“Revival #6”

(w) Tim Seeley
(a) Mike Norton
Image Comics
$2.99, 32 pgs

For anyone, like myself, who has spent most their life growing up in Wisconsin or even the Mid-West in general, there’s really no excuse for you not to be reading Revival; it’s tailor made for us. Every joke made about cows is right on, and every “don’t cha know” rings true, and it’s awesome for scenes to take place in—and to hear mention of—real life cities you’ve probably been to. For everyone else, there’s really no excuse for you not to be reading this book. Whether you’re a fan of the zombie culture, police drama, big action or just excellent character pieces, you’re going to find something you like about Revival.

This latest chapter begins by employing a tried but true strategy of presenting a news cast to describe the events of Revival Day to both fictional viewers and the literal reader. It’s a strategy that has become something of a cliché in comic books recently, but I’m happy to see it handled effectively here, as this and the scene it leads into truly delivers an added a layer of intensity while also giving us a deeper understanding of reporter May Tao’s perspective.

We’re also treated to a glimpse of the containment effort local law enforcement is trying to maintain. While it serves as a reminder of the desperation the townsfolk are feeling, it was sad to see a story of such high quality get tarnished by simple editorial errors. I like being a part of a story’s world from cover to cover, so when I have to read a sentence like “Don’t you want to Jesus to heal you?” three or more times to figure out what it’s supposed to say I’m temporarily placed back in reality. The panel skips an emotional beat and the scene as a whole suffers for it.

The Alien/Ghost/ what-cha-ma-call-it receives some more face time, as we’re teased with potential clues to it’s backstory. Whether you’re pleased or frustrated with this character’s pacing is likely to vary widely, but personally I’m enjoying the subtle glimpses we’re allotted and believe that patience will allow a bigger pay off in the end.

While few, if any, of the mysteries behind Dana and Em are traversed (Honestly, who shot Em???), the scene that serves as the inspiration for the cover certainly proves foreboding. The dynamic behind these two characters is one of the greatest draws to the series and this issue is sure to peak your curiosity even more. Coupled with a dramatic turn of events at the home of Nurse Ann Moss, “Revival #6” proved to be a strong showing for Dana’s character.

The art continues to have very few “stand out” pages, instead opting to have each and every page offer an above-average, consistent flow. While it’s usually nothing to complain about, I could have gone for a few less panels and a few more splash pages every now and then, especially when focusing on the remains of Justine Hine from the previous issue. Downplaying the blood-and-gore this time around sort of lessens the weight of the event itself, and consequently allows the reader to feel unaffected by it.  Aside from this minor hang up, individual faces and body language continue to be both unique and consistently drawn and add great depth to the story. Small details like having a stream of breath visible on the air and trees that go from foreground to the horizon adds a great deal to the reader’s sense of place, and the cold color pallet easily invokes the quiet desperation that is a harsh Wisconsin winter. Overall, the art possesses a great quality that any comic should hope to achieve; it feels more like something you’re experiencing than something you’re looking at.

If you like your mysteries to hand you two questions for every answer it gives, Image’s Revival is a terrific book to check out. For anyone who may be late to the party, Amazon.com has a great deal on the Revival Vol. 1 TPB which you can look at here. Otherwise, you can pick up Tim Seeley and Mike Norton’s Revival whereever fine books are sold, as the saying goes. Seriously, jump on this one now while it’s just getting started; it would behoove you to do so!