploring different elements of the story.

BRZRKR was created by Reeves and written by Reeves and Matt Kindt, illustrated by Ron Garney, colors by Bill Crabtree, and lettering by Clem Robins. The character designs and covers by Rafael Grampá. Reeves had developed the idea for a number of years.

Netflix’s BRZRKR will star Reeves, who along with Ross Richie and Stephen Christy for BOOM! Studios; Stephen Hamel for Company Films will Produce. Adam Yoelin for BOOM! Studios will Executive Produce. Reeves will also provide the voice of his character for the anime series.

BRZRKR is a brutally epic saga about an immortal warrior’s 80,000 year fight through the ages. The man known only as “B” is half-mortal and half-god, , cursed and compelled to violence… even at the sacrifice of his sanity. But after wandering the earth for centuries, B may have finally found a refuge – working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else. In exchange, B will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence…and how to end it.

The first issue sold over 615,000 copies, one of the highest-selling comics in almost thirty years.

BRZRKR #1

BRZRKR #1 Sells Out and Gets a Second Printing

BOOM! Studios have announced that BRZRKR #1, the historic premiere issue of the original comic book series from the iconic Keanu Reeves and New York Times bestselling co-writer Matt Kindt, acclaimed artist Ron Garney, colorist Bill Crabtree, and letterer Clem Robins, about an immortal being’s eternal struggle with the hidden truth behind his existence,  has sold out at the distributor level! The inaugural issue has already sold over 615,000 copies at the distributor level, making it the highest-selling original comic book launch in almost thirty years.

In response to the overwhelming support from retailers and fans, BOOM! Studios have announced the BRZRKR #1 Second Printing with brand new variant cover art by series artist Ron Garney.

The man known only as B. is half-mortal and half-god, cursed and compelled to violence…even at the sacrifice of his sanity.  But after wandering the world for centuries, B. may have finally found a refuge – working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else. In exchange, B. will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence…and how to end it.

BRZRKR #1 Second Printing will be available exclusively at local comic book shops on April 7, 2021.

BRZRKR #1 Second Printing

Review: BRZRKR #1

BRZRKR #1

“Wake the fuck up, samurai. We have a city to burn.”- Cyberpunk 2077

Legendary actor/the Internet’s boyfriend Keanu Reeves teams up with co-writer Matt Kindt, artist Ron Garney, and colorist Bill Crabtree for BRZRKR #1. The premise is simple: a possibly divine immortal is fighting and killing for the United on various black ops missions for the opportunity to become mortal. As shown in this first issue, Berzerker is a single-minded killer, who will stab someone to death with their own bones or get blown up to finish a mission. However, BRZRKR #1 also shows he may have a shred of humanity beneath all the grisly violence and terse dialogue, and it’s the series’ biggest wild card as well as its hook along with the slow unveiling of Berzerker’s past, who is more Christian Walker than Wolverine. He’s no cop or hero though.

From Berzerker’s speech patterns to the way he carries himself as a character and also the deep levels of grief he hides behind a stoic demeanor, BRZKR #1 definitely seems like a comic that could turn into a Keanu Reeves acting role down the road. However, future brand synergy and questionable use of Kickstarter aside, this comic doesn’t come across as an illustrated movie script thanks to Reeves, Kindt, and especially artist Garney’s use of what makes the medium unique. The team marries show and tell nicely in the first 30 pages of the comic with Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt’s narration fleshing out Berzerker’s attitude and motivation while Ron Garney and Bill Crabtree’s visuals establish him as a nearly unstoppable force of violence. They show his disconnection from humanity in other ways like how he never directly addresses the soldiers he’s with, leaps into action ahead of them, and never really acknowledges anyone until we see him with the doctor towards the end of the comic, who is trying to bring him back to reality while making sure the U.S. will still have his services.

Ron Garney, who is coming off tremendous runs on Daredevil and Juggernaut, finds a happy medium between Frank Miller’s work on Sin City and Geof Darrow’s general, violent mayhem. Perhaps, BRZKR is Hard Boiled 2021. Garney’s iconic poses and uses of silhouette, shadow, and vertical panels are straight from Miller’s best work while his detailed approach to violence is very Darrow-esque although he goes for cartooning over hyper detail. Like both storytellers, he lets the opening setpiece breathe, which gives this comic a “day in the life” feel while also showing many opportunities for Berzerker to kill the dictator’s goons in increasingly creative ways. This is while the real enemy aka the U.S. government is skulking in the corners and using his DNA to build a non-white-helmeted clone army. As well as letting the fight scenes breathe, Reeves, Kindt, and Garney let the scenes in the government lab last for a few extra pages and also be part of the book’s only double page spread to show how Berzerker’s employer controls him so much.

