I think it’s safe to say that I’ve been looking forward to writing this review for the second issue of THE REALM since I finished my review of the inaugural #1, which I think everyone can agree was a stunning first issue– yeah, yeah, shameless plug for you to go read my first review if you haven’t, I know. But this, this is ALL about what is widely, eh, and by widely I mean– ME, considered as a “you better tell yo’ momma to read it” issue, because, DANG!

Once again, and I admit with hand held high, that I kind of was worried going into this issue. Believe me when I tell you that my bias high was still riding– well, high after THE REALM Signing Tour, and then I stopped through NYCC to get another hit of the epicness. So I knew that this issue was going to meet exactly what the first did… or so I thought.

There’s always one thing I praise Jeremy Haun (co-creator) of, and that’s consistency. That’s what I’m a billion percent sure of this title is all about on a what to expect month in and month out level. There’s probably only a true handful of books that are like this, and most are out of Image Comics. And of course that consistency has led to the birth of this absolutely amazing second issue.

The real stand out in this issue for me was the character building we saw. Though it was somewhat quick, we did get to learn quite a bit about our main cast of characters,

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Getting some insight on who we’ll be following on this “ride” was much-needed coming out of the first, and to get a close up of DAVID, LASZLO and DOCTOR BURKE gave the issue this breath of “understanding.” I think that seeing at least two of the characters — David and Doc — aren’t “fighters” will surely come into play down the line. Doc also making a reference to the NRA makes me think he’s not too big on guns, but in a different way from David.

So there’s a solid baseline that’s been set in this issue, and one that I think really kicked off the story whereas in issue one it was more of an introductory compared to this– heh, yeah, we’ll go with “kick-off.”

I don’t know exactly why, but every time I see Johnny Eldritch, I instantly hear Meat Loaf singing at the top of his lungs, “Like a bat out of hell, I’ll be gone when the morning comes, When the night is over, like a bat out of hell, I’ll be gone, gone, gone,”

Art by Jeremy Haun, Colors by Nick Filardi

It is undeniable, Johnny’s a total rock star. He’s whole “satanically evil” air about him doubles down on that. His “subplot” of the story thus far is also very interesting knowing we’ve only got a taste of what’s going on with him, and surely his hunt for more power. And I mean come on, if you haven’t picked up the The Walking Dead variant for this issue, you’re only– as DJ Khaled would say, “playing yourself.”

No, no, in all seriousness, Johnny’s character is definitely someone to keep a close eye on. I’ve got this feeling that he and Will (Nolan) are going to butt heads hard at some point. And with what we saw of Will in the first issue, their encounter will definitely be something awesome.

There’s a lot over this issue that’s worth mentioning. From the mysterious (and apparently easily “falling in love”-able) ROOK to what the secrets are of what the Doc is carrying along with him on this journey, we got a shit-ton of stuff to reread and analyze on how it’ll all factor into the story long-term. You can bet that they’re on my watch list, and for sure I  want to see what Rook looks like under that awesome helmet of hers.

Now it’s time for what I like to call– How much of a bearded bad-ass was Ben this issue???

Art by Jeremy Haun, Colors by Nick Filardi

Yeah, I think it’s obvious Ben is my favorite character. Has been since I saw Haun’s WIPs of him. That was solidified in the #1, but it just keeps getting better, because man, again we get just a little taste of the– and yeah, I’m going to steal Nick Filardi’s (colorist) words here, “bearded barbarian,” but it was INTENSE. He’s a one man army, and doesn’t seem to know what fear is, well, unless he’s the one inflicting it.

By the way, to answer the game’s — HMOABBAWBTI — question, he was a total 10 on the bad-ass scale.

A great second issue. I love that it was able to keep pace with where the first left off, and again proved my concerns wrong. I’d like to see a bit longer “segments” with Johnny and Ben, but that’s small nitpickiness there, nothing that hurts this issue. Introducing a mystery when it comes to what the Doc is carrying with him was definitely a great move on Seth M. Peck (co-creator) and Haun’s part. It gets the plot gears moving, and we start to see this train pull out from the station.

So jump on your dragon and fly to your local comic shop where this issue is sitting on the shelf and pick yourself up a copy, and don’t forget that THE REALM #3 will be riding on in Wednesday, November 15th,

After last issue’s shocking final pages, Will and his fellow travelers could use a minute to catch their breath. They won’t get it. PLUS, a scary lady in a bunny mask!

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