Realm #1 (Image Comics)
Post apocalyptic fiction is a dime a dozen these days, especially at Image comics, the home of The Walking Dead. But while Seth Peck and Jeremy Haun’s series Realm definitely has some similarities to other stories, the reason for the apocalypse in this world is what makes it stand out. Instead of zombies, a plague, or nuclear disaster, in the world of Realm, its dragons, orcs, and other fantasy creatures that cause the demise of the world we know around us.
Realm picks up well after whatever occurred to destroy our world, and finds the people of this new Earth becoming fairly adjusted to the world around them. Many have taking to calling themselves kings and queens, and others, like our main character Nolan, are just trying to get by. A soldier for hire that takes on any job available to him, Nolan is adept at living in the world around him, but isn’t without a sense of honor. After one of his jobs goes south, he’s got to scramble to come up with something else, and continue to survive in a world that now has more orcs and dragons than human beings.
Realm jumps around to show us different aspects of this world, and while that may sound like an annoyance; it actually does wonder to help set up this series. Seth Peck’s script does a great job of setting up the world of Realm without making us suffer through a ton of exposition. Everything about Realm feels extremely lived in, and while we still don’t know much about our characters, none of them are boring or outshine the others.
Jeremy Haun is well known to comic fans thanks to his series Beauty, but he really hits a new level with Realm. Haun’s strong character work is on full display with Nolan and the other humans who populate this world, but it’s the creatures where Haun really shines. We don’t see his take on dragons yet (those are kept to the backgrounds, circling the sky like a warning to those who decide to fly too high), but his orcs and other creatures are dynamic and truly stand out. Realm is a great showcase of Haun, and I can’t wait to see what else he brings to the series.
A book like Realm has all the markings of a great comic, and I really hope people check it out. It’s a series that has a strong hook, a cool group of characters, and looks to have the right creative team to be a huge hit. An awesome, modern day Dungeons and Dragons campaign, Realm is definitely a comic you should pick up.