Keanu Reeves name carries a lot of weight. His John Wick franchise has been absolutely stellar as he has played the titled character. When I heard that Keanue Reeves teamed with Matt Kindt and Ron Garney to work on a new comic book project called BRZRKR that is all I needed to know to buy into this. Now after a successful Kickstarter the first issue of BRZRKR is now here for us with BOOM! Studios publishing the project. How will this Keanu Reeves comic book turn out? Let’s find out for BRZRKR #1.
Writers: Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt
Artists: Ron Garney
Colorist: Bill Crabtree
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: During a rainy night a guy is picked up for a job.
Later the guy seen earlier powers himself up on the way to his new mission. When he is told that they are there the guy jumps out of the plane without a parachute.
The guy ends up taking out everyone on the rooftop of the building for his mission before his crew even land. The guy proceeds to go into the building taking all the gunfire of the guards inside. He then brutally annihilates everyone that gets in his way, not even phased whenever someone shoots him.
From one of the last remaining people alive it is learned that the country’s President has already left for the airport. Not liking that answer the guy drives this person through a window and falls to the street below.
The guy recovers and charges at a military vehicle that keeps firing at him. The guy dropkicks his way into the front window and takes out all the people in the vehicle, taking a explosive going off like it was nothing.
The guy then drives the vehicle right into the President’s plane, destroying it in the process.
Even as he is heavily bleeding with massive burns throughout his body the guy shows no mercy to the President and beats him to death. When one of the soldiers is going to take out the President’s kid so they don’t leave witnesses the guy just watches.
Later the guy is healed up by the medical team at an undisclosed U.S. government facility.
He then talks with the person that is running an undisclosed US government facility about how this job he went on marked there one year anniversary of working together. She mentions that she found on his readings that it seems that something triggered in him to remember something about his life. She goes on to say she does not believe he is a God. The guy says since Gods are immortal and he is immortal he is a God. She says that things aren’t that simple and that the reason she has been working with him is to find out what he really is.
She then mentions that she saw something new in his readings during the mission he was on. She goes on to say that it seemed like something was unlocked in his brain.
As he is getting his injection the guy reveals he not only remembered his father but also being born 80,000 years ago.
We then see a flashback of the guy being born and then someone looking over what looks to be a prehistoric village he was born in. End of issue.
The Good: BRZRKR #1 is a non-stop adrenaline filled start to this new series that is headlined by Keanu Reeves. Matt Kindt joining Reeves to co-write this issue helped to fill out the story of this first issue BRZRKR. There was a clear focus of putting the main character over and how the unnamed Berserker has this world built around him
Having two-thirds of BRZRKR #1 dedicated to getting over Berserker as an absolute badass was a great way to go with the direction for the character. We don’t need to get his entire backstory out of the way. That is not necessarily what this type of character is about. This is a guy that lets his actions do the talking for him and that is exactly what we see with how he is portrayed as a Terminator-esque character.
That is not to say we don’t get a lot of character development for Berserker. Reeves and Kindt make the careful decision to have the character development in BRZRKR #1 be action based. We learn about what the Beserker’s attitude is through the action that Ron Garney portrays through the art. Taking all the brutal action made the actual dialogue being spoken in the future by the Berserker and woman running the US government agency he works for complimented one another well. Each word spoken by both characters provided greater context into what Berserker’s attitude was going into a lot of his suicidal actions.
Which added to the remaining third of BRZRKR #1 putting over how Berserker is an immortal character who has come to believe himself to be a God in this world. Having lived for as long as he has it is not surprising that he would develop a God complex. Given all he has seen and been through to become this Terminator-like figure would make even harden characters like Berserker believe themselves to be a higher being.
This attitude by the Berserker also worked well to put over how the relationship is with the woman running the U.S. government agency he works for. She does not take the Berserker’s crap about how he believes himself to be a God. This is exactly a character that is needed for this type of series with our lead character having this type of attitude. She helped ground a lot of the more supernatural elements to stick to what the Berserker has gotten himself involved as an agent for the U.S. government.
The back-and-forth between these two characters led in well into the big mystery around who exactly the Berserker is. Learning that for some reason Berserker has an unknown portion of his memories locked in his brain is a particularly good mystery. This helps to get into what Berserker’s origin is as a person who has lived for 80,000 years and what is actually going on with this world. It is all a hook to get readers to come back for more as there is a tease for some superhero elements involved in this world that BRZRKR #1 crafts.
Garney deserves a lot of credit for getting over what this world is about. With the first two-thirds being largely an action showcase Garney steps up big to show off how his style is a perfect fit for what Reeves and Kindt are going for. You get a good idea of not only what kind of character the Berserker is but how he is viewed as a dangerous individual by those around him by the way they react to his brutal fighting tactics. You quickly become terrified for every person that may cross the Berserker’s path as he takes no prisoners in completing the mission he is given in BRZRKR #1.
The Bad: BRZRKR #1 is an ultra-violent comic book. So for people that are not into the brutal action that we’ve gotten in Mark Millar comics in the past this won’t be for you. This is all about the action being as brutal as possible to drive the character development. That won’t be for everyone so just be aware of that when looking to pick this issue up.
Overall: Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt, and Ron Garney hold nothing back when presenting the series lead for BRZRKR #1 as an unstoppable Terminator-like character right out of the gate. A strong statement is made in the process as a lot of the character development is done through the brutal action shown for most of this issue. If you are into action-heavy comic books BRZRKR #1 is a comic book you should check out.
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