That eye-catching cover is, without a doubt, the high point of Revival this month. Not to say this isn’t a solid issue, but the extra exposition bogs our story down more than the usual complicated narrative. This is mostly because of the “Wausau whip-around” involving short bursts of character interaction in various locales. Again, slow-moving plot isn’t anything new (and it’s always done fantastically well), but other than one bloody revelation, there isn’t a whole lot happening.
The first highlight is Em’s burgeoning relationship with fellow Reviver, Rhodey Rasch. Part daredevil, part wannabe-Jesus, he injects some much-needed happiness into the life of Revival‘s best character. Seeley hasn’t given a back-story yet, and it’s hard to imagine him being just a cursory add-on, so we can probably expect that in the near future. The two have a nice flow to their dialogue. It would be nice if Rhodey turns out to be an enlightening factor in Em’s life, seeing as most of the people around her have had continually darker intentions.
The other standout scene involves the hardened Sheriff Cypress handling business with skeevy Mayor Dillisch. To explain even a piece of it would be a spoiler, but rest assured that certain secrets are indeed revealed. Out of a fairly slow, “talky” issue, this is the action-packed portion. It sets up an interesting twist that’ll likely have shocking ramifications/revelations down the road.
Twenty issues in and there are certainly more questions than answers throughout Revival. Since Seeley and Norton have meticulously plotted each character and event, it shouldn’t be a worry that we’re still in the dark. This issue will probably work best when the TPB is released and it can stream right into the larger story at work. Still, even the lighter Revival fare is better than most comics out there, especially those in the horror genre. Big things to come.