Review: “Revival” #20

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By Jorge Solis

The line between being a suspect and being distracted by a red herring is blurred in “Revival” #20. The mystery continues to thicken as readers are given a whodunit mystery with no one being murdered. The plot twists keep piling up as the story steers in unexpected directions in this latest “Revival” installment.
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WRITTEN BY: Tim Seeley
ART BY: Mike Norton
PUBLISHER: Image Comics
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: May 7, 2013

For exactly one day, the dead of rural Wisconsin suddenly came back to life. An endless parade of government agents, reporters, and scientists continue to hound the “Revivers,” asking them why they have returned. While Sheriff Dana Cypress attempts to control the zombie crisis, she is also investigating the unsolved murder of her sister, Em. Her investigation has led to a masked murderer who may have been resurrected while being cremated. Death is a disease as the reviving population has begun to slowly spread beyond the point of origin in Wisconsin and into the big city.

Writer Tim Seeley surprisingly steers the police procedural into an intense family drama. My favorite parts of “Revival” are when Seeley explores the family dynamic between Dana and her son. Seeley slowly develops his dialogue so that last sentence really pulls at the heartstrings. This is about a mother losing the love and respect of her son. Dana is so obsessed with solving the mystery behind the Revivers. She has actually forgotten what it’s meant to be alive. She is losing her son and there is nothing she can do to fix it.

Seeley sneaks in the bloody horror during his monologues. There are two things going on in the panel. The rambling conversation between two people takes place on one side, while an upcoming murder is happening nearby. As the reader, you’re invested in what the characters are saying in their conversation. But you’re also keeping your eyes glued on what’s going in on the background.

Artist Mike Norton delivers the foreshadowing of a heart-wrenching breakup in subtle hints. Dana’s son, who cannot sleep at night because of a stalker, clings to the robot toy in his hands. The toy represents the last remaining piece of his childhood. Norton portrays the heartbreak in the boy’s eyes when he looks at his own mother.

In a scene with very little dialogue, Norton delivers the shock of a police bust gone horribly wrong. Norton tells the crime through a cell phone screen, showing footage from a surveillance camera. Norton illustrates the footage with grainy highlights, as if the camera was brought on the cheap. Norton nails the right facial expression from Dana when she sees the dead man rise up from the floor, after getting shot point-blank.

“Revival” #20 delivers a puzzling murder mystery that keeps readers guessing. The next installment of “Revival” looks promising because the story seems to be moving to a new setting.

Official Score