I love comics that refuse to be categorised.
What is this comic,
Revival vol. 1 – ‘You’re among friends’ seems to have a little bit of all these and is all the better for defying categorisation.
Creators Tim Seeley and Mike Norton call it a ‘rural noir’.
Which sums it up nicely.
In a small town in Wisconsin the dead have risen.
Not as decaying, brain-hungry monsters.
But very much as they were when you last saw them.
Which makes for some awkward moments.
Not least when the media show up.
The town gets put under government quarantine.
Religious zealots start talking about ‘rapture’.
And the ‘revivers’ start acting out of character.
We are led in to the story by Dana Cypress.
She’s got a kid.
She was still a teen when she got pregnant.
Her dad never forgave her.
Now she’s Officer Cypress.
Oh, and her dad is the Sherriff.
She also takes her younger sister (Martha or ‘Em’) out on a call-out with unfortunate results.
That’s the great thing about this comic so far. It centres on family relationships and what happens to them when the stress levels go up to 11.
Everybody has secrets, untold stories and as readers we get the sense that no one is getting out of this untouched by personal tragedy.
The artwork in this comic is traditional and keeps the story nicely grounded in reality – making the paranormal and gruesome scenes all the more spine-tingling. People look real, some are in better shape than others and there’s a realistic diversity in the town that works well.
But the thing I loved most about this comic is the very fact that the people coming back from the dead aren’t your traditional mumbling, diseased corpses out for your braaaains but seemingly unchanged loved-ones who just walk right back into their jobs and places in the family home. If the idea of that doesn’t freak you right out I’m not sure what would.
There’s also the matter of the thing in the woods…
Which reminds me of that old Neil Hannan song, “she said, there’s something in the wood shed…”
There’s a lot going on in this first volume and if you take a break before going on to the second volume then a re-read of this will probably be needed to get back up to speed. As it is I think I’ll read it over again just to savour some of the creepiest moments like Em’s growing attachment to the scythe…
Revival is an Image Comics publication and is available to buy on Amazon, Comixology etc. in individual editions or three collected volumes.
Chew – Revival Crossover
It was also announced in February that there would be a crossover with John Layman’s Chew. Tim Seeley said, “Chew showed us all that there was a place for quality off-kilter series, and we’re excited to have the cast of our ‘rural noir’ meet up with America’s favourite cibopath. I think we’ve figured out a great way to take advantage of the ‘WHAT THE HELL’ factor of crossing over two very different worlds that’ll make for a great read.”
And Rob Guillory Chew’s artist added, “Honestly, even I was shocked how well the two titles gelled together. It’s a really, really fun experiment that will surprise fans of both books, I think.”
There are a lot of differences in vibe, artwork and story content between the two titles but there’s lots of scope to have fun with this crossover idea. And it’s one experiment I can’t wait to read and review.