Published on August 2nd, 2019 | by Chuck Hall0
Review: Berserker Unbound #1
This looks to be the making of an excellent new series from creator Mike Deodato Jr. Mix one part ‘Conan The Barbarian’ with a dash of ‘BeastMaster 2’, toss in just some incredible art, stir well and you have this.
The mightiest warrior in the land returns to his homeland after yet another journey of war and violence only to find it under siege by enemies. Doing what he does best he fights back. But…some battles can’t be won. Some lives can’t be saved. In facing an enemy he possibly can’t beat he does the one thing he’s never done and that’s run away. Wounded and needing a place to hide and recover he finds himself thrown into a world unlike any he’s ever known. Our modern world.
While the premise isn’t new the story has the potential to be different and fun. Anytime you throw a standard of one story genre into a completely different one it’s always a chance for fun things to happen.
Mike Deodato Jr.s art is, as always, simply stunning. The mixture of high character detail with ‘scratchy’ backgrounds make the barbarians land feel rugged and hostile. A place you really don’t want to live in. Or visit. Then the sharp detail of the modern world shows just how out of place the Berserker really is. From the stoic look of the warrior to the emotion of the father and husband to the ‘lost child’ of the world traveler lost in a strange land the, the expressions are very well done letting us know what’s going on without words. The movement and motion carries us from panel to panel with moments of true wide screen movie style pages. The use of multiple panels breaking up the larger pages give a nice texture to the scenes as well.
Jeff Lemire’s words are sparce, he let’s the art carry the story, using the words to enhance the art but never trying to outdo it. The affect of the pulp style narrator ‘voice’ while in the barbarian world and for the internal voice of the Berserker himself when in the modern world slows down the pacing and gives some breathing space between the break neck, hectic movement of the battle scenes.
The colors are gorgeous. Just pushing the art to another level. An excellent example of colorist as artist in how it’s used to fill in the open/blank spaces in the background of which there is quite a bit. Taking the scratchy look of the village or the barren look of the desert lands and giving it a depth it wouldn’t have without it.
The lettering is very well done as well, the different style boxes and speech bubbles for each character and setting. Always a treat to see the letterer add to the over-all look and feel of a book.
REALLY looking forward to this series. Been a fan of Deodato’s work for years and he’s firing on all cylinders here. Can’t wait to see what happens when the Berserker is unleashed in the modern world and it’s unleashed on him.
#MikeDeodatoJr #JeffLemire #DarkHorse #Barbarian #BerserkerUnbound
Berserker Unbound #1 (of 5)
Writer – Jeff Lemire
Art- Mike Deodato Jr
Colors- Frank Martin
Letters- Steve Wands
Publisher- Dark Horse