Reality Check #1

3.50
Okay
14

Comic series

Publisher

Release date

September 4, 2013
Reality Check #1 is a book that sort of breaks the fourth wall and offers a story that many can relate to. Where the story goes in the next issue is anyone's guess and it has a lot of explaining to do. As a set-up issue, the first one definitely has some intrigue to it, but it's a little uncertain as to where the series really will (or wants to) go. Willard's trials and tribulations make for fascinating reading within the context of the story being laid out; just not completely convinced that it's going to be entirely interesting.
It's really hard not to recommend Reality Check #1 as it's a great comic and has a final page tease that should lead into a interesting story within a story within a story plot line that is bound to grip its readers. Brunswick may not have got the balance right at all times, but his heart is in the right place and there is a clear love for this story that shines through each page.
3 out of 5 stars
Reality Check is a very generic comic - fairly clever, with a pretty clever story and decent enough art. This comic could have been better than it was, but it's just fine. It's not great, it's not horrible, it's pretty much meh.
4.5 out of 5
Reality Check is funny, smart, emotional, and really cool. Image has another big hit on their hands.
2 out of 5 stars
This first issue is mired in exposition and feels heavy and cumbersome to read. A good chunk of the book is dedicated entirely to the main character’s back story, making the story feel stagnant as the reader is bogged down with the past instead of the current action of the book. In all, the story is not engaging and told in a haphazard way. Brunswick bounces back and forth between Willard and his character, Dark Hour. The two aren’t linked in any way and this causes the story to be confusing. In the end, I learned more about the story from the synopsis on Image than I did from the book.
3.5 out of 5 stars
This comic would have been entertaining enough as a look at the life of a young, independent creator trying to make it in the industry, but Brunswick throws in a far-reaching surprise at the end of the issue; or at least, it would have been a surprise, had it not been spoiled on the very cover of this comic. This last-minute development is almost a disappointment, as it gives an indication that the comic might shift away from its well-established real-life feel to a larger-than-life one in future issues. Regardless, this issue stands on its own as something that anyone who's tried to make a go of it in the business can relate to, and it provides a big enough shock at the end to make readers see where it goes next.
6 out of 10
Reality Check has promise. The creator meeting his creation is always an interesting angle, and given the type of person Dark Hour is and the type of person Willard Penn wants to be, I see a lot of potential in this story. Hopefully, now that he’s laid out the background and exposition, Glen Brunswick will focus on telling the story rather than trying to prove to us that his lead character deserves a break.
6 out of 10
Reality Check has promise. The creator meeting his creation is always an interesting angle, and given the type of person Dark Hour is and the type of person Willard Penn wants to be, I see a lot of potential in this story. Hopefully, now that he’s laid out the background and exposition, Glen Brunswick will focus on telling the story rather than trying to prove to us that his lead character deserves a break.
5.5 out of 10
By trying to make Willard both a sad sack, sympathetic character and someone with a seemingly immature worldview, the story is trying to have it both ways at this point. Despite fun and expressive art, it’s tough to get fully behind this one just yet.
4 out of 5 stars
Maybe it is the fact that Glen Brunswick has created a relatable downtrodden main character immersed in some “close to my heart” subject matter that makes the story stand out? Or maybe it is the fact that this is a comic about a comic creator that meets his creation…has this been done before? Possibly. But this is today, and as Willard Penn (main character) learns, it is all about the NOW.
7 out of 10
As a meta-fictional piece, Reality Check handles some of the artistic items very nicely. The writing and art both change from the main story to the comic pages. The Dark Hour portions are both written and drawn more awkwardly, as expected from a more novice professional. The poses are a bit unusual, the dialog is silly, and the story is very influenced by other works. The rest of the story is written with much more fluidity and the art is far more natural.
This kind of story about a comic fan turned creator has a lot of chances to be too “Meta”, to be so self-refering that it becomes annoying to read as a comic fan and Willard toes the line without ever crossing it. The story is intriguing and is well done although there is a rather large void in the progression of the story.
I am intrigued by and recommend this book to fellow comic folks can crave not only a different type of comic. Not too many books can jump into both worlds of the writer & creation. remember that it's mainly a set up first issue where the reader is familiarizing themselves with both characters and its certainly a promising start.
7 out of 10
It’s really too early to tell what this series has to offer. It has the meta element of a comic book creator’s hero popping up in the real world, but what that hero is looking for is unclear. The back story also seems to suggest this will become a romantic book, but the inking and story so far is too dark to see this as anything but a sad sap creative type learning who he is. And the superhero by his design comes to life…for some reason?