With the end of the latest season of Game of Thrones, maybe you’re craving petty kings, weird magics, dangerous journeys, and even some fantastic creatures. But imagine those things placed in an atmosphere that’s more Walking Dead or Escape from New York than a medieval-inspired realm like Westeros. That’s what The Realm, a comic series from Image launching next week, seems to be striving for and, after one issue, we believe has succeeded.
Writer Seth M. Peck, artist Jeremy Haun and colorist Nick Filardi present an America that’s been dragged out of the information age and into some kind of “dragon age,” with infrastructure in ruins, orcs or similar creatures running amok, and dark powers on the rise. Nolan is, at least in this first issue, the central character; he’s a guide and protector for hire, transporting people from here to there for pay. Hints are dropped about him via old photos, an odd physical characteristic, and in the form of a mysterious masked friend, but all we’re certain of at this early juncture is that he is a cool customer under pressure, a bad ass very much in the mold of a Snake Plissken or perhaps a Mad Max. And the latest group of people seeking his help include at least a couple of very visually striking characters, one of whom seems to favor archery versus bullets, which are naturally in short supply.
We’re always a little gun shy about recommending a comic based only on one issue, but this story, after just that one, is already action packed and heading somewhere compelling. And the art by Haun and Filardi is immensely successful in setting the mood: creative, beautiful renderings of an ugly situation and a world that’s seen better days.
See below for preview art — and take note of the sweet variant cover by Tony Moore.
As far as premiere issues go, this is one of our favorites in quite a while. The Realm hits the stands on 9/13.
GEEK Grade: A
Images: Image Comics