Revival #12 Review – Tim Seeley and Mike Norton

Image_Comics_-_Revival__12Revival is a series I don’t find myself talking about very much. Not because lack of quality – Tim Seeley and Mike Norton’s horror mystery is a slow burning scare, broken up by a solid family drama that hits all the right notes. No, I am of the firm belief that the best horror is experienced alone, left to your own imagination. But how can anyone experience the horror if you don’t tell them it exists?

Revival tells the story of a small Wisconsin town, which for one day found its dead brought back to life. These aren’t the usual zombies that we know, for these undead – known as Revivers – act like any other human for the most part. Known for incredibly violent outbursts, these Revivers cause the small town to become locked down by the US government. Revival follows Dana and Martha Cypress, two sisters, one a cop, the other a university student turned Reviver, as they deal with the enormous fallout, and the overarching mysteries of this new event.

Revival #12 is essentially an epilogue to the third large story arc, picking up right after the bloody and violent events of issue 11. One thing that can be said about Revival as a series is its incredible accessibility. Now is a great time to jump on to the series, as many character conflicts are resolved, but as always if you wanted to follow each and every detail of the story, head back to the beginning.

This issue, while having less gore than the previous ones, does instil the overarching creepiness the series is known for.Dana’s son Cooper writes his own comic inside a comic this issue, acting as a simple recap, as well as a solidification that not only the reader is aware that something is off. His representation of his Aunt as a monster confirms that these characters are beginning to notice something is off with Martha, rather than the reader becoming more and more frustrated at the idea that they are unable to see what is going on. Combined with Martha’s odd behaviour throughout the issue (and series in general), it makes the reader wonder whether this is something she is aware about.

Ibrahaim Ramin’s side story of the fallout with a racist farmer from last issue is also a great touch. From a town steeped in a strong Christian religion, and with many spouting the end of times, he deals with a religious crisis – both internally and externally. Seeley likes to explore any of the possibilities in this event that science can’t explain, and for religious fanatics to blame it on their heretics makes for an interesting turn of events that look like they will play a bigger part later down the track.

Norton’s art is great as well. While he doesn’t reinvent the wheel, his clean lines and great detail help with a sense of place, as well as his realistic looking figures help to make it feel real. I’m also a huge fan of Mark Englet’s colours, which help with the drab, cold, but colourful palate of small town USA. And while the cover this month isn’t done by the brilliant Jenny Frission, Skottie Young’s cover is both fun and asks an interesting question about the mysterious ghost stalking about the town.

Revival is a series best read alone, in a dark place, and at night. While it doesn’t throw relentless horror at you like recent attempts in not only comics, but film and gaming as well, when it does become violent and spooky it stands out. Throw in some great world building, and a cool art style and you have yourself a title that no horror fans should miss.