When the dead don’t stay dead
Another tale of the undead ... only these ones aren't zombies.
IN the sleepy mid-western American town of Wausau, Wisconsin, something strange is happening. A mysterious event known as “Revival Day” has brought the recently deceased back to life.
Dubbed “revivers” or “revitalised citizens”, the newly risen dead are not mindless zombies like those fromThe Walking Dead. In fact, they still act and behave like normal people, just as they were before they died.
Some of these revivers take the experience well and just continue with their lives, though others can’t come to grips with it and their state of mind is affected.
Complications arise as the living are forced to live side by side with the revivers, and it is not long before protagonist Dana Cypress, a local cop, is called into action to investigate strange events that have shaken up the community.
Each issue of Revival is structured like an episode of a TV show with multi-layered stories that follow different characters.
Apart from Dana, Revival follows the exploits of her younger sister Em who, we discover by the end of the first issue, is also a reviver.
The book also provides a third point of view from the perspective of reporter May Tao, who is determined to uncover the truth behind the event.
Like an episode of The X-Files, the story skilfully balances the elements of mystery, horror and drama that pull all the different characters together.
It certainly is interesting to see the characters debate the implications of a world where people who die don’t stay dead.
Even the US Government gets in on the action, imposing a quarantine on the town. It makes for a tense situation as both the living and the revivers have to get along within this confined area.
To be honest, artist Mike Norton’s art style is not as realistic or gritty as it should be to match the serious tone of the story. It is a shame that Jenny Frison’s beautiful, eye-catching cover art is not echoed in the book’s interiors.
On the plus side, Norton’s art does successfully capture the look and feel of rural America showing the snow-covered, open expanses of the farmlands and backwoods of Wisconsin.
And he does give ample variety to the characters, from their style of dressing to their facial expressions when talking or reacting to danger.
Sure, the first issue is rather slow-moving as the story builds the suspense before the reader’s first encounter with a reviver.
But once you get past it and move on to the second and third book, Revival successfully hooks you and keeps you reading to see what happens next.
Be warned, though, that Revival is not for young readers; there is a lot of strong language and some brutal violence.
Having said that, Revival Vol 1: You’re Among Friends serves as a great trade paperback that collects the first five issues of the series and serves as the perfect gateway into this world of supernatural mystery.
Collected editions of Revival are available at the graphic novel section of Kinokuniya, Suria KLCC. Call 03-2164 8133 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.kinokuniya.com/my.