Revival got off to a fairly rocky start in its first issue. There were a few good moments to it, but the final splash page was fairly predictable and there was no real antagonist. To be honest it came off as another damn zombie book and I only bought the second issue mostly because I had room in my comics budget.
It was a good purchase. The second issue brought more of the book into focus, including introducing one of the more vividly sleazy characters currently in comics, and now, with the third issue, Tim Seeley and Mike Norton are beginning to hit their stride.
I’m still a bit iffy on Norton’s work, to be honest. It seems a bit clean in some respects for the story he and Seeley are trying to tell. That said, it is gorgeous work, and Norton manages to evoke horror and disgust with a considerable amount of restraint.
Seeley’s plot is particularly interesting in that it knows it has two questions to answer: Why are the dead coming back functioning fairly normally (at least for a while)… and how is it affecting this small town?
The book is still coming into focus in some respects, it must be said. The cast of characters is enormous and we’re still getting all their connections into place. The book largely focuses on Dana, a single mom working for her father as a cop. The tensions between the Hmong immigrant population and the rest of the small town this book takes place in have been mentioned and seem important, but aren’t really explored yet.
That said, though, there are lots of moments, great and small, that make this book. The villain may be a creeper and a nasty human being, but he can still be horribly embarrassed by his ringtone. A revived woman whose mind is largely gone nonetheless finds and attends her daughter’s funeral in a scene both heartbreaking and deeply disturbing.
Revival bills itself as a rural noir, and that makes sense to some degree. But it’s rapidly becoming a lot more, and it’s worth picking it up to see where it goes.