GRAPHIC NOVELS

Berserker Unbound. Vol. 1

Dark Horse. Mar. 2020. 136p. ISBN 9781506713373. $24.99. Rated: Teen+. FANTASY
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A fearsome warrior called Berserker returns from waging war against an evil wizard to discover his wife and child dead and his village burned. After being wounded while pursuing bloody vengeance, he stumbles into a cave and falls through a portal that leads to the outskirts of a modern city, where a homeless man named Joe Cobb tends his wounds. While they don’t speak the same language, the men nonetheless develop a bond as they wander the city, eat, drink, and come to understand that they are both reeling in the aftermath of terrible tragedies. Lemire’s (Black Hammer. Vol. 4: Age of Doom Part 2) gift for crafting sensitive portrayals of characters wracked by loss and regret is always impressive, and longtime superhero artist Deodato (Savage Avengers. Vol. 1: City of Sickles) provides predictably thrilling blood-spattered action sequences but also proves surprisingly adept at conveying real emotion in what is ultimately a dialog-driven drama.
VERDICT Lemire and Deodato Jr. put an unpredictably poignant spin on the sword-and-sorcery genre. This hardcover collects the entire four-issue series.

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