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Reality Check #2 Review: Major “Babage”

If you haven't read Reality Check #1 (or my review of it) please check that out before you read this since it will contain spoilers for the end of that issue. I usually try to avoid spoilers, but in this case it was inevitable.

In Glen Brunwick's (Non-Humans, Jersey Gods) debut issue of Reality Check he introduces Willard Penn, a comic book writer suffering from writer's block. After learning about his past and his present dilemma, Penn comes face-to-face with his own creation, Dark Hour. Apparently Dark Hour is tired of waiting for him to continue the story and is upset his two love interests in-story want nothing to do with him. Insistent on getting some "babage," Dark Hour enlists Penn to help him.

To get what some would consider "nitpicking" but I consider extremely important out of the way first, one problem this issue had, which really stood out to me since a lot of comics do not have this dilemma, is there doesn't seem to be an editor and they were needed. In some spots I saw spelling mistakes that are quick fixes and one time there was a speech bubble clearly coming from the wrong person during a hold-up which drained the tension from the moment.

Reality Check #2 Page 2 panel

What also hurt the tension was the somewhat predictable plot. Ironically, after being unsure of where the plot was going after the first issue, this time around the storyline is much easier to foresee. There's a superhero who wants some "babage" and he falls for the wrong girl (though this central plot point could turn out to be great). They can't get into a club and suddenly a guy pulls a gun on the security guard. I wonder what's going to happen? But while the story is simple, it is fun. Plus, the minor problems with the story are made up for with the dialogue and characters.

Despite coming from Penn's mind, Dark Hour is very different from him and this often results in very funny interactions between the two. Willard's creation reminds me of Ash from Army of Darkness in a lot of ways. He looks like Ash and is also very preoccupied with women. Substitute corny "groovy baby" lines with "babage" and you get Dark Hour, an enjoyable character. What adds even more humor to him is how he interacts with the world around him. He thinks one girl Penn used for his designs is his ex-Celia and the result is laughable if a bit predictable.

Something of an antagonist is a bully from Penn's high school, John Skinner. I like how he isn't there just to be a plot device (though he serves several important purposes story-wise). He can easily become more than just a one-dimensional "villain," but we see little of him in this issue. All we really know right now is he's a jerk who doesn't pay attention to his girl (a detail which is particularly promising) and he has a hit song called "Do What You Do or Hire Someone to do it for You."

Reality Check #2 Page 3

The artwork in this issue from Viktor Bogdonavic is just as underwhelming as it was last issue. There are more noticeable backgrounds in this issue that have some solid details, but there are still some underdrawn backgrounds and a pure white background. Just like last time, nothing is horrible. The design of Dark Hour and his villain Devil-Inside are both good and the expressions on characters faces can add to a couple of comedic moments. Otherwise, there just isn't a whole lot to say about Bogdonavic's artwork which can be good or bad.

Reality Check has a premise that is predicatbale but fun. The meta concept is one I love to see and isn't done often in comics, and while this issue didn't have as touching and tragic a moment as the last issue did, it compensated with some good humor, despite some clichéd plot elements and editing mistakes.



Meet the Author

About / Bio
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.

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