It seems the small consistent presses are the ones turning out awesome stuff. The big publishers can’t get their acts together to bring everything to the table at once in a single title. That’s my take. I adored Think Tank and I’m digging Revival. Both are comics that are slam dunks of the medium – strong multi layered stories whose telling is supported by great art. Revival is about the dead coming back to life in the middle of Wisconsin, Wausau county to be exact. Why they came back, how they came back, and what it means for the rest of the world is what the book is about. It successfully goes from the personal focus to the international focus and back all building and adding to the story of the quarantined area after Revival Day. You know it’s good when you can’t wait for the next issue to see just where this is all going.
Okay let’s get the routine stuff out of the way – legal disclaimer – All images are the property of their owners I reproduce them here under the Fair Use Doctrine of the copyright law for commentary and critique. No more than three pages total from any one issue is reproduced.
Next a nod to the team that is bringing a great story to press. Story by Tim Seeley, Letters by Crank!, Covers by Jenny Frison, Art by Mike Norton, Colors by Mark Englert, Design by Sean Dove, Edited by 4 Star Studios.
Now let’s talk story set up, May Tao a local reporter breaks the news to the world that the recently dead in central Wisconsin are coming back to life. Her story goes international complete with a reviver jumping out of a cremation oven. The area is put on quarantine by the CDC. Why? Think if this is contagious – no one dies but birth rates continue what would that do to the balance of the world resources? That’s why. So a perimeter is set up where no one is allowed in, no one is allowed out. A task force is formed to study the Revivers with CDC representative and a local officer who is the main character if there is one Dana Cypress. I’d say she’s more the linchpin character that ties all the others of the ensemble together. Oh by the way her younger sister is a reviver – murdered and came back, doesn’t care to solve her own murder though.
This book doesn’t follow the formula of comics of an arc, an issue, an arc and so on. Instead it’s telling a story that keeps growing and developing involving an ensemble cast. This is a hard thing to pull off in book series, TV series, and comics – to develop each character fully while keeping the stories moving and in balance. There are arcs for individual characters, May Tao just completed one with the odd fundamental cutting edge exorcist. Yet the one with Justin and Jamie and their reviver father has just started. Some are short arcs like May’s some are long and slow building like Em sister of Dana. That’s what makes this an awesome read! It’s well written and just because one story beat wraps up in this issue others are at their mid beats or just starting. That’ll keep me reading for a long time.
Now for the art which is awesome. Honestly I forget I’m reading in someways and feel I’m watching a movie play out. A good novel does that to me just like a good comic. The story is so well done the medium of how it is told fades away and I’m left enjoying the experience. I don’t think I can pay any higher praise to a comic book artist than that – you made the story real for me to watch unfold.
If this isn’t on your pull list it should be. It’s not to late to go back and get reprints of the first few issues. It’s well worth catching up and if you do it as one night’s read I’ll bet my last potato chip you’ll have a great time!
**** SPOILER ALERT********Some interior pages*********Maybe Preview/Review for some but Spoilerly to others *********
In some cases the death and revival are harder for the living to deal with than the dead. In other cases, like the one they are coming from it was hard for the dead to be cheated out of the eternity of bliss with those they loved that had died before them. Interesting to see various reactions from those involved.
I like how the Hmong population of Wisconsin is worked into the story. As it goes on we see the vast difference in the generation that migrated here after Vietnam and those who were raised here come to the surface. That also plays into the story of how they interact with the events and the mysterious white ghost/demon creature.
Here’s Dana and Ibrahaim from the CDC. What’s awkward is they had a romantic encounter the night before at a local bar before they knew they’d be working together. Honestly I like them and hope both sides of the partnership flourish.
Here’s a good example of story layering. May is coming near the dramatic conclusion of her arc with the fundamentalist stalker. Em is just learning a bit of what this white lurking thing we’ve caught glimpses of in other issues is and what it wants. So the fast developing story of May is driving to a conclusion, the slow building story of white creature is developing, and Em’s personal story moves a bit further along it’s arc while encountering the crescendo of May’s story and the building arc of white creature. Cudos!
Here’s a look at what the world saw to introduce it to Revival Day.
Until next time!