This is without a doubt the bloodiest comic you’ll ever read. If you’ve seen Punisher: War Zone or Midnight Meat Train recently, this will be right up your alley. It’s received a fair amount of press due to it’s blood soaked pages. However, if that’s all this series had to offer it wouldn’t be worth reading.
You can read Berserker #0 for free on Top Cow’s website to give you an idea of what it’s all about,, but here’s the lowdown: Farris Jorn and Aaron Bural are two wild and crazy guys – literally. Jorn ripped the head of his fellow Marine while in Afghanistan, and upon returning home killed his boss. Bural didn’t fare any better, and tore his beloved girlfriend apart with his own hands.
Apart from their superior strength, and frequent need to wash their clothes, the pair have no clue as to why they’re doing this. This second issue is set right after the events of the first. After freaking out his lover Eva at their workplace, Jorn is knocked unconscious. When he wakes up he sees Clint, the buddy he killed back in Afghanistan. Agent Rowena from Midgard is chasing Jorn in order to recruit him into her mysterious organisation, before their competition Asgard does. Meanwhile Asgard is head hunting Bural, who in turn is receiving his own visions of the dead, namely his girlfriend Courtney.
Bural then gets interrogated before snapping and Jorn does the same after being approached by Rowena. That’s when things get real messy. Or messier.
We don’t know much more than when we did from the last issue, save from the fact that the people chasing down the two berserkers are, “well-funded, private mercs.” The Norse mythology aspect of the story has yet to unravel, and right now the series has as many questions as spilled intestines in its pages. However writer Rick Loverd has obviously crafted something big, and is just choosing to leak out small details every now and then. Hopefully this strategy keep us as curious as the two main characters to know exactly what’s happening to them and why. The men on the run angle of this issue works and the desperation of the pair (though they never meet) is apparent.
Jeremy Haun’s art is just what it needs to be – gory and raw. I imagine he’d need a shower after drawing each issue. Haun is also more than just a man who knows how to depict anatomy from every conceivable angle – inside or out. He also does a brilliant job with the emotional complexities of the characters, from rage to fear to confusion. Dave McCaig’s colours add the necessary pop at all times.
Make no mistake, this is a title for mature readers. At this point it is crying out for more depth. I don’t know how much longer this series can sustain such a bloodbath without building upon the story, but as I said, hints are starting to break through thanks to Loverd’s handy work. I just hope that Berserker becomes known for more than just its use of the colour red.
It’s difficult to choose somewhat restrained preview pages, devoid of blood and guts, so here you go.