In the year 2095, humanity is on the right track to recover from catastrophic climate change and to begin a new era of advancement. People from every background intermingle in clean megacities across the globe, and a commitment to tolerance marks their developing international society.
But a group of beings called Deywṓs, who claim to be Earth’s ancient gods, are harassing the human cities, hoping to terrorize humanity back into submission.
The only person who can stand in their way is 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.
But on the day where his abilities matter most, Bro-D will finally discover the truth behind his powers, and the one thing that can bring him down for good.
The gods have returned to see what we’ve done with the place… and they’re not impressed.
The Deywṓs, celestial beings of myth & legend, have decided that we’ve had our fun and it’s time to reign in the unruly children that we’ve become. One by one, they send warriors as a reminder of who’s in charge before they grind humanity under the heel. The only thing in their way is the B.R.O. Squadron, a group of genetically enhanced heroes dedicated to standing against the gods and saving lives. When Bregghammer begins his rampage, making a beeline for the city’s central reactor, it’s up to BRO-D and his tactical support analyst M-Ander to hold the line.
I know, it all sounds a bit dramatic, right? Well, don’t worry too much about diving into a doom & gloom kind of story because at its core this is a light-hearted story of action and heroism. Maybe even a little bit of a love story for good measure. The tone that creator/writer/illustrator (and letterer and designer… whew!) was going for might strike a chord with manga fans, particularly in the Young Adult demographic. That’s not saying that the more mature reader wouldn’t be interested- and I use the word “mature” while keeping in mind that we’re all comic book readers in this house- it’s just that Bro-D Can’t Be Broken has a more focused intent.
Humeniuk keeps everything moving along at a quick pace, with no panel or page wasted to get his one-shot story told. He’s done a good job, setting up a world more advanced than our own and spotlighting the problems faced when a bunch of nigh-invulnerable godlings with frat-boy attitudes start stomping around. The ongoing brawl between Bro-D & Deywṓs war prince Bregghammer slows down just enough to work in the increasingly emotional connection between our co-mains, Bro-D & M-Ander. It’s a frowned-upon relationship as the two get closer than may be tactically sound or professionally approved of. Don’t fret, though, because there aren’t countless issues to dance around the will they/won’t they question, and by the end of Bro-D Can’t Be Broken readers do get some resolution.
Huneniuk’s artwork keeps up with the story, moving along and skirting around the fringes of what might have been too gory for the younger YA target audience. Spoiler alert: Bregghammer fights like his name sounds & some folk get squished. There’s also a nice balance between compact rapid-fire panels & broad splash pages. It’s the kind of merge in style between writing and illustration that you only get between truly collaborative creators, or when a single lunatic decides to take on all of the chores himself.
No offense, Ben. It’s great work.
My bottom line is that while Bro-D Can’t Be Broken is geared toward a younger group of readers, there’s plenty in the pages to interest anyone who likes their heroes heroic, their action action-packed, and their… um, I’m running out of descriptors so I’m gonna wrap it here. This solid oversized one-shot weighs in at 68 pages, and fans of sci-fi adventure could do a lot worse.
Final Score: 10/13