Review: ‘Revival’ #9

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Revival is beginning to feel the effects of trying to juggle so many characters and plotlines in its first few issues. It’s a difficult task, and the way “Revival” has gone about it – cramming at least three stories per issue, then leaving them alone for at least the next – has made it difficult to keep up with the myriad plot lines or significantly invest ourselves in any of the characters. What should have been a significant issue concerning the main characters instead becomes just another issue, where moments that should matter just get lost in the shuffle.

WRITTEN BY: Tim Seeley
ART BY: Mike Norton
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PRICE: $2.99
RELEASE DATE: April 17th, 2013

At its heart, “Revival” is centered on the relationship between Officer Dana Cypress and her recently-revived sister Em. If you’ve recently read the past few issues, you could be forgiven for not realizing that. Both characters, but particularly Em, have been put on the backburner recently. As a result, their storyline has lost whatever momentum it had and their emotional argument in this issue, its centerpiece, rings hollow. It simply seemed as if both went through the motions of hashing out their complicated family history for the sake of the plot, which is what happens when you don’t really care about either character much. Of course, some other stuff happened involving their father, Dana’s son, Dana’s ex-husband’s girlfriend, the brothers who butcher revivers, the mysterious ghost, the creepy church lady, some old couple, etc.

See the problem? Tim Seeley is spreading his characters way too thin thus far into the series. No single plotline manages to really hold its intrigue over the course of several issues, in large part due to the fact that no character in this story is compelling. “Revival” needs to begin streamlining its focus, not to “dumb down” its content, but to actually advance the plot and characters in a manner that readers can connect with instead of merely keep track of. If part of the problem is excess characters… well, this is a zombie comic. What better way to raise the stakes and trim the fat than to brutally dismember some people?

All this said, “Revival” #9 is not a bad comic. It’s just an unfulfilled one. Right now, it’s bowed under the weight of its ambitions. That’s not the worst thing in the world, but at a certain point things need to change. And that change should probably happen sooner rather than later. Because, as this issue shows, when you fail to build something up right, the payoff just doesn’t materialize.

2/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – GeorgeShunick