Bill Crabtree’s colors help up the creepiness quotient of the lab scenes in BRZRKR #1 that are slightly reminiscent of Barry Windsor-Smith’s “Weapon X” storyline. He uses lots of greys and blues to show how lifeless and invasive Berzerker’s surroundings are in contrast with the earthier palette he uses for the fight scenes (Plus red for the really violent bits.) and a big time flashback. This is especially effective when Berzerker has a moment of hesitation and doesn’t kill a young man watching him brutally assassinate the president of an unnamed Latin American country that the United States is starting a coup in. Crabtree transitions from the scarlet of battle to the blue of mercy, and this pattern recurs when Berzerker chats with his doctor on-panel towards the end of the comic in a sequence that really adds to his character and provides additional layers beyond being a killer with a dry sense of humor.

There are several comics (The Old Guard, Heavy, almost every Wolverine book) dealing with the themes of immortality, violence, and hopefully becoming mortal one day. However, none of them will likely be adapted into a film starring Keanu Reeves as a star eyed, shaggy haired warrior, who will jump out of windows into humvees, take gunfire on his chest, and a bullet to the head just to have a slight shot at remembering his past and being able to die one day. And none of them were co-written by Reeves, who with Kindt, gives Berzerker the laconic, world-worn voice that matches the carnage he’s covered in and dishes out as depicted by Ron Garney, who channels his inner warrior poet with an action sequence longer than most comics with the help of colorist Bill Crabtree, whose palette conveys rage and just a small slice of hope. All of this is to say is that BRZRKR #1 is worth checking out if you like breathtaking fight choreography and layouts with an eye for detail with a protagonist, who is a total badass, but needs a hug and not to be treated like a lab rat or go on another mission in service of American imperialism.

Story: Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt Art: Ron Garney
Colors: Bill Crabtree Letters: Clem Robins
Story: 7.5 Art: 9.0 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyAmazonKindleZeus ComicsTFAW

Watch the BRZRKR #1 Trailer Voiced by Keanu Reeves

BOOM! Studios has released a trailer for BRZRKR #1, the premiere issue of the twelve-issue limited series from the iconic Keanu Reeves in his comic book writing debut alongside co-writer Matt Kindt, artist Ron Garney, colorist Bill Crabtree, and letterer Clem Robins, available on March 3, 2021. BRZRKR #1 is the highest-selling original comic book launch in nearly 30 years and the trailer features a voiceover by creator Keanu Reeves.

The man known only as B. is half-mortal and half-god, cursed and compelled to violence…even at the sacrifice of his sanity.  But after wandering the world for centuries, B. may have finally found a refuge – working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else. In exchange, B. will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence…and how to end it.

BRZRKR #1 features main cover art by superstar illustrator Rafael Grampá and variant cover art by superstar artists Mark Brooks, Dan Mora, and Lee Bermejo, as well as a 1-in-1000 variant cover with art by Jonboy Meyers and signed by Keanu Reeves, and more.

Preview: BRZRKR #1

BRZRKR #1

(W) Matt Kindt, Keanu Reeves (A) Ron Garney (CA) Rafael Grampá
NOTE: This is for Mature Readers
In Shops: Mar 03, 2021
SRP: $4.99

Discover the next blockbuster action franchise from the iconic KEANU REEVES in his Must Read comic book writing debut alongside New York Times best-selling co-writer Matt Kindt (Folklords, Bang!) and acclaimed artist Alessandro Vitti (Marvel’s Secret Warriors) in a brutally violent new series about one immortal warrior’s fight through the ages.

The man known only as Berzerker is half-mortal and half-God, cursed and compelled to violence…even at the sacrifice of his sanity.

But after wandering the world for centuries, Berzerker may have finally found a refuge – working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else.

In exchange, Berzerker will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence… and how to end it.

BRZRKR #1

Don’t Miss BRZRKR #1 in February. Keanu Reeves explains how to pre-order

Don’t miss the highly anticipated BRZRKR #1, the premiere issue of the twelve-issue limited series from the iconic Keanu Reeves in his Must Read comic book writing debut alongside New York Times bestselling co-writer Matt Kindt, acclaimed artist Ron Garney, colorist Bill Crabtree, and letterer Clem Robins, available on February 24, 2021.

The man known only as B. is half-mortal and half-god, cursed and compelled to violence…even at the sacrifice of his sanity.  But after wandering the world for centuries, B. may have finally found a refuge – working for the U.S. government to fight the battles too violent and too dangerous for anyone else. In exchange, B. will be granted the one thing he desires – the truth about his endless blood-soaked existence…and how to end it.

BRZRKR #1 features main cover art by superstar illustrator Rafael Grampá and variant cover art by superstar artists Mark Brooks, Lee Bermejo, and Dan Mora, as well as the 1-in-1000 signed edition variant cover with art by Jonboy Meyers, and more.

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