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Revival is a series of ups and downs. There are issues that introduce interesting concepts, compelling visuals, and tense situations. Then there are the issues that serve as exposition dumps with little teases at the end to keep you coming back. Not so much hit-and-miss, more hit and eh, it’s alright I suppose.
For those unfamiliar with Revival, it centers around a small Wisconsin town where, for one day, the dead come back to life. The government, as the government is wont to do, quarantines the town. What follows is a half-noir, half-slasher story following a cast of characters dealing with this new chaotic life.
To label Revival a zombie book does both writer Tim Seeley and artist Mike Norton a disservice. The “Revivers” are unique to the genre. They act like normal everyday people until they get all… murder-y. It’s unfair to call Revival a crime drama as well because, while it focuses heavily on the strained police force trying to handle the situation, it’s so much more than that little microcosm. It’s a book filled with family drama, brutality, philosophical quandaries, and the supernatural.
So how does this issue stack up? Well it’s definitely better than last issue, wherein characters gabbed at length about nothing at all, a TV talking head seemingly made of every FOX News pundit ever arrives to be ultra right wing at everyone, and a truck with a dark secret crashes.
The art, as usual, is great. The character designs are unique and the faces are supurbly expressive. The book consistently toes the line between stylized and realistic, something that's not easy to do. I'll give it this: no matter the story, it's really nice to look at.
As far as story is concerned, this issue isn’t running on all cylinders. There are a lot of scenes where we either don’t yet know their importance or we’ve already seen scenes similar. It introduces a bunch more characters, which, outside of an elderly ex-militia member, are kinda the same. Guh. It’s getting all Game of Thrones up in this.
Before you haul off and discredit Revival #9 all together, it isn’t entirely all bad either. There is some solid character development between our main character, Dana, and her sister, a Reviver named Em. Some political lines within the town are coming to light, and we’re also treated to a brutal final sequence that sets up what will definitely be a very strong next issue.
What we’re experiencing is a natural lull in the story. With the first major arc finished, the characters must piddle around as the pieces come together for the next one. Outside of a few writers, it’s a very hard thing to avoid. Fortunately, Revival is on an upswing. Things are being set in motion that’ll finally be played out later, and I can’t wait.
It’s a nice issue, if only for the late reveal, that seems to serve as a lead up to some kind of spectacle next issue.
Stay the course, dear readers, Revival is a series of ups and downs and we’re due for an up.