A terrorist has planted a bomb in Minneapolis, and a crack team of military operatives has only six hours to find it.

Relax; it’s not real. Or, at least, not entirely real. It’s the plot of a comic book created by local artist Mitch Gerads, who takes great pride in verifying the authenticity of everything he draws.

“A lot of readers assume that it’s sci-fi, but it’s real,” he said of the stories he creates with writer Nathan Edmondson. “We run the scripts past advisers who are former Navy SEALs and Delta Force. Our goal is to make this as respectful [to the special ops forces] and real world as we could.”

A little over a year ago, Gerads and Edmondson, who is based in Georgia, launched “The Activity,” a monthly series published by Image Comics focusing on an anti-terrorist group that races all over the globe on missions.

“It’s the first comic book that is like a Tom Clancy thriller,” Gerads said. “We were going after readers who don’t normally read comic books.”

The issue will go on sale Wednesday at area comic book shops. Gerads will do a signing from noon to 7 p.m. that day at the Comic College, 3145 Hennepin Av. S., Minneapolis.

When the decision was made to set a story in the United States, Gerads, 31, who grew up in Elk River and now lives in south Minneapolis, lobbied for his hometown. He argued that there were few cities he could draw as accurately as the place where he’d spent his whole life. But with his penchant for accuracy, he wasn’t content to rely on memory.

“I spent several days wandering around downtown, shooting photographs,” he said. Note to the IRS: That business-related tax deduction he’s claiming for Twins tickets is legit. “I had to include my favorite place in town: Target Field,” he insisted. □