BRZRKR #12 – Boom! Studios
Creative Team: Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt, Ron Garney and Bill Crabtree
Welcome to an all new edition of Parlay Points, the comic book review blog to the ODPH Podcast by way of the Nerd Initiative!
For this entry, we have arrived at the conclusion of one of the most high-profile Kickstarter books in recent memory which has been released to the local comic shops via Boom! Studios. Considering who the mastermind behind it is, there’s little question why it’s getting the (rightfully deserved) attention that it has.
BRZRKR #12 by Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt, Ron Garney and Bill Crabtree for Boom! Studios brings to close (in this format) the saga of B. The half man, half god, who is all 100% walking violence. The story has been a brutal journey thru the eyes of an immortal who’s seen enough and looking for a way out. With the events of last issue, all bets are off as to where B’s story concludes for now.
Before we get started with the review, the images featured here may be too violent and graphic for younger readers. Viewing discretion is advised. That said, if you’re still good to go, let’s get the review started, shall we?
***VIOLENT/GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING***
***POSSIBLE SPOILER WARNING***
B’s Story So Far
The story of B (aka Unute) has been drenched in mystery and violence for decades. In present day, B has aligned himself with the US Government, as a human demolition derby for some of their most highly dangerous missions. B’s payment has been assistance in finding a way to end his immortal life. Dr. Caudwell has been supervising B’s missions in such a way as to cover up his own devious interest in B. Meanwhile Dr. Diana Ahuja has been B’s only ally throughout this period.
The last time we saw B, Caudwell was going to a location that might hold secrets to possibly end B’s life. Meanwhile, B had just traveled thru his own existence, making a connection with Diana in the form of a massive blast of energy. Witnessing this latest action, Caudwell finally enacts his master scheme of stealing B’s power. Caudwell siphons the energy from a magical bird, impaling B for his energy. If not for Diana, B would truly be dead. Instead, an apparently mortal B and Diana now need to face a powered Caudwell, who has emerged from a chamber crackling with energy. The final battle appears to be at hand.
What’s Happening Now
This issue kicks off with Caudwell and his cult followers facing off with the government forces. B and Diana head into battle with Diana being the super-powered being of the pair now. When B is injured in the fight, Diana steps up and brutally handles Caudwell in a scene that isn’t meant for the squeamish.
With Caudwell handled, the pair escape with Keever, a soldier who has been partners with B for many missions. Tying up loose ends, Keever gives the order to wipe everything away. The escape is shadowed by bomber jets unloading an arsenal on everything within the battle area.
The lives of B and Diana are changed forever and readers will be intrigued to see what play out. Life doesn’t return to normal as B and Diana are now considered loose ends that need to be wrapped up in the same way Caudwell’s secrets were wiped off the map. Their way of handling that aspect leads them to a new status quo, but not one without problems.
The conclusion of the story is one that has many layers to it. There is a definite answer to questions that have lingered since the start of the series. There are also some new routes left open to travel down with a few plot points kept open-ended by the final page. Readers will have much to talk about following this finale, as it’s a safe bet they haven’t seen the last of this franchise in comic form.
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Reeves and Kindt deliver on a big action finale to the present story, while leaving the door open to return should they decide to. The issue opens up big with tremendous action. The battle with Diana and Caudwell serves its purpose and makes for a thunderous close to that plot-line. Post fight is where they move things into uncharted territory.
Both B and Diana have to face an unclear future with a huge change in plans for them both. It is a huge game-changer that needs to stay unspoiled, but once created, takes the story in a very poignant direction moving forward. The writing adds many levels to the final moments, which tie certain plots together nicely. Certain elements come full circle. They also pace things out to where the issue feels as a “so long for now” instead of a full “good bye”. It’s not a bad thing but one that will keep readers guessing as to where events move from here.
Garney brings the same intensity to the fighting that this series has become known for. The panels with Diana facing off against Caudwell are as in your face as they come. The damage inflicted holds little back to readers. It sets an early tone that is revisited later when more fighting ensues. B’s life has been centered around conflict and fighting since its’ beginning. The imagery wastes no time in reflecting that, even in more individual standoffs (one especially noteworthy with Keever).
Garney levels this off with more emotional moments with Diana and B’s new direction. Without revealing too much, their lives become more complicated after Caudwell’s apparent demise. The reactions to the domino-like effect shines thru leading to a lasting parting shot with many questions coming from it.
BRZRKR has always been a complex tale that delves into the man behind the rage. It has been anything but your average comic story. Not surprising, Reeves, Kindt, Garney and the team present a compelling ending mixed with solid writing and excellent art. The saga of B reaches its’ final destination, with a closing chapter that is sure to please longtime readers of the series. Make sure to keep an eye out for this book on New Comic Book Day.
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