When it comes to the landscape of independent comics, the trend seems to be either fantasy, horror or post-apocalyptic storylines. What we get in The Realm is a mixture of all three, with the creative team introducing us to a dystopian future where orcs and dragons roam free, and humanity is thrown back to a medieval lifestyle. This landscape makes way for protagonist, Nolan, a freelancer who will do next to anything as long as you have enough money to pay for it. What comes from this is a truly enticing premise, with there being more than enough potential in this comic to leave readers returning for more.
Seth M. Peck is the creative mind behind this narrative, and despite there being some familiar traits, it manages to become something refreshingly unique. Right from the start the writer grabs my attention, with the tense way our protagonist delivers on his latest mission giving us a taster of what this story is all about. What follows is a rather unpredictable set of events, and though there isn’t really much excitement, the talent still does enough to keep me hooked. As we start to approach the tail end of this opening issue, Peck does a marvellous job of throwing a few curious traits into the work, with there being plenty to ponder over as we await the next instalment.
The visual side of this comic is just as impressive, with the talent of Jeremy Haun rarely failing to entice. Delivering a detailed set of illustrations, the artist does an amazing job of giving a rustic look to this post-apocalyptic world. Not only does the talent manage to capture the raw, desolate look of this scenery, but he also brings a sense of depth and drama through his layouts. The way the artist approaches the body language of our protagonist, Nolan, also adds an extra layer of excitement, as whether during negotiations or battle, it is hard not to see his determination. This is all given wonderful texture thanks to the colours of Nick Filardi, with his soft palette choice working perfectly alongside this narrative.
The Realm #1 is everything that I hope from a new series and more. Despite not giving us a huge lot of excitement, the creative team do a sensational job of introducing us to this dystopian world. The way that they incorporate fantasy and horror elements into this, along with the mystery and tension also helps grab our attention, with the stunning artwork only adding another reason to return for the next instalment.
(9 / 10)