Review – Berserker #5

Top Cow is back with another violence filled issue of Berserker. Where at first this book was a little over the top for me, I’ve really grown to love the story that Rick Loverd has created along with the crazy art and brutality that Jeremy Haun and John Lucas bring to light through the drawings and inking. Overall, this comic is quickly developing into a must read if for nothing else then to see what kind of crazy fights will happen. Berserker #5 focuses on Aaron Bural’s journey to eventually face off against Farris Jorn. In Berserker #4 we saw Farris’ journey to rescue his girlfriend led him to an Asgaard camp where she was tied to a tree in some kind of ceremony. Berserker #5 will bring us up to speed on how Aaron managed to get to the same camp in what appears to be a destined battle between two once in a hundred generation berserkers. Read on to see the madness. We start off in the car where Aaron and his estranged father Ty are talking about why he has suddenly come back into the picture. Ty has apparently been training with Midgard to learn to control his berserker urges. Those urges are the reason why Ty left his family out of a fear of harming them. During the car ride Aaron dozes off and dreams of his dead girlfriend. He also sees a vision of Farris, referred to as the marine, and an inevitable showdown between them where Aaron does NOT gain the upper hand. Between Farris and Aarons visions of dead friends and lovers, I’m beginning to think it may be developed into more than just a psychotic hallucination and that they may have the ability to actually converse with the dead. I could see that being an ancient Norse ability, but I suppose we’ll have to wait and see on that guess. Ty introduces his son Aaron to Val Balder, a Midgard berserker who is going to become Aaron’s teacher. They bring Aaron into a special training chamber that is supposedly indestructible and tell Aaron to drink a solution that will induce a “serk” and allow Aaron to begin to control his rage. In the face of Aaron’s rage all bets are off though, but at least Val appears to be one of the first people to actually survive being smacked around by Aaron or Farris. Val hasn’t seen a berserker with Aaron’s potential before and hopes to be able to train him. Aaron heads back to his room and after another heart to heart with his dead girlfriend (you may remember that he ripped her head off) and decides to leave Midgard to seek out an Asgaard camp. This leads Aaron back to Karl Locke, the man his father was trying to get him away from. Locke injects Aaron with a solution that forces a rage and points him in the direction of Farris, who is about to rescue his hostage girlfriend. The stage is set for a fight that no other berserker would survive, Farris versus Aaron. I’m pretty sure collateral damage is inevitable. I really enjoy when I can’t really see where a story is going. It would seem that neither of these guys is going to die in the upcoming fight considering they have been the main characters up until now. I am given pause in stating that given that so many other characters that seemed really awesome have been shredded almost immediately after their introduction. Midgard is definitely emerging as the morally preferred organization while Asgaard comes across as a mercenary organization bent on destruction. These are direct reflections of the characters Val Balder and Karl Locke, the respective leaders of the organizations. Pick this one up in stores when it hits shelves April 7; you won’t be disappointed. Interiors and alternate covers will keep you satisfied for now.