Review: Reality Check #3

Issue three picks up right where two left off.  Will is finally getting a chance to talk to Alison, but his presence is overshadowed by Thomas’.  He hits on Alison with his extremely cheesy pick-up lines, clearly thought of by Will.  Will tries to intervene and says that Alison would’ve walked away if Thomas didn’t know Will, but she says otherwise.  She asks Thomas to dance, and while she’s walking over to him, she says she doesn’t remember Will being so mean.  I had a nice chuckle at this next panel that shows Thomas doing the Egyptian walk on the dance floor and says “Not sure I’ve got the hang of this dubstep.” (Even I still don’t understand what it means even though it’s a huge fad with kids my age.)  Will is watching the only girl he’s ever loved dance with a character he created that shouldn’t even exist in the real world.  He’s trying to process it all at this point.  At first, it seems simple: Thomas (Dark Hour) will go back in his head if Will hooks him up with her.  But then he has another thought-is Alison falling for Will again?  Thomas is his creation after all. When Alison goes back to her boyfriend, Will thinks it’s all over for Thomas.  The opposite happens, as Alison gave Thomas her number and says she’ll take him clothes shopping the next day.  The Devil-Inside watches as they leave the party.  One of the things I like most about this comic is the way it plays emotion into the story.  I’m not talking about the corny pick-up lines or how overall it doesn’t take itself too seriously.  I really enjoy when Will has flashbacks, and we get to see what he’s been through and empathize with him.  In this case he’s dreaming and remembers a fight he had with Timmy.  Will is on his way to see X2, but Timmy won’t let him leave the house.  He says Will needs to wait until their mom gets home.  Timmy insists he needs to show Will something to toughen him up before he goes.  He gets a couple slaps and punches in on Will before Will retaliates and gives Timmy a bloody nose.  We find out that their dad died that day from hitting a semi on the wrong side of the road.  He was driving drunk.  Timmy is trying to toughen Will up in case he’s not around… which, in the first issue, Will has a flashback of Timmy’s death, too.

realitycheck03_coverThomas and Alison’s shopping spree is cut short by The Devil-Inside.  He takes Alison and wraps her up in bandages like a mummy.  He ends up escaping the store, but I won’t give any more of the story away.  I can say it gets a lot darker than anything we’ve seen in the story thus far, and I guarantee you won’t see the ending coming.

Story-wise, this was my favorite so far.  I think it’s leading up to a very interesting conclusion, and I’ll definitely be reviewing the last issue.  Will and Thomas/Dark Hour really team up in this issue which was cool to see.  Both parts that talk about Will’s past (I didn’t mention the second one in the review in order to not spoil more) are some of the best emotion-evoking moments in the comic thus far.

Art-wise, I can’t say the same.  There were a bunch of different times where Alison’s face looked completely different.  To me at least, her face looked different when her and Will are first talking, when she makes the realization that Will has changed, and in the three consecutive panels when her and Thomas are dancing.  It may be that the fact that characters that are farther away get less detailed, but it was pretty distracting.  Also, the action between Will and Timmy in the flashback fell very flat.  There’s a part in particular where Timmy slaps Will that doesn’t look that way at all.  Timmy’s hand is off to the side, and Will is awkwardly suspended in midair with a few line strokes in the top right corner.  These few panels came off as lazy to me, I didn’t get the intensity that should come from a kid who just found out his dad died.  I don’t mean to sound harsh, I have enjoyed the very clean art style throughout.  These are just a few negative points that stuck out.  Luckily, the action between Dark Hour and The Devil-Inside is pretty good, but the art stumbled at some points for me.

Overall, I’m looking forward to the conclusion of this comic.  I think this book could’ve been very generic and an afterthought too many comic readers, but the way it’s been handled through an engaging story with a sense of emotion while retaining a good bit of humor makes it break out of the superhero mold.

Score: 4/5

Writer: Glen Brunswick Artist: Viktor Bogdanovic Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 11/6/13