This series owes a great deal of its success to the careful groundwork laid by Seeley in previous issues. He began the series with the private thoughts of one character, then introduced the personal conflicts of another, next he told us about just one family; and slowly added more three-dimensional characters and larger conflicts. As the series continues to grow systematically, a comprehensive understanding of this setting and its characters has been established that allows us to comprehend the implications of all the interconnected stories happening simultaneously in this world.
Seeley has proven himself an accomplished storyteller, showing skill in creating infrastructure and managing pacing. There has not yet been a “throw-away” issue in this series (or even a “throw-away” panel for that matter) this story moves forward relentlessly and seamlessly. He manages to keep a great number of irons in the fire without making the reader feel overwhelmed. I am continually impressed with his ability to fill each issue with so much action and characterization.
This issue revisits television personality Clyde Birch, as he incites hostility and civil unrest at the town’s border. The growing tension between the town and the world-at-large promises an interesting pay-off in the future. More information about Anders Hine and Jamie Hettinga is revealed as Dana’s investigation of the Justin Hine murder comes to a head. Meanwhile in a shed across town, the Check brothers are up to something gruesome. We also check in with May and Martha, who are both poised to take on new challenges in upcoming issues. The Revival team leaves us with a cliff-hanger that will keep the mystery of this series alive and well for at least another month, and I suspect, well into the future.
Norton’s artwork remains expressive and attuned to detail. The facial features of the people he portrays are never static, and because of this they become powerful vehicles for narrative movement. In a cast of characters as large as this, Norton’s ability to capture likenesses and emotions consistently makes the book much more accessible. This issue features some of the most complicated layouts in the series to date, but the artistic choices to not hinder the readability of the book. The bright interior lighting, and white snow abundant in this setting contrast with the darkness of the subject matter, creating a constant tension. The relative brightness of most pages makes the darker scenes in this issue to feel that much more terrifying and unsettling.
And it must be acknowledged that Jenny Frison’s work on the covers for this series is nothing short of extraordinary. The phantom variant cover for Revival #7 is one of my favorite images from the world of comics this year.
The team’s commitment to quality storytelling remains obvious as the scope of this series grows larger each month. Issue #7 is full of action and mystery that plunge us ever deeper into the complex and nuanced world of Revival.
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