Revival: A New Take on Zombies | Comic Review

Revival Vol. 1

Written by Tim Seely
Art by Mike Norton
Coloured by Mark Englert

Publisher: Image

This is a zombie comic, sort of. It is not The Walking Dead, a wonderful comic and TV-series detailing the lives of survivors of a zombie apocalypse, who are constantly being hunted by the zombies and other humans alike. This series focuses on a small town, where certain people have returned to life. They have kept their memories, and have returned to their normal lives, they are just as functioning as any other humans. But no one truly knows what is going on, some declare it as a sign of the Rapture, others a miracle in science, and some, really want these people gone, but the general consensus is, no one knows what has turned such a small town, with no great history or involvement with the outside world, into ground zero for a zombie epidemic. 

Dana Cypress is an officer in this town, and she is being assigned to help Ibrahaim Ramin, the CDC liaison, to keep watch and investigate the “revived,” since it seems some of them have some issues adjusting to being brought back to life. No, there has not been any cases of anyone eating anyone yet, but I don’t doubt it might happen in later volumes.  Dana’s first case is the murder of a half-zebra-half-horse, whose family to which it belongs is blaming their neighbour. Due to the family’s old lady being a revived, things don’t work out as well as they should, and we have more discoveries made and more hatred spewed, as well as a very odd and unfortunate family reunion. A side story follows the journalist who discovered and filmed the first case of the dead coming back to life, and her desire to see what else is going on in the town, and what might have led to it. There is also an exorcist, maybe a ghost, family issues, another mystery relating to a family member, affairs and a lot of blood and deaths. 

It is the story of different people enduring what is going on without having any clue of what to do, of when the nightmares often scenes in films and TV-shows pops up in your own backyard. It is similar in this respect to Nailbiter, a town of many trying to continue on with their normal lives, but having the entire world looking at them. It is also, as some zombie/vampire/werewolf/other stories go, a social commentary  for race, gender, sexuality, religion; an ode to the different ones, with cases of bigotry being shown not only when it comes to the revived, but also secondary and main characters, from a small comment on Islamophobia, to having to cross through a poor (almost segregated) neighbourhood to get to the rich side. This comic manages to do it without it overpowering the story, but simply given us small instances that are noticeable enough to be questioned, but not so much in our face that we are only submerged in it, aside the obvious parallels between them and the zombies of course. There is also a glimpse at  how deep in religion our culture is, with many people claiming this momentous event as the beginning of the end. It could be, but it is more surprising that the town has managed to keep these believers away for so long, particularly when it is obvious those factions exist within the town’s folk. 

What makes these zombies so interesting when compared to other zombies is that these ones have stories to tell us. They are our neighbours, friends, husbands, children, that one guy we all hate. They are people whom we might have closed our emotions to after they were gone from our lives to what we thought was forever, and now they are back and we are unsure of what to do with our feelings, after all, the mourning period has passed. 

The art is very similar to usual comics, it is traditional in that aspect, though it is nice to see that the people that look alike here tend to be those related to each other instead of just random strangers (in case of the sisters Dana and Em), but they still maintain their own mannerism and attitudes, making them quite distinguishable from each other. The best of the art comes from the certain scenes that show the oddness the author and artist are training to portray mixed with the choice in colour. Colourlist are usually underrated, but if it weren’t for them, the story would not feel the same, and the impact of the scenery would not be as great, I am glad the colours here are so well added, particularly in the case of the ghost aka perhaps alien. 

I was not sure I would like this, after all, I love my zombies to be brainless and hungry for flesh (thank you Walking Dead and World War Z). But that was before I was introduced to this type of zombie, their humanity is more frightening, and I hope the subsequent volumes continue on with this trend. Plus, the “noir” story keeps me very intrigued. If you love zombies, or if you’re tired of the same old story this comic will do a nice job into providing something new. 


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