REVIEW: ‘BRZRKR,’ Issue #2

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Brzrkr #2 - But Why Tho?

BRZRKR #2 is written by Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt, illustrated by Ron Garney, colored by Bill Crabtree, and lettered by Clem Robbins. It is published by BOOM! Studios. Picking up after the end of the first issue, the story leaps back 80, 000 years to delve into B’s origins and how he gained his immortality. It also explores his tenuous relationship with the U.S. Government.

I mentioned in my review of BRZRKR #1 that B felt similar to multiple immortal characters in comics, particularly the X-Men’s Wolverine. However, with this issue, a clear parallel is drawn to DC’s Vandal Savage. Both men were born in primordial times and gained their immortality through supernatural means. However, unlike Savage who sees his immortality as a way to exert his dominion over mankind, B views his immortality as a curse since it’s brought him nothing but suffering. His parents conceived him not out of love, but as a weapon to slay their enemies. (Hammering this point home is the fact that it took a whopping sixty days for him to actually be born.) And the birth of his powers is a wholly traumatic experience, which Reeves and Kindt detail as a feeling he has to “let out.” Combined with Robbins’ text boxes, the influence of The Dark Knight Returns continues to permeate this series.

Reeves and Kindt’s script also makes the jump from past to present, creating a sharp divide between B’s early days as an immortal and his present life and showing readers just how much time has changed this man. It also adds much-needed humanity to a character who was essentially a blank slate up to this point. Many of Reeves’s characters have human feelings and flaws: John Wick loved his late wife, Neo from The Matrix was in love with Trinity, etc. By giving B a sense of pathos, the series gains more depth and gives readers a reason to keep coming back.

The real highlight of the book is Garney and Crabtree’s art. Garney continues to excel at upping the levels of hyperviolence and gore: bodies are torn in half, with blood and skeletons spattering across the screen. And a group of warriors who storm his village learn the hard way about his unnatural strength. But the most visually striking sequence has to be B’s conception, which involves a godly being forming entirely out of lightning and descending to earth to meet his mother. This sequence is spread out over the course of two pages and features a row of panels that slowly expand to form a full image. Crabtree drenches the pages in electric blues, purples and pinks which give it a psychedelic and otherworldly feel-extremely appropriate, given that magic is at hand.

BRZRKR #2 continues to present immense levels of gore and ultraviolence while unveiling the secret origin of its protagonist. Now that more details have been revealed about B, he’s starting to feel less like a stock action hero and more like a well-rounded character. And a little character can go a long way, especially in the realm of comics.

BRZRKR #2 is available wherever comics are sold.

 

BRZRKR #2
4.5

TL;DR

BRZRKR #2 continues to present immense levels of gore and ultraviolence while unveiling the secret origin of its protagonist. Now that more details have been revealed about B, he’s starting to feel less like a stock action hero and more like a well-rounded character. And a little character can go a long way, especially in the realm of comics.