“Funny how quickly you can get used to some things, and how quickly you can forget others. One day you’re worrying about passing your algebra final and the next thing you know, you’re trying not to get eaten by trolls.”
The Realm, Volume 1 (plus issues 6 and 7) by Seth M. Peck and Jeremy Haun (artist)
Comic book, fantasy, adventure
Publisher: Image Comics
Jeremy Haun: Twitter | Instagram
Amazon | Goodreads
What It Is
A comic book series set in a magical post-apocalyptic landscape, full of orcs, goblins, dragons, sorcerers, and fantastical creatures like this:
I don’t remember where I first heard of this series, but I remember it being described as “The Hobbit meets Mad Max,” and I purchased Volume One immediately.
The story follows Will Nolan and his sidekick Rook, as they lead a small group of people to Kansas City from Chicago through a dangerous, rugged, post-apocalyptic landscape. There are roaming orc war parties, goblins, dragons, and countless other dangers along the way.
The group that Will is helping consists of Molly (easily one of my favorite characters; I love her spunk), Laszlo, Doctor Burke, and David. Doctor Burke is carrying a mysterious cargo, of which Will and Rook are unaware. Along the way, they meet Eli, who saves their lives; Ben, a badass orc hunter; and Zach, a young kid who enjoys comic books and can come back from the dead.
The world is ruled by dark magic. We are introduced to Johnny Eldritch, a dark sorcerer, as well as the Crow Feeders, a warband led by Redjaw. The sky is full of giant rocky spires, which suddenly just appeared all over the world, changing everything.
There are currently 8 issues released, but I’ve only been able to get my hands on issues 1-7, so, unfortunately, I’m not completely up to speed on what’s happening after issue 7.
What I Loved
Every single thing. From the writing to the art, I’m genuinely in love with these comic books. There are amazing creatures, like dragons and owl-bears (which may be the most adorable fictional creatures I’ve ever encountered) alongside a loveable cast of characters who are very well developed.
The color scheme of these comics is stunning. The colors are done by Nick Filardi, who uses a lot of earthy brown, red, and orange to create a rugged, dreary landscape. Jeremy Haun’s art is incredible, some of the best I’ve seen. He is easily one of my favorite modern artists.
I love the fact that there are guns alongside swords and magic. As someone who is obsessed with science fiction and fantasy, with a particular love for anything post-apocalyptic, I feel like these comic books were made for me. The characters’ costumes are also great, especially Rook’s helmet, which is actually available for purchase through Digital Armory Collectibles (and which I would totally buy if I could afford it!)
Also, there are goblins riding giant bats.
What I Disliked
I really can’t think of anything. Maybe more of those gorgeous horned, bearded deer creatures? (See above!)
Buy. 100% buy. This is one of the best comic book series I’ve read in years. I’m obsessed with it. An amazing story, beautiful art… what more could you ask for?