Keanu Reeves is perhaps best known for playing stoic, quiet characters, but he was all smiles and hand expressions during the New York Comic Con Metaverse panel for his first-ever comic, BRZRKR (pronounced “berserker”). Joined by co-writer Matt Kindt, artist Ron Garney, and BOOM! Studios editor Eric Harburn, the actor took the forefront during the panel for the upcoming graphic novel.
Set in the present day, BRZRKR follows an immortal warrior nicknamed B, who joins up with the U.S. government to fight evil in exchange for being studied to find the source of his immortality. The idea partially stemmed while Reeves was talking about future projects with John Wick director Chad Stahelski. After realizing that he wanted to tell a hyperviolent story about an immortal warrior, he began exploring it further.
“[B is] compelled to violence, but he doesn’t want to kill,” Reeves said in the panel (shown below). “For us, time speeds up; for him, time is slowing down.”
It’s certainly a setup worthy of a comic series, Reeves’ star power be damned. As his first entry into a new medium, BOOM! paired him up with comics veteran Kindt.
For Kindt, the writer of books such as Folklords and Mind MGMT, the new experience came through discussing and later acting out the book with Reeves. The pair would have long discussions before Kindt would script everything out, and then Reeves would read the script aloud.
“I’ve never written something like this before,” Kindt said. “It’s like telling a story through oral tradition.”
In addition to providing grisly violence, Reeves hopes B’s story will be relatable and explore the nature of immortality. Reeves hinted at some more sci-fi elements than expected, mentioning how the U.S. government could clone B, or play with his DNA — he even threw out quantum mechanics with a little bit of excitement in his voice. There was also a point where he got into B’s perfect memory and amino acids, in case you needed more proof how committed Reeves is to this.
Are he and Kindt making it all up on the fly? Absolutely, but Reeves’ energy is so infectious you don’t really care.
BRZRKR’s first issue will debut Feb. 17.
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