Monday, 14 April 2014

‘Revival Volume One: You’re Among Friends’ – Tim Seeley & Mike Norton (Image)

As far as comic books go, the old blog was all about following ‘The Walking Dead’, ‘The Goon’ and whatever Conan books I could get my hands on. Times change though; ‘The Walking Dead’ got a little too brutal (and possibly repetitious) for me, work on ‘The Goon’ has slowed down to a crawl (and I didn’t really enjoy the last book anyway…) and as much as I love Conan as a character, I wasn’t a hundred percent sure about some of the stories he was showing up in. I don’t really read any of those books now.

It’s a whole new blog now though and I realised that I needed a new series to follow along with the occasional forays into the worlds of ‘Judge Dredd’ and ‘Ghost’. If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt it’s never to look too hard for a new favourite series, it will find you sooner or later and it did when I came across volumes two and three of ‘Revival’ the other week. You can read what I thought over Here and there was no doubt in my mind that I’d be searching out the first volume to see how it all began. I read ‘You’re Among Friends’ on the way into work this morning and the commute just flew by.

If you read my post the other day then you’ll know about the story. If you’re one of those people who like to start from the beginning then ‘Revival’ is the story of rural Wausau and how, for one day, the dead return to life and have to readjust to being back in the world of the living. Some handle it better than others and that’s where Officer Dana Cypress comes in, dealing with crimes involving the revived against a backdrop of the world’s media  focussing all its attention on the town. The most difficult crime to solve though is the one that’s closest to home and it will take all of Dana’s detective skills to even know where to start.

‘You’re Among Friends’ is such an apt title in many ways, not least because Seeley’s gift for characterisation really does make you feel like you’re amongst friends; a small town where everyone knows each other’s business, a town where a night drinking in the bar will feel like the reader’s own local until one of the Revived starts raising hell in order to make a point to… That would be telling. A lot of questions are raised in these opening pages and, again, it’s credit to Seeley that he manages to make all of them fresh and intriguing. This is all down to that characterisation again (you can really get behind these people as they deal with the situation that they’re in) as well as everything playing out against a backdrop that is almost deliberately designed to let these events stand out; nice work again from Mike Norton. It’s all understated but that just seems to make the plot all the more gripping. And if that wasn’t enough, Seeley and Norton combine to give us an opening page (well, the second page but you know what I mean…) that is guaranteed to hook the reader… You might want to click on the picture to enlarge it.

 ‘You’re Among Friends’ sets the scene for future volumes by posing these questions along with a couple of nice moments where you think you have a handle on the plot only to find that you’ve been led neatly into a dead end. The series as a whole has it all and has pretty much cemented my opinion that ‘Revival’ is just the story that people (like me) who are tired of zombies will get a lot out of. People still have to deal with the dead coming back to life but what makes this series stand out is that the dead have to deal with it too.

Highly recommended.

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