As a huge fan of The Realm and the brilliant minds that make up its creative team, I was beyond ecstatic when issue-7 hit shelves. Jeremy Haun and Seth M. Peck have (and continue to) managed to forge a transcending idea with their combination of the highly popculturized post-apocalyptic and the game of the nerd, Dungeons & Dragons.

Each issue pulls you into the world of The Realm, and each issue does so even deeper than the last. And that’s one of the strong points to this issue, despite the heavy sensation of it being a simple “filler issue.”

The way the overall tone of issue-7 was successful in holding at bay the dreaded groans of anyone who despises a pace deceleration was by (officially) introducing “the Red Queen”, NEERA!

She’s a character that when we first saw her emerging from a pool of blood, I kind of mistook her as Johnny transforming into a woman– I know, I know, completely stupid assumption, but I’m digressing.

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Neera’s character was introduced in amazing fashion, and that being a demonstration of her power. Not only that, but a power play by forcing Johnny to metaphorically bend his knee to her. This can be seen as quite the move by a “newbie” since the first arc allowed us readers to draw the conclusion that Johnny was extremely powerful (and possibly the individual directly below the crowned skull-cloaked being back in issue-4), and so Peck and Haun in essence forced us to wake up, and broaden our view of the dark side hierarchy.

Art by Jeremy Haun, Colors by Nick Filardi

Another solid move was managing to shine a spotlight on David’s character, though it wasn’t all too bright, but enough to see his character is going to progress forward in some substantial way down the line. We saw that a little at the very end of this issue, yes, but overall it was a small peek at what could be coming.

 

I think that’s often the best way to foreshadow. Too often we see too much revealed in a foreshadow, and that destroys the “surprise” that should have been kept in order to have the much-needed follow-through of the story telling tool.

Of course this is the portion of The Realm reviews where I would gift you with my “How Much Of A Bearded Bad-Ass Was Ben This Issue” (HMOABBAWBTI) scaled answer. They’re glorious, because Ben Mercer (a.k.a. “the Orc Slayer”) is a majestic beast of a man who probably could put out a “How to kill Orcs” book, sort of like a cook book, but leave out the cooking– excuse me while I throw up real quick, because that’s an absolutely disgusting idea.

Unfortunately there will be no HMOABBAWBTI this review– I know, I know, you’re greatly saddened as am I. It’s a blow to our hearts, but we shall move on and be okay. Why? Because this issue managed to show it can stand on its own with the remaining cast of characters, and that is The Realm‘s biggest victory. Every character has been developed (up to this point) enough to be a legitimate stand alone in The Realm‘s world.

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