The Quarter Bin

Videos, Reviews, and Previews For Comic Fans

Review: Berserker #0

Posted by Sarah LeBoeuf On February - 11 - 2009

It’s been a few months since we started tracking the development of Berserker, Top Cow’s newest comic series, and now the day it all begins is finally here. Berserker #0 tears its way into comic shops today. Is the ultra-bloody story worth your time and money? Hit the jump to find out.

My first thought upon finishing Berserker #0? Holy shit. This issue is fast and action-packed, and before you know it, it’s over, leaving only a trail of blood in its wake. As a preview issue, it’s shorter than a single issue normally is. Writer Rick Loverd made the most of those pages, though, giving us a brief introduction to Farris. As a former Marine who served in Afghanistan, Farris is now trying to recall the gaps in his memory that his therapist assumes are a side effect of post-traumatic stress disorder. However, what Farris is experiencing is much more dangerous and destructive than the usual gritty realities of war.

We don’t learn much more than that about Farris, other than his apparent Viking ancestry (his last name is “Jorn”, which, according to another soldier, means that he has “warriors in your blood”). Farris doesn’t seem to particularly care about his heritage, but it catches up to him in a big way. As you probably know, going “berserk” in this book refers to a period of time in which one gains ridiculous strength, the power to tear anyone limb from limb without a second thought. On a battlefield, this could be a life-saving ability, but there is one problem: those who have this power aren’t aware of what they’re doing, and as such cannot distinguish friend from foe. Farris starts to recall what I assume is his first Berserker rage, and the outcome is horrifying.

You would never know from reading this that artist Jeremy Haun has admitted to having a weak stomach. He doesn’t shy away from the depictions of gore necessary for a story like this. It’s bloody, it’s gross, but it’s not so over-the-top that it takes you out of the story. There’s a fine line between realistic and gratuitous violence, but luckily Haun knows what side of the line to stay on.

As this is issue #0, it’s only a teaser of things to come. Like I said, it’s short, but it left me wanting more. That “holy shit” reaction is, I hope, what Loverd and Haun were going for. We only barely got to see the humanity in Farris, and I want to see more. I want to know more about him. I want to know how he is going to deal with this dilemma, and I want to know who else will be affected by it. That’s pretty much all we can ask for in a teaser issue, right?

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