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Revival: You’re Among Friends (Image Comics, 2012; #1-5)

Revival.jpeg

One day, without warning, dozens of recently dead people in a small Wisconsin town come back to life.  Most of them pick up right where they left off as normal people.  With the CDC investigating, Officer Dana Cypress leads local law enforcement’s efforts to investigate crimes involving these Revivers—including solving her sister Em’s short-lived murder without their sheriff father finding out that Em died and came back.

Character and relationship drive Revival.  That ranges from Seeley’s treatment of the main characters—whose history and personalities feel fully fleshed-out—to the quirks of various supporting characters around town.  Anyone who crosses through the page feels like they’re coming from somewhere and going somewhere else, as though they continue to exist outside the scope of the page.  Combine that with the overarching plot’s personal stakes for Dana and Em’s thrill-seeking behavior now that she’s functionally damage-proof, and you have an engaging opening story arc.

Norton and Englert’s art avoids taking a creepy or disconcerting tone, instead favoring clean, expressive design.  That decision pays off in a couple of ways; for one, it serves to emphasize the book’s more fantastical or gruesome elements when they do show up.  It also makes the fact of the Revivers’ existence itself seem like less of a threat, as though life could simply go on normally if the world would accept them.

Seeley, Norton, Englert, and company have me hooked with their first arc of Revival.  I will be picking up the rest of the series to read.  It’s definitely worth checking out.

Collected in

 

  • Revival, Vol. 1: You’re Among Friends (#1-5)

  • Revival Deluxe Collection, Vol. 1 (#1-11)

Credits

Writer: Tim Seeley | Artist: Mike Norton | Colorist: Mark Englert | Letterer: Crank! | Chapter Art: Jenny Frison | Editor: 4 Star Studios | Designer: Sean Dove | End Page Illustrations: Craig Thompson & Francesco Gaston

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