The opening pages of Revival, by writer Tim Seeley and artist Mike Norton, are some of the creepiest in comics and they serve as a powerful beginning for the series. The first volume collects issues one through six and Seeley’s story is so masterfully paced that you’ll have to talk yourself out of reading it all in one sitting. Or do. This tale of the risen dead and the living who have to deal with them in a small Wisconsin town is just that good.
WRITTEN BY: Tim Seeley
ART BY: Mike Norton
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: December 12th, 2012
The opening of Revival, Volume 1: You’re Among Friends is charmingly twisted and it’s almost disgusting how much glee Seeley and Norton take in setting up the most horrifying circumstance in which one can rise from the dead – a crematorium right as the fires are lit. It’s bone-chilling and sets the tone perfectly. We soon meet Officer Cypress, a young cop and single mother who not only has to balance her family life and career, but also a mysterious event known as “Revival Day,” when the recently deceased began to rise again.
The issues of this first collected edition provide more questions than answers but Seeley manages to keep you guessing while also leaving you strangely satisfied. The story of “Revival” is like a delicious chocolate cake. There are so many complex layers and rich textures that it’s best when one has the time to savor them at a leisurely pace. Seeley is in no rush to answer the mysteries presented in the first issue – most significantly, why and how are the dead reanimating? – and his patience is infectious. I’m usually a very impatient reader, always eager to get to the bottom of things as quickly as possible, but “Revival” is a slow-burning mystery. It’s a testament to Seeley’s skill as a writer that I found myself uncharacteristically at peace with that.
Seeley has created a cast of characters that feel like real people and the nuances of their actions and motivations are come across as genuine and complex. Norton’s art adds to the sense of realism without verging into “gritty” territory, proving that the two are not as inextricably intertwined as some would have you think. An expert combination of restrained expression and page-busting violence creates a book that’s as lovingly rendered visually as it is written.
Together, Seeley and Norton have crafted a mystery that manages to find the tricky balance between the real and the surreal. If you haven’t been following “Revival” on a monthly basis, consider this the perfect time to catch up with a series that is absolutely not to be missed.
Reviewed by MelissaGrey