This is a story of a down-on-his-luck, struggling comic book creator living in L.A. At the onset of this issue he is struggling for inspiration in his apartment and doing character sketches in his local Starbucks.
These encounters bleed into the comic book he is creating to pitch to local publisher BLAAM! studios. HIs comic, Dark Hour, is the tale of a promiscuous super hero who is really just looking for love, the wish-full thinking projection of our less than heroic protagonist.
Following our introduction to the Batman-like Dark Hour, our protagonist's comic is picked up by BLAAM! studios for publishing. Following excited calls to his mother, we get an origin or sorts for Willard, our protagonist. Turns out his life was closely intertwined with his now deceased brother, who he looked up to as his idol. Following his brother's death, his comic book creations became his sole drive in life, sacrificing all he had for his work and dreams of success.
After the first issue of Dark Hour sells through at the distributor level, and Diamond goes to a second printing, his publishers call to let him know that the next issue is three weeks over due, and if he doesn't deliver, Dark Hour will be just another wasted 'could have been' property dying on the vine.
Following this voicemail, Willard gets the biggest surprise of his life (but not to us, since it's given away on the cover...) when Dark Hour shows up and tells Willard he needs his help.
This is a different kind of comic in that it's not a typical superhero book. It constantly breaks the fourth wall with readers in terms of how much it references reality, particularly that of the comic book industry. It also doesn't shy away from the fact that the Dark Hour character is a Batman avatar, flat out saying that during the course of the story. It talks directly about Marvel and DC, as well as numerous Hollywood studios. All of the locations are real, including logos for Starbucks, Chase and others. It's this acknowledgment of our reality that makes it a bit different, even if the story doesn't seem like it's breaking any real ground.
The art is satisfactory, but pretty forgettable.
Overall, this isn't a bad book, and it has some potential, but the story is somewhat cliche, and there is nothing dynamic enough to make this book stand out.