REVIEW: Revival #2

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Strange things are afoot in Wisconsin. The dead aren’t staying dead and the living are starting to lose their dang minds! As if that wasn’t enough, the Cypress family slowly begins to unravel after an important secret about one of their own is revealed. More after the jump!

REVIVAL #2
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Mike Norton
Letterer: Crank!
Colorist: Mark Englert
Editor: 4 Star Studios
Publisher: Image Comics, Inc.
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in Revival: With the dead’s apparent inability to stay dead, the living are left trying to make sense of the whole ordeal, quarantining much of Wisconsin. After being promoted by her father, Dana Cypress is tasked with investigating a grisly crime, one that ends with an elderly “reviver” attacking not only her, but her sister, Martha. Violently killed and reviving, Martha has no choice but to reveal herself as one of the “revivers,” showing that this isn’t her first proverbial rodeo. Also, aliens.

YOU DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB

We open with Ibrahim Ramin and the local coroner giving the psychotic elderly reviver her second autopsy to which she of course wakes up. The next time we see Ibrahim, very little is said about the incident and we are instead treated to Ibrahim and Dana Cypress awkwardly realizing that they will be working together after a failed make-out session. What happened to the elderly reviver? Good question.

Dana, who has been demoted by her father due to her taking Martha along to the crime scene, is reeling with the consequences of not only that ordeal but Martha dropping the bomb that she had been murdered and returned as a reviver. Trying to explain the concept of un-death to her son and then coming to her sister’s rescue, Seeley’s choice to show Dana’s vulnerability helps to develop her character instead of immediately sticking her into the stereotype of the strong and nonplused older sibling. It was a good step in the right direction and really fleshed Dana’s character out.

Martha Cypress, however, decides to try her hand at brawling only to be beaten silly by a bar-fly. Dana is left to clean up the mess, leaving her horrified by her sister’s actions. It’s hard to tell why exactly Martha went to a bar, decided to start a fight and then decided she’d rather be beaten up instead. While she is one of the more interesting characters, Seeley was attempting some sort character development though what exactly is anyone’s guess. Is Martha slowly going crazy? Or, worse, was she just trying to feel something? Martha and Dana have the potential to be the perfect foil for each other, but making Martha an angst-ridden college student feels like a cop-out on Seeley’s part.

We also meet charlatan exorcist Blaine Abel who threatens some sense into a girl pretending to be possessed. He seemingly has a grudge against people clamoring for attention in this difficult time. Blaine will be an interesting one to watch develop in the upcoming issues, provided that Tim Seeley doesn’t turn him into a wise-cracking antihero.

WHO’S THAT GIRL?

Mike Norton makes some interesting choices in this book, all of them pretty good. The art flows from panel to panel easily and the thick black lines defining each scene and character work well when contrasted with the coloring. The colors are appropriately dark and light for each scene depending on the mood of the moment. Norton makes a quick but bold decision to color a particular flashback between Dana and Martha in muted tones of gray and blue distinguishing it as a flashback. Without that visual aid, it would have been difficult to tell. He’s also managed to keep the gore at just the right amount for this book: not too much and not too little. This isn’t quite a zombie book, after all, and he doesn’t treat it as such.

The only real complaint about this particular book is a moment where Dana picks up Ibrahim in a bar. It took further reading to realize that this is Dana Cypress and not a new character. It’s difficult to tell if this was a conscious choice on Norton’s part, showing that Dana is trying to be a different person for that night, even going as far as having Dana state, “I didn’t want to think about my job at all,” or if the art is just a little sloppy, not keeping up with the character model of Dana herself. It’s really hard to tell and I was momentarily tripped up.

BOTTOM LINE: PICK IT UP IF YOU CAN SPARE THE $$$

Overall, I really enjoyed this newest addition to what’s looking to be a fairly interesting take on the idea of resurrection and what that means to both the living and those who’ve been brought back. The relationships in the Cypress family are also shaping up to have some pretty solid character development, showing just enough to hint at a dysfunctional family without hitting you over the head with it. The art is very fitting for the series overall and I appreciate both the author and the artist not making this a full blown zombie story. This is a good one to pick up if you have the money to spare.

Rating: ★★★★☆