Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sneak Peek: Berserker #1

Berserker #1 (sneak preview)
Created and Written by Rick Loverd
Art by Jeremy Haun
Colors by Dave McCaig
Letters by Troy Peteri
Published by Top Cow

The first I remember hearing about this was at New York Comic Con this past year and it finally hits stands this coming Wednesday, June 24th.Beginning with a massive car wreck and going backwards in time to set the plot and characters, to call this book "intense" is almost an understatement. There a few clich├ęs along the way but they don't hinder the book: a handful of individuals with devastating powers and secret organizations that want to help them or use them as weapons.

The first of these powered individuals we are introduced to is Aaron, a teenager who is kicked off his wrestling team. Not because he hits his opponent with a steel chair, but more like he snaps his arm off and almost decapitates the kid with a right hook to the face for talking trash about Aaron's girl. All the while he's being watched by a mysterious stranger that has some sort of symbol on the back of his neck that resembles pitchforks making a circle.

Elsewhere we meet our next character: Farris Jorn, waking up from a bad dream and throwing a lamp right through the wall of his bedroom. The girlfriend is annoyed and just adds it to the list of stuff to do around the house. Personally, I would have reacted a bit differently. And of course, there is another stranger outside the house. Cutting back to Aaron and his girlfriend, we learn that they've decided to skip town tomorrow after Aaron ties up some loose ends with his white trash mother.

When we get back to Farris we see he can't even stand up to his own boss. He needs his job, which is working at some sort of metal-works shop, and we find out he's seeing a therapist about his rage, but it's not working. Meanwhile, Aaron confronts his mother and he tells her the events about him getting kicked off the wrestling team and why. His mother is furious and insists he has his father's rage, "the Devil's temper" she calls it, and he storms out.

We eventually meet the stranger that was outside of Farris' place, Rowena. Apparently she is an agent of an organization called Migard, and she is confronted by an agent from what we assume is a rival organization called Asgaard, Ray. The two get into their, I guess, "berserker" mode and duke it out. Jeremy Haun's art leaves little to the imagination as it is seriously bloody and gory. It's sort of weird too since there's no dialogue during the fight, which is three pages long, it's just an all-out brawl with Rowena walking away to talk to Farris about his abilities and how she can help.

The next day at work, Farris' boss discovers that Farris has been dating a girl he's fancied for quite some time. And you know how Farris never stood up for himself? That changes mighty quick as Farris rips off his boss' arm, tossing him through a window and into a car! Needless to say, everybody runs the hell away from Farris, still holding his boss' torn arm.

We see Aaron and his girl, Courtney, on their way out of town and on to New York, however there is some trouble brewing as the friends of the guy Aaron almost killed cause Aaron and Courtney to have a car crash.

Now the ending I won't give away because it's THAT insane. Not necessarily negative, but it is a little too over the top for my tastes. I could have sworn I heard the Mortal Kombat theme play after I read the final splash page. If anything, it's a good set up for a series that will appeal to fans of the ultraviolence, I'm just not one of them.

Jeremy Haun's art is strong, I just wish Rick Loverd's dialogue had been on the level, though I'm confident things will pick up. I'm curious on where things will go from here. If you see it at your local comic shop, take a gander, just be sure not to show it to a youngster.

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