With issue #5, the story opens up and the Berzerker deepens. BRZRKR has been following a path. A scientist (trying to help the Berkzerker in exchange for his help) has been cutting into who our hero is through his past and present in an attempt to help him become a mortal. Since the Berzerker can’t die, he’s been America’s wrecking ball, going on covert ops missions, dropping out of airplanes, and laying destruction every where he goes. He was born for it, or was he trained for it? Did his father turn him into a killing machine? Two big questions exist at the center of this story: What makes us who we are, and how do we stop being that person?
The other big theme at play here is, of course, death. We learn our relationship with it by exploring what it means not to die. Through that, this issue solidifies the struggle of how love fits into all of it. The series – which up until now has only been playing with it through the BRZRKR’s mother – delves deeper in ways that I won’t go into here. I’ve got to save some of that for the reader’s enjoyment.
With the further exploration of what love means to the Berzerker, the series has connected to me in a different way, in a way I needed it to at this point. The visceral beginnings of the story alone wouldn’t have lasted much longer without the turn that this issue takes.
One opportunity I feel that was lost: The Berzerker has been with us for almost 20,000 years, and with him being a god and all, I would have assumed his sexual or romantic desires to be a little more fluid, especially living through all of the eras he lived through. This is not a mark against the book in any way, just something that I was aware of while reading it. This violent form of masculinity is very much tied to heterosexuality, but I can think of one or two characters in the comic world in which it’s not. I think as a culture we’ve gotten to a point in which creators should be aware of opportunities like that.
Creative Team: Keanu Reeves (created by), Keanu Reeves and Matt Kindt (written by), Ron Garney (illustrated by), Bill Crabtree (colored by), Clem Robins (lettered by), Michelle Ankley (designer), Eric Harburn and Matt Gagnon (editors), Ramiro Portnoy (Assistant Editor)
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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