Written by Adam Glass & Michael Benson
Illustrated by Harwinder Singh
Colored by Gonzalo Duarte
Lettered by Melanie Ujimori
Published by Oni Press
Release Date: 7/6/2016
…How to Build a Golem
Next Wednesday sees the release of BRIK #1 from writers Adam Glass (The CW’s Supernatural) and Michael Benson (Moon Knight). Oni Press is releasing this first issue for only $1.99 and after reading let me just say that this just may be the bargain of the year!
Drew is a typical teenage boy living in Yonkers with his family. Having already lost his father, he is being raised and cared for primarily by his mother and grandfather. While his family struggles to make a living running a small store under the constant threat of the Russian mafia, Drew himself must endure the unfortunate beatings by older teenage bullies. While his family quarrels about the possibility of leaving the NYC neighborhood, his grandfather while comforting him tells Drew about living near Minsk as a child during a time of war and Nazi threat. It is here where Drew learns of an ancient Jewish mysticism called Kabbalah that the town elders used to construct a Golem, which helped them defeat the Nazis on that day.
This first issue introduces us to several other characters, yet it is the relationship between a boy and his grandfather that makes this debut issue so incredibly emotional. While the history and story about the Golem is very compelling and most likely to be the central focus moving forward in future issues, just like the solicit suggests, this grandson/grandfather dynamic is reminiscent of the Peter Parker/Uncle Ben origin story we all know and love. The writers give this to us in a familiar yet fresh new approach in a beautifully told origin story.
Relative newcomer Harwinder Singh does a remarkable job with the artwork in what I believe may be his comic debut! His character portrayal of the people and the city feels authentic and stands out remarkably! The color work from Gonzalo Duarte adds a nice element to the illustrations and is the perfect complement to Singh. Together the art collaboration results in a simple yet consistently adroit style that works really well.
As I close this out and read through this comic one more time, I can’t help but draw the analogies between BRIK and that other comic story published over fifty years ago. Drew must deal with a loss of a family member who was more of a father than a grandfather. Mr. Simon (or Gramps as Drew refers to him as) teaches Drew life lessons and to always look for a way to make things right. There is a Flash Thompson like character except considerably more dangerous and violent (one of Drew’s bullies). There is even a possible love interest with the young Chase girl who might be Drew’s MJ. Okay I’ll stop with all the comparisons, because ultimately, Glass and Benson have written an amazing first issue that stands out brilliantly on its own.
REVIEW: BRIK #1
Peter Rodriguez (Geek Sushi)
With a great debut issue comes great responsibility!