Last week saw the release of Keanu Reeves' BRZRKR #2 with actual-writer Matt Kindt and actual-artist Ron Garney, with FOC numbers for #3 being fixed next week.
Despite its massive print runs, BRZRKR continues to be a favorite among collectors and speculators, with YouTubers like Tom Garcia and Russ Bright of ComicTom101 show declaring BRZRKR one of their "Top 10 Trending Comic Books This Week" along with fellow YouTubers Bueller of Comics With Bueller calling it out as a key issue and GemMint of Gem Mint Collectibles making it his #1 pick of the week against heavy creator-owned hitters like Image's Crossover, Department of Truth, and Spawn. Two surprise variants mixed into the main cover gave collectors something to chase on release week so odds are they'll be doing that again. But no doubt the larger collecting frenzy around BRZRKR is due to fans betting on Netflix announcing a feature film and anime series in development with publisher Boom Studios starring Keanu.
BRZRKR #2 had has just under 170,000 copies printed, including the second printing, but there should still be plenty of copies around as it was beaten by Detective Comics in this week's charts, with the origin of the titular character B. which might make it a key issue when (if) the TV/movies come out.
Not only do we see medical diagram showing how B. was conceived, but that despite his endless lifespan and immortality he grew to maturity in a matter of two years and was groomed to defend his tribe from marauding rival clans.
This is otherwise known as the plot of Valiant's Eternal Warrior, but that's a whole different kettle of coelacanths.
The early part of the issue focuses more introspectively on B.'s origins by the end of the issue we're thrust back into the visceral hyperviolence that made issue #1 so striking. However, the most impactful part of the issue is not the blood and gore, but the pathos of a character whose origins are rooted in being a living weapon or tool for his people. And that despite being used by his parents as a "dog of war," B. finds himself mourning his loss of purpose in modern times.
Adding fuel to the fire was the surprise cross-promotion with Something Is Killing The Children #1 eighth printing, which some foolish retailers gave away free with purchase of BRZRKR #2 giving BRZRKR readers a chance to sample James Tynion IV and Werther Dell'Edera's series and vice versa. And as we understand it, unmet backorders for issue #1 and #2 first printings numbers in the thousands even as subsequent printings of both issues are posting orders in the tens of thousands. With BRZRKR #2 second printing not yet shipped and already effectively sold out at distributor level, how much longer before we see a third printing?
And more importantly, with all of this continued momentum and heat, how will retailers determine their numbers for BRZRKR #3? We've laid out how issue #1 and #2 are key issues in the series, but will issue #3 follow the same pattern? The description of the issue teases the introduction of a pivotal, mysterious character named Caldwell, who appears in a single panel of issue #1, will BRZRKR #3 end up being another important piece in the larger puzzle?
With Boom continuing to offer returnability on every issue of BRZRKR, retailers have no reason to play it safe on issue #3, but as we've seen even when they seemingly don't play it safe… it's not enough. BRZRKR #3 FOCs next Monday, May 10th.