With Image churning out what seems to be an endless stream of hit comics these days, it’s somewhat disappointing that perhaps their best title doesn’t get talked about with the same reverence as books like Saga and The Walking Dead.
Tim Seeley and Mike Norton’s Revival takes the reanimated corpse idea and turns it on its head. In this world, the dead rise, but instead of making a b-line straight for the nearest brain, they just go back to their lives, (almost) as if nothing had happened.
What really makes this title special though, is the rural noir setting that Seeley has placed his story in. A sprawling cast of characters see their stories intertwine with each other, with smaller story arcs ebbing and flowing alongside the real mystery; just why have the dead returned in one small town in Wisconsin?
The main spine of the story revolves around Officer Dana Cypress’ investigation into who murdered her sister Em, now one of the “Revivals” and the series’ most intriguing character.
The latest issue propels the storyline along at a fair pitch, with Cypress’ main suspect’s backstory being opened up with the addition of a new horribly disfigured face from the past raising more questions than it answers.
Meanwhile we get a glimpse of what’s going on behind the Goverment-enforced quarantine in a disturbing medical research centre. It’s gritty stuff and comes as a shock after so many issues of seeing the more normal Revivers going about their day to day business.
Norton’s clean lines are perfectly suited for this kind of fare, with the art equally at home on gruesome horror elements as it is on the large amounts of talking heads scenes.
Combining pitch-black noir with supernatural horror and well-realised character interaction, Revival is one of the hidden gems of the Image stable. Highly recommended.
The writer of this piece was: Jules Boyle