feature Comic book review - Bro-D Can't be broken
Bro-D Can’t be broken is a book about hope, kindness and love wrapped in an action packed graphic novella. Written, Illustrated, lettered and coloured by the very talented Ben Humeniuk, the book moves at a relentless pace, is full of quips, fun and an absolute breeze to read!
Writing, Art, Letter & Design: Ben Humeniuk
Where to get it: https://bandofbards.com/product/bro-d-cant-be-broken/
The story revolves around Bro-D, a genetically-modified teen who was altered and trained to save lives in the face of a mass crisis. Practically invulnerable, Bro-D will engage the Deywṓs’ champion, Bregghammer, in a running battle of fists, weapons, and will, an immovable teen vs an unstoppable godling, in a gambit to allow the megacity’s citizens to evacuate.
Story & Characters
The story of Bro-D is set in a world where humans have started to successfully arrest climate change after decades of calamities and were on the verge of a golden age. A group of old gods called Deywos emerge from the shadows to challenge this and keep humanity subdued. However, a genetically enhanced and combat trained teenager called Bro-D along with his partner M-Ander stand in the way of Bregghammer conquering Mesopotamia. The main fight with Bregghammer tests Bro-D’s physical and mental limits. The story, though full of action has a lot of intellectual weight. There is a lot of talk of doing the right thing, love, redemption, how precious every life is, humans forging their own path despite being flawed and refusing to bowing down to bullying and intimidation. The book is rich with themes - these and more.
Bregghammer, Bro-D and M-Ander are the central characters through out the book. They’re responsible for most of the exposition and setting up of the story both past and future simply using dialogue while fighting. This is smart, because Ben keeps the reader engaged with fun, often intellectual dialogue worthy of dwelling upon later, while going through the action scenes with his central characters. You can also clearly see the characters grow through the situation, come to terms with some their internalized feelings and constantly discovering things about their world and themselves. I really like it when the characters learn things about their setting along with the reader, it adds a fun edge to the story.
Art & Inspiration
Bro-D ‘s art style is very kinetic, just like the story and it’s characters. It adds a huge dash of energy to the story. Some panels are very cinematic and mounted on a giant canvas, especially the panel where Bro-D gets introduced dangling on a helicopter. The introduction of Bregghammer gives a great sense of scale in terms of his personality. The panels get really creative especially when there is a horizontal page in the middle of the proceedings. The colours and lettering help add a huge edge by adding to both the emotion and weight to the action panels.
The art styles look like a great mix of Jack Kirby with Shonen manga. There are some direct pop culture and multi-cultural references like the “Immovable force and unstoppable object” from The Dark Knight, Bregghammer’s weapon seems to resemble an Indian mace called the Gada. The caste of characters themselves are quite diverse in their ethinicities and the book in general embraces rich cultural diversity effortlessly.
Bro-D can’t be broken is a fun, witty, action-packed book that is highly entertaining, without losing an intellectual edge to it. It also subtly a book about hope, kindness, togetherness, having each other’s back and above all love. Do not miss this one!