An enticing puzzle-within-puzzle mystery, “Revival” #15 has a tough-as-nails protagonist, a quirky cast, and a creepy backdrop. This is a terrific read that manages to be gritty and funny at the same time. The “Revival” series takes a clever twist with the zombie genre and turns it into a gripping murder mystery.
WRTTEN BY: Tim Seeley
ART BY: Mike Norton
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
RELEASE: Nov. 27, 2013
For one day in rural Wisconsin, the dead suddenly came back to life. Officer Dana Cypress has a lot to deal with when the news media, with all its reporters and cameras, discover what recently happened. Now, the government is trying to quarantine the small town as they hunt down the so-called “Revivers.” But what is really keeping Dana occupied is the mystery behind her sister’s death. Though Em is one of the Revivers, her unknown killer is still on the loose. With a gun and a badge, Dana has to go through media scrutiny, government quarantine, and religious fanatics in order to get to Em’s murderer.
What I really enjoy about Tim Seeley’s writing is that he has somehow managed to turn zombies into a crime. Seeley’s narrative suggests it’s a crime against nature itself, against religion and God, to come back from the dead. In the opening pages, the Revivers are hurting the economic statues because there’s too many mouths to feed. In a chilling scene, a little girl is kidnapped and held in a detainment camp with the other Revivers. Even the scientists are having a difficult time looking at the little girl as just another lab experiment.
My favorite part of Seeley’s narrative is Dana’s obsession with her sister’s murder. Though Dana doesn’t get along well with her sister, she wants to know what happened the day she died. Dana is willing to cross lines and forge uneasy alliances in order to get the culprit. Because this is more of a murder mystery, Seeley fills up the tale with red herrings and tons of possible suspects. At times when the town is under scrutiny, I feel like Seeley is adding distracting subplots, instead of getting to the root of the mystery.
Artist Mike Norton is able to pinpoint the comedic and dramatic moments in his drawings. In the opening pages, I loved the intense conversation between Dana and Derrick. Norton illustrates the exhaustive toll Dana is taking from the murder investigation. Dana clearly isn’t sleeping well and she is grasping at straws to find her next lead. Just when Norton presents a vulnerable side to Dana, her cop side shows up when Derrick smokes a joint right in front of her.
I really enjoy how Norton illustrates different sections of Wisconsin. Norton illustrates the farm life, with cows and chickens, as the story starts off in Xiong. In Rothschild, Dana lives far from the city, in a quiet suburban area filled with snowy trees. In the seedy part of Kroenwetter, the strip club looks like a dump, as if it were an abandoned warehouse, on the outside. But when you step inside, the strip club is the complete opposite of a dive; glossy and stylish.
If you love murder mysteries, then readers are going to get a kick out of “Revival” #15. Dark and humorous, the “Revival” series takes an interesting premise and presents a slick look at crime with zombies.
Reviewed by – Jorge Solis