Reality Check slogs along, but has a brighter future.
Glenn Brunswick’s Reality Check is a mixed bag of classic comic stereotypes, interesting execution, and lackluster story. Following aspiring comics writer, Willard, Reality Check takes readers on a ride through Willard’s own origin, his attempts to break into the comics industry, and the true-to-life arrival of his main character at his creator’s very door steps. At first glance, Reality Check may seem like a satirical take on many of the comics industry’s most common tropes, but instead of delivering pages of fun Brunswick’s story is rather bland. All is not lost, however, as Reality Check definitely made the technical interaction between Willard’s story and his own comic interesting to watch unfold.
The reason Willard’s story is not terribly interesting is because it has been done a hundred times before. Willard is socially awkward, overweight, and not confident. He aspires to be a comic writer, but cannot seem to pump out enough pages. He wants to be a ladies’ man, but cannot seem to be anything more than strange and unattractive. All of these stereotypes have plagued numerous characters in the past, but here in Reality Check there just is not much to grab on and run with to keep interest alive.
There is one redeeming quality to Reality Check, however, and that is the interesting technical transitions between Willard’s story and the comic hero, Dark Hour, he creates. Scenes transition smoothly between interrelated notes in Willard’s life that match Dark Hour’s, all building towards the hero’s arrival at Willard’s front door. Though this first issue may not have proved to be fun, the inevitable interaction between these two characters next issue may be worth investigating.
Reality Check may have arrived with more of a whimper than a bang, but it may be building towards something fun. Willard’s story is nothing new, nor is Dark Hour’s for that matter, but the interaction between Willard’s “real” life and Dark Hour’s arrival in that reality will hopefully offer a fun story next month.
Glenn Brunswick (W), Viktor Bogdanovic (A) • Image Comics, $2.99, September 4, 2013.