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The only reason this new comic book mini-series Reality Check isn’t the number one comic book I’m looking forward to this year is because I had a similar idea for a comic book myself… which was partly inspired by an episode of TMNT that was dedicated to and featured Jack Kirby. But while this comic book doesn’t have Jack Kirby, it does have Willard Penn, a comic book writer who has a surprise hit. Yes, the protagonist of this comic book is a guy who is a comic book writer… who comes face-to-face with his own creation, the superhero Dark Hour.
In the Image Comics mini-series Reality Check Dark Hour visits his creator Willard Penn because he gets a bout of writer’s block and Dark Hour is tired of waiting around for his love interest – seriously. To compound Penn’s problems he has to deal with Devil-Inside, Dark Hour’s arch villain, who has also crossed into the real world.
This sounds like an awesome meta idea and adds to the low number of stories that deal with comic book characters coming to life. The story was created by Glen Brunswick (Non-Humans, Jersey Gods) and the artist is Viktor Bogdanovic (whose only credit appears to be Garth Kirby and the Cookbook of the Gods). But the story doesn’t revolve around Dark Hour’s luck with love. According to Brunswick in an interview he had with Comic Book Resources:
“One of the side benefits of being forced to help Dark Hour hook up with a woman is it forces Willard to re-engage with the world as well… so in that sense he’s helping himself to connect with other people instead of solely focusing on his creative endeavors. It causes Willard to reevaluate his life.”
In the same interview, Brunswick also divulged some details about Dark Hour and how he came to hassle his creator in the real world:
“Dark Hour is a force for good — a dark crime fighter. His need for companionship has been bubbling up for so long it’s become his primary focus. He’s a Batman-type hero, with a billionaire alter-ego, that’s been looking for love in all the wrong places. The tipping point that makes Dark Hour come to Willard’s world is a piece Willard writes into the comic that has the two women Dark Hour is dating break up with him. This is the final straw. Dark Hour decides to exit the comic and insist that Willard, as penance, help him find his true love. Willard has no choice. When Dark Hour leaves the book it causes him to lose his memory about the story. The comic is his first hit after struggling for many years. Willard has to make Dark Hour happy to insure he returns to the comic so that he can resume his hit series.”
Personally, I can’t wait to get reality checked. I just should’ve put that comic book idea into use earlier… Reality Check #1 will be in stores September 4th, 2013 and you can preorder it in the July issue of Previews (JUL130410).