There is an intensity to this series that I cannot get over. Even the most mundane of events leave me with this sense of anxiety of what could possibly happen next. In fact that’s the entire catch of the series, “what could happen next?” I don’t possibly know as Seeley and Norton drop several bomb shells in this issue alone, some of them subtle that I’m sure a lot of readers will miss due to everything else happening. Revival continues to build the biggest “what if” story ever told and it only becomes more thrilling with each new issue.
What’s particularly great about the opening of this issue is that Seeley reminds the reader that we’re still dealing with a small mid-west town. In a way it acts as the theme of the issue as the Sheriff walks in and finds Ramin from CDC down on his hands and knees. He asks him if he’s interrupted his prayer and Ramin informs him that he’s just picking up a sugar cube he dropped. A meeting for the Revitalized Citizen Arbitration Team begins as they welcome the newest officer to the task force, Officer Gunderson. He’s the chubby redhead with the thick beard that helped Dana out with the Hine case. The case the Sheriff has been asked to sweep under the mat for the time being, which both Ramin and Dana pick up on.
From there we’re introduced to the family that’s been chopping someone up in Dana’s ex-husbands garage. Their pink haired mother cheerfully awakens them one at a time until she reaches the oldest. She ignores that he’s smoking pot first thing in the morning and offers to get him some Lysol for his skunky room. The boys sit down for breakfast and the oldest informs them that they need to move fast on due to the tipped over truck of body parts that has raised security on the town.
The story checks in with the Sheriff as he meets with the local gun nut/ex-militia member that is currently using an assault rifle to obliterate a red squirrel. The Sheriff lets him know that he thinks it’s only a matter of time before the FBI begin a door to door search of everyone’s homes and he worries that Ed (the gun nut) will put up resistance. Ed assures him that he’s mellowed out and no longer as passionate about his old ways, but it’s safe to say that there is more going on with Ed than meets the eye (pun intended).
As with every issue of Revival there is far too much going on for me to cover it all. This issue in particular does a great job of checking in with a dozens of characters and several of them we haven’t seen in a couple of issues. Seeley continues to write a story that reminds me of a collapsible toy ball; when it’s compacted together you still get the entire story, but when you expand it you begin to see the many connections that make up the larger ball/picture. One of my favorite parts is the constant shifting of the story as it checks in with the next batch of characters.
There is a scene in the beginning with Dana in uniform that stands out to me. You’ve probably seen a female law enforcement officer before and you’ll know that their shirts don’t fit them perfectly like on TV, but rather there is extra fabric due to the bust. Norton captures that with Dana perfectly and with little details like this makes the story and world very believable/realistic. Another personal favorite that Norton loves to do with the series is the behind the shoulders panels of characters. It’s honestly a rare thing in comics to not constantly see the face of the character, but Norton has done several completely behind the back panels of characters and it adds a dynamic to the overall story that other comics do not have. It also displays his artistic talent since a vast majority of artists cannot draw a 360 perspective of a character.
As excited as I am about the upcoming Revival TV show, I almost don’t need it at this point. This comic already acts and is structured like a TV show and it only gets better and better. I’ve lost track of how many characters and plot elements have been introduced in just the last two issues, but it’s literally my favorite TV show to read. I’m looking forward to the growing events surrounding Dana’s mother’s death and if you haven’t picked up on the cues from the past two issues then you should do yourself a favor and re-read them. This issue is fantastic as usual and no this is not a freebie score that I’m handing out, this series has earned its high marks month after month with no signs of slowing.
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Mike Norton
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: 4/17/13