Written, illustrated, lettered and designed by Ben Humeniuk
Thanks to Ben for the review copy!
Bro-D Can’t Be Broken is a young adult graphic novel that pits an indestructible teen named Bro-D against a powerful demigod bent on wrecking a city. It has the hallmarks of young adult fiction – plucky young characters, a romance subplot, and plenty of action. However, where stories like The Maze Runner are set in a dystopian future, the world of Bro-D is much more positive and hopeful. As the intro explains, society has emerged from some dark times as a unified people, which made the ‘gods of old’ mad, which leads up to them sending a baddie to destroy a city.
In some ways, Bro-D feels like a young adult version of Pacific Rim, with the demigod taking the role of a Kaiju. It’s a fun way to mix up the genres, and gives plenty of opportunities for superpowered mashing. The action is fun and well choreographed. This is the kind of book I could see being adapted into a movie. There are some fairly bloody scenes (complete with sound effects), so a little parental discretion should be used for younger readers.
Bro-D feels like a throwback. It has the narration boxes that often appeared in comic books from the 80s. The muted color palette and vivid sound effect lettering (a nice touch) feel like they’d be right at home in an older book as well. The flashback panels in the book deserve mention. The shift to black and white makes a nice clear signpost for the reader that the panels are a flashback and the pink shading makes the panels pop. In addition to feeling vintage, the art in general (and the character design specifically) also gives off a manga vibe.
If you like dystopian young adult stories, but are in the mood for something a bit more hopeful about the future, Bro-D Can’t Be Broken is worth a look. It tells a complete story that can be enjoyed without having to commit to additional books, but provides a rich world that could easily be expanded upon.
Bro-D Can’t Be Broken is set to be released on January 25th 2022.
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