REVIEW: Revival #9

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Tim Seeley’s and Mike Norton’s Revival series is a brand new take on the zombie genre. In the Wausau district of Wisconsin, the dead are rising from the grave. However, instead of mindless corpses, the people have been resurrected with their original personalities. The local townspeople call them Revivers. With the entire district quarantined by the federal government, a young police officer and single mother named Dana Cypress are investigating the murder of her sister, Martha, who is a Reviver. Through Dana’s eyes, the comic branches into all walks of life within the quarantined area, with everyone trying to deal with this new phenomenon.

Revival_9 coverREVIVAL #9
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Mike Norton
Letterer: Crank!
Colorist: Mark Englert
Editor: 4 Star Studios
Publisher: Image Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in Revival: The town’s mayor and sheriff meet with the CDC to discuss what to do with the Revivers. The CDC wants to place them into internment camps until they figure out what is going on, but the mayor is not willing to ostracize his constituents. With the police spread thin, Sheriff Wayne Cypress is having a hard time keeping everyone in line. The mayor orders him to forget the manhunt for suspected murderer Anders Hine and focus his attention to an illegal Revivers organ smuggling ring. After finding her sister’s cell phone records, Dana Cypress confronts Martha’s professor, Aaron Weimar, about his relationship with Dana’s sister. Meanwhile, May Tao’s investigation into Blaine Abel brings her to Lester Majak. After some questioning, the old man reveals he is also a Reviver.

BIG SECRETS IN A SMALL TOWN

In Revival #9, Tim Seeley continues to follow Dana Cypress’s investigation into her sister’s murder. Revival has a lot of stories to cover. If you have not been following along from the beginning, it is hard to jump into this issue. Sometimes, the writer will only devote a page or two for certain characters. With many characters to cover, it can be hard to follow them all at once. There will be plenty of back reading if you want to make sense of everything. The two main plots in this issue are Dana confronting Martha about her relationship with her professor, and the introduction of the Revivers organ smuggling ring, which operates out of the home of Dana’s ex-husband, Derek Hinch. Unlike the previous issue, Dana’s story receives much more attention. Considering she was the first story introduced and a heavily-invested character, this is a good thing. It also has the most substance as Dana and Martha clash over each other’s perceived relationship with their father. In regards to the organ smuggling ring, it is a great example of our supply-and-demand culture. Since people outside of Wausau believe an organ from a Reviver can cure the sick, a demand for organs from Wausau is on the rise. Without a steady supply of Revivers to harvest, grave-robbing has become a profitable and illegal venture. It is a great situation for this comic because these are the little things that could happen when a phenomenon such as a mass resurrection occurs. Even though it is coincidental that the organ smugglers operate out of Dana’s ex-husband’s home, it is forgivable since they live in a small town.

IT IS ALL ABOUT SUBTLETY

Mike Norton continues to provide his unique art style for Revival #9. As he has done in previous issues, Norton uses subtle gestures in the art, like the Sheriff’s shock when he sees Dana put her hand on her partner’s arm or the banners hung in the home of Edmund Holt. It allows the reader to draw conclusions about the story and characters rather than being told what is happening. Like the plot, there is some back reading required when identifying some characters in this issue. Although most of the main characters are unique, others tend to blend with their surroundings. It can get confusing if you have only seen these characters once or twice in previous issues. Still, it is another solid effort from Mike Norton.

BOTTOM LINE: A GREAT RURAL NOIR

A confrontation between Dana and the organ smuggling ring is inevitable. After nine issues, Revival continues to allow readers to make their own judgments on the people of Wausau and the Revivers rather than define who is good and bad. With a great understanding of human nature and in-depth, multi-layered characters, Tim Seeley and Mike Norton continue to deliver a great suspense filled comic. Revival #9 earns 4 out of 5 stars overall.

Rating: ★★★★☆

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