Review: Revival #16

One of the reasons I love Revival so much is because no matter how much I get invested into the story, sometimes at the end of an issue I feel like I know nothing about this title at all.  This is one of those issues.  It starts out with Wayne and Ibrahaim checking out a slaughterhouse.  I wonder how Edmund Holt is taking this whole situation, because it was clear at the end of last issue he won’t be a part of the governmental farm animal slaughter. Around the same time this is going on, Dana visits Em at college to regroup and check in on how she’s been doing since the car accident with Jordan.  It’s clear that the media is fluffing the stories up a lot or they just don’t understand the Revivers, because we see Em reading an article online about Joe Meyers.  If you remember, back in issue #13 Joe finally died after visiting Thang Vang in the hospital.  She made him a new ring, different from the one she stole while she was housekeeping at his place.  She said it was a good luck charm and keeps the soul in the body.  When he held it, he just burnt inside out like other Revivers when they’re ‘set free.’  Anyway, this article claims he’s a suspect for arson.  I love the little details that are thrown in there, I think it’s interesting to see different people’s view of it, and in this case the media is acting like…well, the media.  Em gets sick after reading this article, which I’m not sure why.  Perhaps it’s because the passenger inside of her is telling her that it’s bad because Joe ended up being set free?  Em then greets Dana, and they start talking inside Em’s dorm room.

revival16_coverDana lets Em know that May Tao is asking around about the Checks, which obviously will lead back to Em murdering them.  Em kind of plays it off like she knows who she is, but she doesn’t know her.  We all know this is a lie, as we see her go through the different encounters she’s had with May in her mind.  Dana realizes she could be trouble, so she assigns Em the task of following May around.  When Dana goes back to the car that Derrick is driving, she looks a bit upset.  She realizes that Em was lying to her, which is ironic since right now they should be closer than ever, trying to solve Em’s murder and protect themselves from May.  But Dana says “Sometimes I think the one thing Revival Day did right was bring me closer to Em… And sometimes I think all it did was give us a whole bunch of reasons to lie to each other.”

On the government’s side, it seems like something fishy is going on.  Ken Dillisch, the mayor, put this animal slaughter in effect since they think whatever caused Revival Day has affected the lakes and streams.  While Wayne and Ibrahaim are talking inside the slaughterhouse, it can be implied that Wayne thinks that Dillisch is using his plan to distract people from something else that is really going on behind closed doors.  What exactly that is, we’re not told.  When they’re walking back to a squad car, Wayne finds a card on his windshield.  The first thing I noticed about this card is that it depicts the Joan of Arc: a saint card, Wayne says it’s a “souvenir of a martyr.”  I just learned about her in my history class, so I know that she was burned at the stake when she was 19 for heresy.  Is this referencing to Em, who is also 19?  The quote on the card says “The tree is thirsty,” and Wayne points out this is a paraphrased Thomas Jefferson quote.  If I’m not mistaken, whoever wrote on this card chose it from a letter he wrote, in which he said: “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure.”  It’s clear that someone is sending them a message.There’s another visit from a character we haven’t seen since issue #11.

There’s a lot more going on in this issue than I’m letting on, so go buy it.  One last thing I’d like to say regarding the story is if you’ve missed some action and thrills in this book for some reason, you’re gonna want to check this one out.

One critique I have about this issue is that some people may see it as a little weighty or too deep story-wise.  For a casual fan of this book, it may be getting confusing and the fact that some characters are coming back and we’re introduced to new mysteries (like what was going on with May?) 16 issues in may be a little frustrating or a little intimidating.  For big fans of the series like myself however, I wouldn’t want it any other way.  The story just keeps getting better each month, with brilliant writing and stunning art, both cover and interior.  Revival continues to be my favorite $2.99 spent each month.

Score: 5/5

Writer: Tim Seeley Artist: Mike Norton Publisher: Image Comics Release Date: 12/18/13 Price: $2.99