An immortal warrior who longs for peace. A researcher who wants answers. A government that wants a compliant weapon. As they delve into the mysteries of B’s existence, their interests are aligned—until they aren’t.
From Boom! Studios, BRZRKR Vol. 2 sees the return of Keanu Reeves’s supernatural soldier Unute who has killed his way across millennia. Now in the clutches of the U.S. government with a loose agreement of cooperation, B continues to lend his talent for violence to those who can help him find answers—and he hopes, eventual mortality. The story continues with a new military mission to retrieve an artifact with personal ties to B’s past as well as an experiment that may unlock the truth of his existence. However, on the battlefield and off, there are multiple parties, each with their own agendas, and in the quest to harness or escape immortality, some will win, and others will suffer. As a new experiment comes to fruition, B and those who surround him may find their paths forever transformed.
Rejoining Reeves, Matt Kindt continues to co-write the series, balancing B’s personal narrative with the larger intrigue and conflicts of the global storyline of the series. As with the first volume, the most compelling storytelling comes from B himself. Volume 1 saw the character wrestling with conflicting identities as a man and a weapon. Volume 2 sees him reflecting on those he has loved, taken from him across the centuries, while also pressing deeper into his own origins as a way to unlock his future. While this personal center continues to ground the story, the intrigue of government interests takes center stage here as competing researchers—some more moral than others—work to understand B’s origins. From a covert military operation, through an unanticipated escape across enemy territory, to a cutting-edge experiment with unintended consequences—the military storyline is less refined than the personal, but nevertheless propels the story forward into new territory as information is revealed and B’s existence continues to shape the course of history.
Drawn by Ron Garney, the bold linework and dramatic paneling of BRZRKR moves between past and present, bringing the personal and the epic to life as centuries of narrative unfold across the pages. This volume spends less time on the more intimate moments of the narrative. Instead, we see more of B’s past in bold color as the violence of civilizations long faded unfolds in bloody detail across the page. And in the modern timeline, conniving government contractors and supernatural experiments cut their path across the page, bringing the cooperating, contrasting powers of the story alongside one another before spinning them off again, each on their own course. It’s not the most dynamic art in graphic novels, but the matte colors and bold scenes carry the narrative forward with each unfolding revelation.
All in all, Vol. 2 of BRZRKR is a satisfactory continuation of the story begun in Vol. 1. B’s story—which I consider the most interesting piece of the series—takes a step back in favor of the current government timeline, but enough of the key elements of the series remain to keep things compelling. As before, graphic violence, language, and some nudity mark this as a title aimed at adults, which matches with the publisher’s mature rating. But for those who enjoyed the supernatural stylings and epic warfare with a touch of personal soul searching that marked the first volume, Vol. 2 is a bold successor, and promises plenty more adventures and revelations still to come.
BRZRKR Vol. 02
By Keanu Reeves, Matt Kindt, ,
Art by Ron Garney
BOOM! Studios, 2022
Publisher Age Rating: M
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+)