REVIEW: ‘BRZRKR,’ Issue #4

Reading Time: 3 minutes

BRZRKR #4

BRZRKR #4 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. In the same vein as BRZRKR #3, the story flashes back to B’s past and the tragedy that shaped him into the man he became. Further complicating matters, the entire flashback occurs within the form of a recorded therapy session with B’s government-mandated therapist Diana.

In my review of BRZRKR #3, I mentioned that it was my favorite issue of the series to date due to the fact that it unveiled more of B’s backstory and gave him actual pathos. Here, that trend is continued but only at the halfway point, which also reveals the extent of B’s healing factor. The first half mostly regurgitates information we’ve learned before: B’s origin, his contentious relationship with his father, and his connection with his mother. This has the unfortunate event of making the issue feel like it’s dragging, which is dangerous considering this series is slated to be twelve issues in length. I understand that Reeves’ pedigree is a large draw for the series and will lead to film and anime adaptations at Netflix, but that can only take the series so far. Future issues need to push the narrative forward and introduce more conflict for B, which I hope Reeves and Kindt have considered while writing the series.

Writing aside, the artwork continues to be a major standout of the series-especially with the fight sequences. Garney takes the title quite literally in this issue, especially with the flashbacks. B rips off limbs, shrugs off swords and spears to the abdomen, and even has a rather gruesome moment with a horse that has to be seen to be believed. He also draws a massive splash page that features B leaping at a horde of invading barbarians while holding a flaming sword and spear, uttering a feral cry as he does. Even Robbins’ lettering is a standout: the jagged shape of B’s word balloons and the arrangement of the letters feels primal and fitting of a berserker.

The other half of the artistic team sets the mood with his colors. Under Crabtree’s watchful eyes, two different colors set the difference between past and present: red and blue. Many of the flashback scenes boast reddish-orange tones that fit perfectly with B’s enraged killing sprees and the rivers of blood he’s left in his wake. Blue represents the present and is a more calming and somber affair as B and Diana discuss his past. One page even cuts between the two, as Diana weighs the gravity of everything B has told her with a sequence where B fully regenerates from a collection of grievous wounds; the colors and scenes provide a wonderful contrast, and I would have liked to see more of that throughout the issue.

BRZRKR #4 spins its narrative wheels for half the issue, with the series’ intense action sequences covering up a lack of plot advancement. With the issue ending on a surprising meeting between B and Diana, I hope that this series pushes the narrative forward in the next issue or manages to justify its twelve-issue run in the end.

BRZRKR #4 is available now wherever comics are sold.

BRZRKR #4
3.5

TL;DR

BRZRKR #4 spins its narrative wheels for half the issue, with the series’ intense action sequences covering up a lack of plot advancement. With the issue ending on a surprising meeting between B and Diana, I hope that this series pushes the narrative forward in the next issue or manages to justify its twelve-issue run in the end.