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Revival #10 Review

4

Seeley and Norton's "rural noir" continues to bring the scary in subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways.

The Good

REVIVAL #10 is the latest turn of the screw in a layered, complex story that gets deeper -- and creepier -- with each issue. It's not just walking dead with personalities anymore; there are demons, murderers, and religious zealots to contend with, and the story is truly starting to take shape. A healthy serving of small-town drama with a distinctly Midwestern flavor keeps the quietly terrifying story just on the edge of believable.

The gist, for those who haven't been reading: Tim Seeley and Mike Norton have created a different kind of zombie story; living dead who retain their personalities and intellects are an entirely distinct flavor of scary, especially in a genre saturated with hordes of mindless walkers. Ten issues in, we've come to learn that the real monsters may not be the recently-revived (though they've had their share of villainy in previous issues) but those whose hearts never stopped beating.

We don't learn a lot of new things in Issue #10, but tension definitely ratchets up a notch on several subplots. The Checks have crossed the line from organ-harvesters to kidnappers-maybe-murderers, Ibrahim is in a delicate situation (and by delicate, I mean a literal trap), we catch a glimpse of how the ghosts work, and even though we don't know what it is, we know something is going to happen with May. It's a solid set-up for the next issue, which closes out the second volume of the series -- there are a lot of loose ends and precarious situations.

The point-of-view shifts frequently, but there's a payoff in this -- events have more context, and the town feels more real when we get to spend time with more than just a few characters. It's more of a television conceit than something we're used to in comics, and I can't help but think that REVIVAL would be deliciously creepy on tv.

Jenny Frison delivers another gorgeous, macabre cover. I'm not sure how anyone can keep painting gory scenes that are so beautiful, but she's doing it.

The Bad

Although I'm enjoying the small reveals that come with each issue, I'm starting to feel a little bit stir-crazy (not unlike the quarantined residents of Wasau!) because of the ultra-deliberate pacing on the main arc. We still don't know much about the nature of the revivers, and I find myself feeling frustrated on behalf of the characters who are trying to sort things out. I'm hoping that Issue #11 will have big action, answers, or both.

The Verdict

REVIVAL has been a consistently clever stand-out in its genre, and each issue so far has been nuanced and character-driven. I'm invested in the bigger story, and although the pacing can be a bit frustrating, the many subplots (the organ black market, Martha's mystery killer, May's investigation, etc) are keeping things interesting. It's worth picking up in trade if you haven't been following along (Volume 2 wraps with the next issue!), and I've found it to be a nice "gateway book" to the horror genre.

8 Comments
Posted by longbowhunter

I missed out on this when it first came out. Now the earlier issues are going for an arm and a leg. Next bunch of trades I order I'll make sure to grab this too.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

I missed out on this when it first came out. Now the earlier issues are going for an arm and a leg. Next bunch of trades I order I'll make sure to grab this too.

It's pretty awesome and I don't know it doesn't get talked about on the Vine more. It's up there with the Walking Dead and Invincible.

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Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@longbowhunter: It really is good, you can check out the first Vol for $7.99 on comixology

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Posted by lykopis

I've had this book recommended to me from staff at my local LCS but I passed considering how far behind I am in my comic reading -- now looking into it, I am kicking myself. Maybe I will be lucky when I go in today and there'll be some issues lying about. The art alone looks amazing.

Edited by cagesafe

Spot on review! I will know to go to you for future reviews. Yeah, I am excited to find out more about the main arc as well. It is a thin line. Just feed us enough so that we keep coming back - specifically because we have that need to know what is going on. But play that hand too often, and we lose interest. I am far from losing interest, but I want that next issue to give us a little something bigger.

Posted by NathanXplosion

I need to get back on this series. I have the first three issues but had to drop it with some other titles when money got tight awhile back.

Edited by AWeekInGeekdom

Thank you for bringing back Revival reviews! One of the more underrated books each month, the only prob I have with the series is that a monthly wait does more harm than good for the plot. One more than one occasion I've had to go back and read a previous issue to fill in the gaps. Still, it's an awesome story that should be read by more and more ppl. :)

Posted by MissJ

@aweekingeekdom: I've been doing that, too -- sometimes I forget what certain characters are doing, so I've been flipping back to old issues to remember who they are.

I keep telling people that this book is a sleeper hit. I don't know anyone who's been reading since the start, but lots of my friends have picked it up in trade and gotten hooked.

Staff