Story: Tim Seeley
Colors: Mark Englert
Publisher: Image Comics
Release Date: October 22,2014
There’s nowhere that I can run to escape the zombie apocalypse. The number of zombie films, books, TV shows, web shorts, et al, is simply mind-blowing. Who would’ve thought the re-animated would prove to have such widespread popularity and, uh, longevity.
Revival #24 looks to keep banking on the public’s resurgent interest in all things undead. My own interest in them waned somewhere between Romero’s return to the genre and the emergence of bath salts. That said, the story in this issue is intriguing.
Unlike some of the more recent variants on the theme, there is no real explanation for what as caused the rise of the dead in the book. “Revival Day” as it’s called, is the subject of several character conversations and the mystery surrounding the event is where the story really shines. It’s this aspect that reminds me so much of the original black and white masterpiece— the overall uncertainty about what’s happening, the beginnings of a societal breakdown– that make this issue such an enjoyable read.
The perspectives feel plausible, especially given the socio-political climate we’re increasingly coming to recognize as normal in the real world. The backwoods evangelical turned fledgling extremist, for instance, is a nice touch.
The characters drive this issue, and at times, cause it to stall. There are some sequences that are forced; Dana’s post-coital interrogation seems more like bad network drama than an actual exchange between two living people. When the characters are experiencing their newly upturned world and sharing those experiences with each other simultaneously, everything flows smoothly. It’s when these characters get into intimate situations that things start to feel, well, scripted.
The artwork is professional, clean and tight. There’s nothing that will wow anyone in this issue, in terms of full-page splashes or high-powered action panels, but this isn’t an action oriented issue anyway. There is a pretty gruesome standoff between Sheriff Cypress and a zombie deer—other than that, dialogue is the star here.
Despite the tendency for the characters to slip into the banal when it comes to human contact sans zombies, I’d still recommend giving this book a read. The story arc is still climbing, building conflict between those same characters and hopefully leading to some real answers about just what’s happening in rural central Wisconsin.
By: Adam Cadmon