Twelve issues of Revival have passed already. What I absolutely love about new ongoing series is that they manage to retain that feeling of newness that long running series can’t seem to manage. In two years’ time I think this story will still have that feeling because there isn’t decades of history to compare it to. If anything it will have the fantastic foundation of the first year supporting it making it bigger and better. With the intense and fantastic ending of the last issue, this issue takes a break. It slows down and in a way resets the pacing of the world. It also reveals a bit more of the mystery of the revivers while also adding to the mystery. It’s that perfect give and take with the mystery that I’ve come to expect and enjoy from the series. Even though I expect it, I never know what it’s going to be or even who will be a part of the reveal.
The consequences of the last issue aren’t really dealt with in this issue which is great. I love that because all it does it put the pause button on everything until a later date to be dealt with. There are already slivers of the reveal staged in this issue. The issue begins with Em taking a bath… in the freezing cold water of a river until her lips turn blue and her eyes bleed. It’s so nuts and reminded me of Rachel Rising with the eyes (and that’s a great thing to remind me of). The scene is intercut with Em and her dad playing horseshoes and a narration from her dad. It’s basically about Em’s smile which we’ve only seen in intense moments like when she picked a fight in a bar and got her assed kicked. It’s a great moment and even though her father is opening up to her in the only way he can, she still blows him off to die in the same place that gave birth to her.
After that we check in with Dana and Cooper and she’s handling the situation surprisingly well. Possibly so that Cooper doesn’t become traumatized or it could be that she just doesn’t know what to do or is in shock herself. The story then cuts to Cooper’s comic that he’s working on and it’s awesome. I have never once seen this work in a comic (a comic within a comic that’s created by a kid), but it works incredibly well in this issue. Cooper’s comic recaps the entire series up to date, but it does so in two parts. It’s actually incredible. The second time the issue cuts to the comic; I want you to think about Em and her dad because they tie in together.
Seeley layers this series incredibly. Having Cooper’s story connect to Em’s story without them ever being together in the issue is fantastic. It wasn’t until I finished the issue that I realized that anyone could jump on board with this issue. It’s made for new readers and yet because of the quality and the way it was structured, I didn’t even realize it. That means that for once a jumping on point for new people isn’t boring or pointless for everyone else reading the series. I’ve said this before and I’ll continue to say it until the end of the series, but this is Seeley’s masterpiece.
Norton is the most versatile artist in the business. Everything he illustrates is fantastic and he’s run through the gauntlet each issue and passes with flying colors. I’m really running out of things to say about this guy’s art. I mean he drew a kid’s comic that didn’t suck, but was convincing and also a warehouse full of body parts on top of everything else that was fantastic in this issue. The opening scene alone was incredible and stunning to look at.
I’m really not lying when I say that this is a great jumping on point for new readers. It’s not even being “billed” that way which is even cooler I think. If you’ve yet to jump on board one of Image’s best ongoing series which is also one of the best monthly comic being published, then you have the perfect opportunity to do so with this issue. The second volume trade is also releasing soon so you can always catch up afterwards as well.
Update: As it was pointed out to me on Twitter it was the talented Art Baltazar that did Cooper's Comic... After getting sleep I realize I should have know that just by looking at it.
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Mike Norton
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 7/17/13