Un-death. Pretty much sums up this series in a nutshell. Fortunately, it isn’t as simple as that - as it is as quirky and unusual as the term “un-death”. Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash), and Mike Norton brings us a tale that is neither a ghost story, zombie fest or an iteration of Twin Peaks… yet it is all of them all at once.
Revival unfolds in the little town of Wausau, Wisconsin; where sisters Dana and Martha (otherwise known as ‘Em’) Cypress face an event in which the dead start coming back to life. “This sounds familiar”, you ask, almost immediately thinking of zombies, yet these ‘Revivers’, as they are referenced as in the book, retain all their memories and there are only a handful of them. No one in the town can pinpoint the exact moment of when it all went down, but after the event, anyone who had died stayed dead. So why these select few, and what exactly is going on?
Enter the CDC (Centres for Disease Control & Prevention), promptly declaring the town a quarantine zone, effectively trapping the citizens in with whatever horrors await them, also in turn keeping out any possible outside expertise and the media, some of which believe this is some sort of miracle, and others, a more sinister beginning.
Mike Norton is one hell of an artist. He maintains a consistency of art, month after month, both visually explosive with gore and yet so subtle in his facial expressions. These jumps never feel out of place, thanks to its colourist, Mark Englert. In a world of horror comics drenched in black, the white of this snowy town sits in stark contrast to some of the more violent scenes, yet still provides an ethereal mood all the while, and makes for some interesting designs and paneling. White is hardly associated with horror, and it takes some great skill to uptake the challenge, evoking scenes from The Thing, The Shining and 30 Days of Night.
Fast forward a year and a half, and 17 issues in, the creators have covered various forms of impalement, dismemberment, self-performed dentistry and smuggled body parts; love affairs, dissolving relationships and characters trying to retain some sort of normalcy in such an abnormal situation.
There are currently 2 trades released, with the 3rd coming out early March, and also a spiffy deluxe oversized edition containing the first 11 issues.