REVIEW: The Realm #5 (Fight for Survival)

Will and the group are thrust into their most dangerous battle yet as they face Redjaw’s orc war band and a mysterious tentacled monster!


Story: Seth M. Peck
Art: Jeremy Haun
Lettering/Design: Thomas Mauer
Cover: Jeremy Haun, Nick Filardi
Variant Cover: Mike Huddleston
Publisher: Image Comics

What You Need to Know:

After witnessing the resurrection of Zach and deciding the continue with him, the group finally finds refuge in a small community run by Will’s acquaintance, Everett. Just as they are able to sit down to a hot meal, however, a messenger appears warning Everett that an orc war band had been sighted by scouts and they are heading in their direction.

The refuge doesn’t last long as Redjaw arrives at the outskirts of their community alongside his lover and their war band. Will, Molly, and the rest of the fighters are forced to once again take up arms and defend not only themselves but the community as well. As they prepare for battle and guard the wall overlooking Redjaw’s incoming war band of orcs, a giant tentacled monster falls from the sky right above them…

What You’ll Find Out:

The group is immediately confronted with the screeching tentacled monster that had fallen on their wall. Everett, Will, Molly, and the rest of the group attempt to hold it off, but a group of orcs quickly arrive at the gate. This forces Will to take charge and guide others to guard the wall while he and Everett find a way to kill the monster. Even though Will told Dr. Burke and David to escape the fight, David leaves him behind and rushes to join the fight. The walls are being attacked relentlessly by waves of orcs, keeping Rook and the others busy, but a battering ram at the gate soon forces the group to focus their attention at the entrance.


After smashing against the gate, the orcs wielding the battering ram are blindsided by the bearded man in a skull as he lays waste to their mammoth and their forces. Unfortunately, he was too late. The orc war band pushed their way through the gate forcing a close confrontation with Will and the rest of the group. He sends Zach and Laszlo with makeshift explosives to try and take down the giant monster still rampaging through the community, then quickly turns back to the battle at the gate.

Zach and Laszlo make their way to the monster only to be struck violently to the ground by one of its tentacles. In the confusion of trying to get up, Laszlo asks if Zach is okay, only to realize his entire right arm had been torn off. He tells Zach to move and pulls the pins in the grenades strapped to his vest and detonates, blowing tentacles off of the monster as it screeches in pain.


Dr. Burke finally catches up to David who is fighting the orcs at the wall, but just as he does he is struck in the chest by an arrow. With his dying breath, he gives a container to David, saying he knows how important it is as the group fights on in the seemingly endless battle behind them. In his regret and anger over Dr. Burke’s death, David’s eyes light up and electricity begins to surround him. He stands up and faces the tentacled monster now bearing down on them and quickly becomes engulfed in bolts of electricity. One of these bolts strikes a container nearby and causes a massive explosion, killing the monster in a sea of fire and electricity, and knocking Will out…

He wakes up sometime later in a room with Ben, the bearded man in a skull, standing over him. The rest of the group is behind him, and they slowly explain their losses from the battle. Even though Laszlo and Dr. Burke were killed, and David was still resting from the battle, they had already decided that they wanted to continue their journey. Shocked, Will eventually agrees.

Then, in a room with an ominous pool of red liquid, a woman slowly emerges from the depths and walks into the light of the entrance…

What Just Happened?

In an explosive issue that features a battle of epic proportions, The Realm delivers violent action, heartfelt loss, and a glimpse into the group’s struggle to proceed. The previous issue left off with an unknown threat falling from the sky as a war band of orcs loomed nearby, and the story only intensifies from there. Readers are thrust directly into the battle as the group struggles to fight off the threats coming from all sides. It’s frantic, gut-wrenching, and incredibly entertaining.


Despite most of the issue encompassing the overwhelming battle, the story still manages to provide unique character development, especially for David. His powers are introduced in a magnificent way, stirring questions about just what all he can really do. Luckily the group is united with Ben, a seemingly fearless warrior who will surely contribute to the group’s strength after losing two members. The story intricately weaves these points into the narrative without diminishing the impact of the extensive battle raging on.

The latest issue showcases some of the series’ best artwork as well, with gorgeous panels that entice readers to continue the violent reading experience. Everything down to the character’s reactions to events within the battle is captured with grace and preciseness.

This series has shown the ability to blend multiple influences before, but never has it done so on such a large scale or so magnificently. As swords and guns collide against orcs and monsters in the group’s awe-inspiring journey to Kansas City, The Realm delivers its best issue yet!

Rating: 9/10

Final Thoughts: The Realm #5 sheds the weight of other plotlines to focus on a monumental battle that threatens the entire group’s journey, and in doing so, delivers one of the most exciting reading experiences to date. This issue is violent, heartfelt, and overwhelmingly epic. Its everything fans could want!


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