A lot of comic companies would like to dethrone Image Comics as the third largest comic book publisher, but honestly if they continue to produce products (especially ongoing projects) like they have this year then it’s possible that they’ll start to dip more and more into Marvel and DC’s market shares. What’s that have to do with Revival? It’s the next Image book you’re not going to want to miss. I’ve lost track of how many great series have premiered this year, but I can tell you that I’ve yet to drop one of them from my reading list. Seely and Norton have produced a horror comic that is very different and creepy as fuck.
The issue starts off with a beautiful poem that plays against the snowy mid-western back drop. As the poem continues the visuals show us a quite desolate small town being covered by snow. As the poem ends we see a Zorse running through the snow and then suddenly falling down dead. The next morning Sherriff Wayne checks in with the town boarder and meets the new CDC representative for the town. A dead Zorse and the CDC, something isn’t quite right in this little town.
From there we meet Dana as she dresses for work. She puts on a police uniform as she listens to the local radio station talking about some event that has affected the small town and put them on the national stage. As she gets ready we scan the room and can see that her father is Sherriff Wayne and that she has a sister and a son.
She calls for her son so that she can head to work. When she arrives her father sits her down in one of the interrogation rooms to talk about the “revivers.” He asks if she’s meet any of them to which she says she meet Jeannie Gorski after she strolled out of the Morgue and went back to her job at the super market and served her patato salad. From there we learn that there are others and that Dana has been assigned to a special task force to handle all “reviver” cases starting with the dead Zorse.
If you feel that I’ve given away too much of the story then wait until you read the book for yourself because this is the surface level. This is definitely one of Seely’s strongest stories and he’s skillfully planned the different elements of the plot and slowly introduced them. When you sit down to explain it to someone you realize who much he’s snuck in there without causing alarm. I wish that I could talk about the truly creepy aspects of this story, but it would be a crime to do that if you haven’t read the book. Seely has a large body of work and there are several gems, but this book stands out from everything else he’s done. It’s simple to grasp, yet complex with its many layers of mystery and plot. I cannot wait to read the second issue because of this.
If there is one break out artist over the past few years it’s been Mike Norton. His range as a creator has become massive and this is some of his best work to date. Norton may have many feathers in his artist cap, but Revival is sure to be a book that is associated with his name for the rest of his career. The opening pages not only capture the isolation and emptiness of the town, but they also set the mood of something not being quite right. Everything about this comic from the story to the art comes across as a movie and it makes for a great read.
I actually read this comic and then forgot about it, but I knew that I wanted to review it and talk about it. Then when I sat down with it again I remembered how thrilling this comic was. I’ve been excited by a lot of the new Image releases and have even anxiously awaited the second issues, but I would read the second issue of this book before any other title on the market right now. There are a ton of books out this week but I have the feeling that this one is going to be one of the few to sell out and not because of hype, but because of quality.
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Mike Norton
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 7/11/12