Review – BRZRKR #5
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Artist: Ron Garney
Colourist: Bill Crabtree
Letterer: Clem Robins
Release Date: September 29th 2021
I picked up BRZRKR #5 for review as I have been determined to enjoy this series, despite its best efforts to prevent me from doing so. The fifth issue begins the second story arc following the previous origin story that wrapped up in the previous issue.
Although the fifth issue STILL doesn’t deliver the violent high-octane action that we saw in the first issue, it is surprisingly well written and finally gives us a reason to invest in Unute as a character. It also contains some of the best writing that we have seen from Keanu and Kindt in this series so far.
The issue opens in the modern day where Unute gives an interesting monologue about music and the sheer amount of music that he has experienced during his time on this earth. He waxes lyrical about how it doesn’t matter what instrument is being used to make the music or what genre of music is being played on said instrument, it is all the same at its core.
He tells us how all of music is about a universal desire for connection and coming together over a common desire. This is a fascinating observation considering just how long Unute has been alive and it interestingly draws parallels to how he may see himself. Here is this immortal being, who hasn’t changed a great deal over time and over thousands of years, still has this same desire burning inside him to find his true purpose.
This monologue is definitely the most profound piece of writing in this series so far. It instantly grabbed me and gave me hope that this issue could elevate this series from the clumsy, poor writing that has plagued the series thus far.
I have written in my reviews from past issues about how much I have been struggling with the poor dialogue that Keanu and Kindt have dragged this series down with. Thankfully, the dialogue in this issue is written to a much higher standard, to the point where it is actually fairly hard to believe that it was written by the same two people.
The middle section of the issue is taken up by a 10 page montage of Unute’s attempts at finding love and pro-creating in centuries past. Whilst this idea of a tragic immortal hero outliving his lovers is something that we have seen before in stories such as Highlander and Wolverine, it still adds some depth to Unute’s character here.
The artwork in this montage section of the issue is also some of the best art that we have seen in the series so far. The way that Garney portrays the same characters at various different ages is effective and says a lot without requiring any additional dialogue.
Crabtree’s use of various contrasting in his colouring also stands out in this section of the issue. Each time period/relationship has its own colour palette to go along with it and each of them are distinct from one another and also distinct from the richer colour palette used for the modern day scenes. This tells us at a glance what time period we are dealing with and it is all handled well by Crabtree.
Overall, this issue is a vast improvement over the ones that preceded it. It is as if everyone has upped their game in this issue. The writing from Keanu and Kindt is so much more impactful and free-flowing than it has been at any other point. Garney’s artwork compliments the yarn being spun rather than distracting from it. Crabtree’s use of colour adds so much to the visuals in the issue.
Although we are still yet to see the return of adrenaline pumping action seen in the debut issue of this series, this more introspective, slow-paced style works wonders for the character of Unute. This issue has somewhat redeemed this series for me and actually even has me once again looking forward to seeing where this story goes.
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