“Revival” #1 is the type of comic I liked a whole lot more than I expected, which is really saying something considering the pedigree of the talent attached to the project. I reflected on the issue and realized I’m not sure why I liked it, but I sure as hell can’t wait for the next issue. After all, there are some pretty weird, really off-putting things in this comic mashed up around a new twist on the rising dead. Termed “Revivers” and “Revitalized Citizens,” these recently undeceased have a bit of a problem with the people who think they should still be dead. They’re not coming back as zombies, they’re just coming back to their lives.
Such is the conundrum that Tim Seeley crafts as the underlying premise of “Revival.” The deceased are returning. Some point to it as a spiritual miracle, others as a freak twist of scientific knowledge beyond common understanding — and others are just scared. In capturing such a cross-section, Seeley summarizes the real-world reactions of such an event and presents human characters in an inhuman situation. The writer introduces the world through protagonist Dana Cypress, a single mother and officer on the Rothschild police force.
Artist Mike Norton draws Dana as a young lady who fits in with the crowd yet spectacularly blossoms as the star of this comic book. The artwork starts out comfortable and warm as Norton’s figures move through the panels with a range of body shapes and sizes and a full spectrum of emotions. Mark Englert’s colors add edginess to this story, even in the quiet moments. His collaboration with Norton solidifies the settings in this story. Around Dana, Norton draws a tangible Wisconsin countryside, complete with farms, woods and curbside mailboxes. This isn’t an imaginary world; it’s the real world with an imaginary problem. (At least I hope this is an imaginary problem.)
While the basic premise doesn’t sound too far off base from the high concept of a zombie invasion, this series is different. The Revivers are back, yet no one knows why and no one knows what to expect. It’s the unexpected that fills Seeley and Norton’s first issue of “Revival” and promises to keep the reader riveted for future developments. As with Image’s other recent releases “Saga” and “Fatale,” this comic is an unexpected windfall that evokes an uncomfortable feeling, piques interest and taunts curiosity. It’s a good read with great art and a weird, wild diversion from anything else on the stands this week.