Review: ‘Revival’ #17

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A gripping mystery, “Revival” #17 keeps the story running at full speed with red herrings and plot twists. This is a perfect crime where all the evidence is lost and no one has actually been murdered. Not only is the series a clever twist on the zombie genre, “Revival” is also a potent suspenseful whodunit thriller.

WRITTEN BY: Tim Seeley
ART BY: Mike Norton
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: Jan. 29, 2013

For one day in rural Wisconsin, the dead suddenly came back to life. As the media showed up, with all their nosy reporters and cameras, and the government trying to quarantine the small town, there is no peace for the nicknamed “Revivers.” While everyone else is trying to understand why the dead have returned, Sheriff Dana Cypress is trying to figure out who killed her sister, Em. While Dana is in hot pursuit of a major suspect, Em is tracking down a college reporter, May Tao, who knows too much. Dana and Em are on their own as they search for the truth, which will lead them to a very dangerous enemy.

What I really enjoy about Tim Seeley’s writing is his examination about death and its aftermath. Em has returned from the dead to face the consequences of her actions. Forced to seek closure, there are things Em wishes she could take back. In their confrontation, Em and May have to look inward and ask themselves what they really want. Are they seeking justice? Or are they searching for redemption?
My favorite part of the story is Seeley’s characterization of Dana. At times, we see Dana cross the line between good/bad cop. Dana has to take part in a crime, in order provide herself with an alibi and protect the victim. She doesn’t need to think about her questionable actions; she just does them without hesitation. Dana is willing to get her hands dirty because she is so obsessed about finding out what happened to her murdered sister.

Artist Mike Norton is able to pinpoint the dramatic moments through facial expressions. In the opening pages, Dana’s possible suspect is getting rid of the evidence from his laptop. Rather than place the camera on the evidence, Norton focuses on the suspect’s guilty behavior. The suspect, Aaron Weimer, knows there is no turning back now, as if this will be the last time he sees his wife. This is more about showing the character’s moral conflict than the explanation of the crime itself.

I particularly liked how colorist Mark Englert and Norton worked together on Em’s character design and wardrobe. When Em is wearing her hoodie, notice how there are just three hints of color – with red, black, and gray tones. The black inks are used to illustrate the shapes of bones on her sleeves and the wings of an angel on her back. When Em bows her head, you can tell there is a skull on her cap. This is a clever way of portraying Em as the Grim Reaper as she contemplates killing May.

Murder mystery fans are going to relish every bit of “Revival” #17. Gritty and humorous, the “Revival” series has an interesting premise and delivers the perfect crime with zombies.

4/5 Skulls

Reviewed by – Jorge Solis