BRZRKR brings Keanu Reeves to comics with glorious violence
BOOM! BRZRKR from The Studios is a violent and explosive look at the immortality of the creative genius of Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt and Ron Garney.
Looks like Keanu Reeves is everywhere these days. Like the face of John wick and Matrix film franchises, Reeves is one of the most requested actors on the planet. However, after lending his name and image to the scandalous Cyberpunk 2077, how would Reeves’ first foray into comics go? In fact, pretty good! BRZRKR is a fast-paced, action-packed series that shows the high cost of immortality. Reeves is joined by co-writer Matt Kindt and artist Ron Garney for a story that’s not afraid to show just how deadly immortality can be. The first collection of BOOM! Studios contains the first four issues of the decade’s best-selling comic book and is tailor-made for fans looking for a thrill.
BRZRKR Flight. 1 focuses on Unute, an immortal warrior who works for the United States government. Unute was born 80,000 years ago into a nomadic tribe. One night, Unute’s parents prayed to the gods for a weapon they could use to survive against their enemies. The next day, Unute’s mother became pregnant with him. Growing up, Unute’s family discovered that he had unique gifts and an intense thirst for blood that he could channel into battle against others. But as Unute tells this story to his modern-day master, all he wants is to finally die.
While Reeves has been involved in filmmaking for decades, BRZRKR It’s the first time he’s flexed his writing muscles. Kindt, his co-author, is known for his work on Mind MGMT, Justice League of America and many Valiant titles. Together, the couple build a blood-soaked blockbuster as Unute reflects on her life’s journey. The story of a tired and regretful warrior is hardly revolutionary, but Reeves and Kindt shed new light on this precious trope. Unute is an engaging and likable track. His immortality is a curse he never asked for and the weight of his past slowly crushes him. The tragic reality that Unute will only be happy when he dies makes it even more painful to watch him lose everything he holds dear. Although it is indeed Act 1 of the 12 numbers provided for BRZRKR, it’s a hell of an opening.
Garney imitates that of Frank Miller City of sin with raw and evocative lines that give BRZRKR carnal energy. Garney isn’t afraid to go dark and violent with his art, with shocking displays of savagery. The series is filled with jaw-dropping footage, including a scene in the first issue where Unute literally stops a heart beating.
Garney’s art is significantly more powerful due to Bill Crabtree’s immersive colors. Crabtree often reduces the action to two or three colors to make the moments more stylized. It creates a sensational perspective on the conflict and dramatically increases the intensity of the violence without sacrificing Garney’s details. Crabtree is no stranger to gore and his work on some of the InvincibleThe most brutal fights of him have given him the skills to master all of the blood-splattered panels throughout this book.
After BRZRKRIt’s no surprise that the comic is already being adapted into both a film and an animated series by Netflix. This benefits comics as it allows creators to establish a world that others can play in and also showcases the unique strengths of this medium. They can manipulate and control things like rhythm, lighting, and empty space in ways not found anywhere else.
BRZRKR Flight. 1 is a great start to the biggest BOOM! The studios are reserving to date. The work of Reeves, Kindt, Garney and the entire creative team deserves to be applauded and it will be fascinating to see the absurd violence and inherent tragedy of the series unfold in the future. While immortality can be a curse for Unute, it’s a blessing for fans who pick up BRZRKR.
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