Monday, January 7, 2013

Revival Volume 1: You're Among Friends

Written by Tim Seeley
Art by Mike Norton

The zombie genre has well run its course at this point.  It's been parodied, deconstructed, reconstructed, and so on until it seems like there's nothing left to do.  Revival makes a big change: taking the zombies out of the genre.
Revival takes place in a small Wisconsin town, where about 25 recently deceased people have come back to life.    Instead of being zombies, they're just normal people who are just returning to whatever they were doing before.  The first arc is mainly focused on a policewoman whose job is adjusting with the revival, along with a mysterious creature that's also appeared.
While there are main characters here, Revival is really an ensemble piece, focused on everybody in the town and their reactions.  We see the police, teachers, students, upper class, lower class, and even the CDC.  Everybody is affected, and this is a story as much about the basic drama of a small town as it is about an incredible event happening.  We still get plenty of mysteries going, including the central one of "How did this happen?" but we also get to know the people and the place.
One of the things that can easily go wrong with a concept like this is a failure to explain the rules.  But they're perfectly explained from the outset.  People will still die, and the revivers will keep coming back.  This is not a horror comic necessarily, but it does have some pretty horrific scenes, particularly as one person keeps pulling out her teeth as they keep growing back.  Norton's art is perfect for both the scenes of gore and the simple conversations that really drive the book.
Revival is fascinating, mysterious, and unique.  Definitely worth picking up for anybody who wants something different.

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