Story by Tim Seeley
Art by Mike Norton
Colors by Mark Englert
Letters by Crank!
Cover by Jenny Frison
Published by Image Comics
Release Date: 8/27/2014
I spent the better part of my Tuesday evening doing some much-needed comic book reading, one that would include REVIVAL #23 from Image Comics. Written by Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash), with illustrations by Mike Norton (The Sixth Gun: Days of the Dead), this unorthodox tale described as a “rural noir” just keeps getting darker and creepier. I had already done a review or two of past issues, but realized that I had yet to cover one on this site. So here we go.
REVIVAL continues to evolve in to something that is more than just a book about the undead. The last three issues have seen our main protagonist (Officer Dana Cypress) outside of the not so comforting, but familiar confines of her small rural town, as the federal investigation in to the black market of body parts finds her in New York City. The news out of the Weston, Wausau, and Rothschild areas of central Wisconsin of the dead returning is now common knowledge to all, thanks to the obvious media attention a supernatural phenomenon like this would bring. Many now believe that getting a hold of parts or organs of people from this area may bring eternal life. What they do once they obtain a body or bodies is something that would undoubtedly make Hannibal Lecter proud.
If you’ve been following this story then you are well aware that Dana’s younger sister (Em) was murdered and is herself a Reviver. The flashback and or dream sequence we see at the beginning of issue 23 is a brutally violent scene and perhaps an indicator on how this murder occurred, although we do not see the face of the killer. There is so much more going on in this issue, with a desperate Sheriff Cypress frantically searching for his missing grandson (Cooper), we find out he will go to extreme lengths for love of family. We also see the reviver Anders explain the reasoning behind his actions with his hatred towards societies “one percenters” and their belief that they have a societal dispensation, simply because of their financial status. Anders threatens to blackmail Dan with the knowledge he possesses regarding Em’s involvement in the Check Brothers disappearance and subsequent cover up by Dana, leading to a showdown between the two atop the Mount Argus Hotel. The outcome of this confrontation was quite unexpected.
If all that wasn’t enough, it seems as if Wisconsin’s own Lois Lane (May Tao) may be stirring up some future problems for Dana as well. Dr. Ibrahaim Ramen is shocked by a new body brought to the Marathon County Courthouse laboratory/morgue, and we witness a bizarre ritual that leads to a shocking and disturbing conclusion involving something either immaculate or a bit reminiscent of something straight out of the movie Aliens.
Even with so many great new titles that Image pumps out week after week, REVIVAL continue to be one of my favorite books to read. The creative team of Seeley, Norton, and Frison continue to deliver an extraordinary series that gets stronger and more compelling with each issue. I have said it twice now and will say it again; this is one of the best collaborative teams in the business, and consistently one of Image Comics best written and illustrated ongoing graphic novels.
REVIEW: REVIVAL #23
Peter Rodriguez (Geek Sushi)