A dual review is a lot like a group review… but with fewer people. Today Dustin and Adam are going to tackle the latest issue of Revival and each give a score meaning double scoring! Here’s a quick blurb about the issue from Image before we begin. Em seeks redemption for herself by vowing to protect a young girl from the creature that haunts her. But can even a girl that can't die deal with something that may not be alive?
Out of any book in comics right now, I can say I’m most obsessed with Revival. I have pages and pages of notes in my iPod that I use every month when I sit down and read that I use for questions, character descriptions and connections, predictions etcetera. I’m invested into everything about this book: the fantastic cast of characters, the layers of depth in the story, and everything in-between. So it’s safe to say I’m pretty stoked on reading issue #14 before it comes out.
As the cover suggests, this issue revolves around Em and Jordan pretty much the whole time. It could be considered a part two to last month’s issue really. Jordan hears the ghostly being’s (or ‘passenger’ as Em refers to them) way louder than Em and they seem to be out for Jordan. I thought it was really interesting how Tim Seeley writes Jordan-even though she’s only eight; she’s wise beyond her years and may be more rational about the whole reviver situation than anyone else is in Wisconsin. She accuses Em of not listening to her by saying “You’re like all the adults. You only hear what you want to,” and she actually pokes Em’s eye out which was pretty gross. It seems pretty symbolic as to why she does this, but I don’t want to give anything away.
May Tao is still at the hospital, and I thought a really interesting point was when Blaine confesses to May that he’s seen three revivers. His own uncle was the first. He says the revivers aren’t human beings; they’re just a body with a demon inside them that’s taken over. Are the revivers more dangerous and evil than they let on to be, and will they start to cause problems soon? I also love how interesting these ghostly creatures are. If they get inside a reviver, they burn it inside out, like when Joe finally gets his ring back from Mrs. Vang. It seems so far that this is the only way revivers can truly die. And when it does happen, it’s like the reviver is experiencing a sweet release-like they know they should be dead, which is exactly what the passenger tells them. But Em knows how to kill those creatures; back in issue five or so she threw a ring into the river and one of them died trying to get the ring out of the water. This issue though, she ends up saving Jordan by popping out of the lake they’re standing by, putting the passenger that's after her in a headlock, and throwing it down into the water.
I love the dialogue in this book to, even if it’s a character talking to themselves. For example, right before Em saves her, everything Jordan says is so bleak and depressing. It’s chillingly beautiful little soliloquy. She genuinely wants to die, and she’s mad that Em saves her. “[Talking about her mom]…She doesn’t say that anymore. But that’s what she thinks. ‘I am very disappointed in you.’” The ending is awesome, but it would be cruel of me to give it away since I think everyone should go out and buy this book.
I love the art, both Jenny Frison’s cover and Mike Norton’s interior art. My only criticism about anything in this book is that when Norton draws women’s faces they’re not always consistent. I remember when I first started reading the book sometimes I had trouble determining if I was looking at Dana or Em. Dana’s only in the first few pages, but her face looks different in one of the panels to me. The same goes for Em, not so much Jordan though. I know that’s a minor gripe and not a huge deal, but I had to put some criticism in this review. Other than that, Revival once again proves to be in it for the long run, and I’ll be there every step of the way.
I’ve reviewed basically every issue of Revival and it’s not out of some sense of obligation or a strange streak that I want to keep alive; it’s because this is one of my all-time favorite series. As well as it does I think it should be doing better, but some comic readers continue to overlook it and that’s bound to happen even more as it climbs the double digits which is a terrible crime against this series.
What always amazes me about this series is that it manages to be better with each issue; it manages to surprise with each issue. Usually when people say that they’re just riding a fanboy high and objectively look at series for what it is. That’s not the case here. As much as I enjoy this series and often save it for last to read, I go in each issue expecting it to let me down in some way. It’s happened with just about every series that I would put in my “Top Five”, but it’s yet to happen with Revival and the series has one of the highest issue counts of my favorites. Things like Saga have let me down with aspects of its story and even Harbinger has delivered an average issue here or there, but not Revival. This damn book is just too good.
I really do hate the fact that it’s so under appreciated. I mean I can get that if people think it’s a horror book and they don’t like horror, that they won’t like this. But really it’s a supernatural soap opera. This issue was fantastic and though it’s a strange spot for a new reader to start it could very easily hook you on the series as you’re going to come in on a very large chunk of the puzzle being solved. Norton and Seeley are at their finest and are definitely my top creative team of the year.
Score: 5/5 and 5/5
Writer: Tim Seeley Artist: Mike Norton Publisher: Image Comics Price: $2.99 Release Date: 9/25/13