It’s fair to say that there isn’t anything new about a weary warrior’s quest for stability. What BRZRKR needs to stand head and shoulders above the competition isn’t just blood-pumping, thrilling choreographed action, but a deeper plot that promises to explore B’s desperate search for mortality in refreshing ways. With just enough exposition, BRZRKR #2 starts to reveal B’s earliest memories of his origin, leaving a trail of breadcrumbs that will hopefully follow a story far more satisfying than the bloody gore on the surface.
BRZRKR #2 slides into new territory — a nomadic time, when the earliest humans searched for fertile land to settle. Instead, they discovered endless barbarity from raiding neighbors. From there, we learn about B’s parents who sought the help of the gods, asking for a weapon that would push out the neighboring threats. There’s a scene that represents fertility in ways that only ancient tribal stories could execute, but it perfectly explains B’s out-of-this-world violence. Overnight, B is conceived and his path towards savage bloodshed begins almost too quickly.
Although BRZRKR #2 continues to contour the brutality of the first issue, the story takes time to expand on B’s childhood and doubles down on his strange, yet sadistic nature. Scenes of a young boy stripping away the flesh from a wolf’s throat, snapping necks, and tearing through a bear’s chest lurch into a sequence of violence. There is something chilling about knowing that a child possesses the desperation of a starving man, but instead of enjoying the taste of food, letting his rage and violence manifest. Garney’s art never quite feels repetitive despite the endless panels of horrific brutality and continues to be a page-turner.
And BRZRKR #2 definitely doesn’t skimp on the action. Garney and Crabtree craft a succession of stunning slaughter scenes as B finds himself fulfilling his purpose: destroy any threat that stands in his way. Vivid colors of red blood, gray rocks crushed under the weight of B’s might, and the deep blues of a government facility room housing the present-day B are masterfully portrayed. There is an artistry and detail to each scene that express the sheer mythic and grand nature of BRZRKR #2, even in minor panels like psychologists and doctors measuring, analyzing, scanning, and poking B’s body.
But the violent pace quickly picks up again. BRZRKR #2 continues to present a barreling killing machine, leaving forceful and bloody ruin at every corner of the page. You’ll stare in horror at a young B swinging straight in like a wrecking ball into an army, decimating his enemies like it’s a normal day on set for Quentin Tarantino. An orchestra of reds, oranges, and yellows soak up the pages, and striding through it all is a child drunk with violence and with the colossal presence of an indestructible god. There is a viciousness found in Garney’s work that could rival even the choreographed action performance in the John Wick films.
B is a man of few words but many fists — a role that ultimately fits him like a glove, but with the price of endless blood-soaked existence. The violent intensity in BRZRKR #2 somehow surpasses the first issue and its bloody, visceral art continues to place the series as a visually violent paradise. And although the art is definitely the strongest factor of BRZRKR #2, we’re still wondering whether the high technology of the 21st century will achieve B’s wishes. How will the U.S. government fulfill the deal? Or is Diana serving a darker agenda? B’s struggle is ultimately what will keep this series worth following — but if you’re hungry for more of the kinetic action revealed so far, BRZRKR #2 won’t disappoint.
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