BRZRKR (2021) #1

Brzrkr1

I belong to the demographic who’s going to read BRZRKR to the song, Berserker from Clerks, cover to cover. I can’t make the brain stop doing it. Especially since it fits the content so well.

The content is an action comic about a Keanu Reeves character—while Reeves co-wrote the comic (and created the property), it never feels like a vanity project because of Ron Garney’s gloriously nightmarish gore action art (whether or not it looks like Sin City lite is another thing).

The story is Reeves and his keepers (soldiers) drop into Venezuela to assassinate another president. As the action unfolds, there’s flash forward narration to Reeves’s post-mission debriefing. Oh, wait, he’s not Reeves. Um. I mean. It’s Reeves. Garney uses John Wick poses as shorthand in the action sequences, the character turns out to be immortal and popping up throughout the ages (just like Reeves). Even the dialogue for the character seems to be keeping Reeves in mind for the eventual delivery (a backhanded compliment).

Wait, didn’t one of the Sin City series have like a Reeves looking character at one point? Actually, the long-haired, bearded immortal figure—it could’ve been a Vandal Savage pitch for “The New 52” or something—is so standard they even get some leeway making him so Reeves-ready.

However, although the issue’s successful, it’s successful at forty-eight pages. There’s time for a lengthy action sequence—three-quarters of the issue—before the exposition dump at the end with the psychiatrist back at the lab where they help Reeves rebuild. Presumably Reeves does his real life rebuilding through tai chi. The psychiatrist keeps him medicated and healthy, but is an ominous figure.

Figure Sandra Bullock against type. Or Winona Ryder maybe. Carrie-Anne Moss?

Anyway.

There are some end reveals and while they’re not big surprises or ingenious plot developments, they’re successfully executed thanks to Garney’s visual pacing and Reeves and co-writer Matt Kindt’s ability to get through the exposition.

Probably Kindt’s. While BRZRKR gives Reeves a full co-writing credit… I mean, no one really thinks Hollywood people write their own comics. Come on.

Outside the wanting A cover from Rafael Grampá, BRZRKR works. But only because it’s got so many pages and the next issue very much does not.

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