Review – BRZRKR #2
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Artist: Ron Garney
Colourist: Bill Crabtree
Letterer: Clem Robins
Release Date: April 28th 2021
BRZRKR #1 was released back in February and I enjoyed it for what it was. You can check out our review for the first issue here.
However, it did leave me wanting more and wondering where Keanu and Matt Kindt could take this story next. Well, the follow up issue has arrived and you can see what I thought of the second chapter of the story in our review for BRZRKR #2 below.
Unfortunately this issue is used purely to show us a flashback to how Keanu’s character received his BRZRKR powers in the first place, 80,000 years ago. The story being told via flashback lasts for the entire 22 pages of the issue and it is an extremely jarring change of pace from the first issue.
The writing is fairly ham-fisted throughout issue #2 and it is becoming apparent why there was so little dialogue used in the first issue; because the writers aren’t very good at writing dialogue for this character.
Maybe this just applies to me, but I didn’t pick up the second part in this story for a 10,000 BC style experience. I wanted a high-octane modern day action romp with futuristic violence and military action. I did not go in wanting to see what is essentially Far Cry: Primal starring Keanu Reeves.
I guess it is somewhat required for the writers to establish a reason for why BRZRKR can do the things that he is able to do. However, that is probably something that should have been left until we got to know this character a bit more so that we actually cared about his backstory. In this respect, it really feels like the writers are lazily pinning their hopes on the fact that the audience is already familiar with Keanu, rather than the actual character that the story revolves around.
One positive in this issue is that Rob Garney’s scraggly style of artwork works remarkably well for this Stone Age story. The unpolished aesthetic of the art matches the rough, primal look and feel of the ancient landscape that serves as the backdrop for the flashback.
That said, I didn’t feel that there were as many striking splash pages in this issue as there were in the first and the sense of fluidity that was present throughout the first issue’s artwork is sadly missing here. It is instead replaced by a more stubborn, stunted style of illustration. However I do wonder if that was a conscience choice made by Garvey for this issue, as it is set in a stockier and less free-flowing era of history.
The violence that many may be hoping for following the brutality of the first issue’s artwork is thankfully present in this issue also. Spines are kicked out, heads are ripped off, several disembowelments are on display and it all looks as gritty and as graphic as you could hope for.
Ironically, the one aspect of the artwork that I criticised in my review for the first issue was the colouring by Bill Crabtree. Here I actually much preferred the colouring choices he made and really enjoyed the several of the contrasting colour palettes used through the issue. The one sequence that I thought looked a bit garish and unclear was the sequence where BRZRKR’s mother was impregnated by lightening? However other than that the colouring worked well in this issue.
Overall, I was disappointed by BRZRKR #2. After the first issue released, several people online voiced concern that things could go downhill for this series after the novelty of the Keanu meme wore off and sadly it seems like those concerns were valid. However, I really hope that the next few issues can turn things around and get this story back on track as I really enjoyed the first issue and would like to see this book do well.
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