Comics Creators & Readers May Not Need This Reality Check


A review of Reality Check #1, published by Image Comics.
Issue written by Glen Brunswick and drawn by Viktor Bogdanovic.

How exciting would it be to read a comic where the main character is a comic book creator? Reality Check’s pathetic protagonist isn’t enough to make it compelling. As someone who has acquainted with talented comic book writers and artists, I expected better.

Writer-artist Willard Penn is a Hollywood dreamer who’s looking for his big break in the comics business. The closest he has to friendship is making unsuccessful phone calls to his mother. His latest creation is the Batman-esque Dark Hour. What makes Dark Hour not Batman is that he’s sexually frustrated. Should it be any surprise Willard had his own misadventures with the ladies?

realitycheck01_cover-webIs Willard the next comics legend? Willard lacks a great work ethic. Somehow, he maintains an apartment with no other income and doesn’t consider doing art or writing duties for another company. Willard doesn’t even mention crowdfunding, which many creators and their pets are doing now. Just ask ComicKick.

Because he’s a caricature of the hard-working, struggling creators, I can’t bring myself to root for Willard to succeed. His own “origin story” of family tragedy doesn’t help.

What about the comic-in-a-comic starring Dark Hour? What I can recall is a lesser attempt at romance recalling Batman/Catwoman or Spider-Man/Black Cat. The only way I immersed in its story was by playing “Spot the Batman Trope.” On the other hand, there are hardly any room for the mysteries surrounding Willard Penn and his creations.

While I’m not enamored with Willard Penn or Dark Hour, I didn’t finish reading Reality Check #1 in disgust like Grant Morrison’s Happy. Future issues may flesh out the characters and give readers an exciting story since Brusnwick and Bogdanovic are done establishing the premise. Maybe.

Preview Reality Check #1 from Newsarama!

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Author: Clarence

Webmaster, editor, writer of Red-Headed Mule. RHM was founded in 2011. Currently is liking British TV better than U.S. TV, mayhaps.