Rating: 4/5 – The dead come back to life…to simply live.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.
In a relatively quiet and small city in Wisconsin, the dead are coming back to life. They’re not coming back to life to haunt us. We don’t have to get our shotguns ready to blow their brains out, and they’re not taking over the world. Instead, they’re simply coming back to life. The effects of this phenomenon are just starting to play out in this first volume of Image Comics’ Revival by Tim Seeley and Mike Norton.
In this first volume we’re introduced to Dana Cypress, a police officer who gets assigned to the newly formed R.C.A.T., the Revitalized Citizen Arbitration Team. This team is responsible for investigating any crimes or conflicts that deal with the “Revivers”, the name given to those who have recently risen from the dead. As Dana takes on her first case, her sister is gravely wounded and “revives”. This all happens within the first issue and it never lets up from there. We’re introduced to a large cast of interesting and unique characters that I’m sure writer Tim Seeley will explore further in later volumes. Not only that, but there’s also plenty of religious subtext that I hope Seeley dives more into. We get a small feel of how the outside world is reacting to what’s happening in Wisconsin, but there’s a lot more to tell here.
Revival is a horror book, but it’s not full of blood and guts, and it’s not as depressing as Image’s Walking Dead, or as disturbing as Avatar’s Crossed. Dana Cypress is a flawed, but likable character who wants to do what’s best for her son, as well as her father and newly revived sister. It has some funny moments within to balance the dark and serious subject matter, and the whole book has a great visual feel to it due to the outstanding visuals provided by artist Mike Norton.
Norton is doing some of the best work of his career with Revival. Each character has a distinct look, and he draws them all “realistically”. His characters look and feel real. Dana Cypress isn’t a model, and in fact she even pokes fun at herself when she’s unable to resist the temptation of a donut, describing her backside as “if it gets any lumpier, blind people will try to read it”. It’s Seeley’s humor, but more importantly, Norton’s portrayal of Cypress that makes her so believable. Norton is also able to draw a small town so it actually looks small. There’s plenty of atmosphere to his work that makes the settings a perfect backdrop for the tone of the story. It really feels that Revival is just getting started. There’s so many ideas, characters, and questions introduced in this first volume that I could see this series continuing for quite some time. If that’s the case, I’d highly recommend you start here.
Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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