Revival #13 is, in many ways, different. It has all the hallmarks and building blocks of a typical Revival issue, but it neither adds substantial amounts to the mystery or answer anything important. It still feels like Revival – just perhaps not enough.
The official description from Image:
The citizens of the quarantine know true fear as Valentine’s Day arrives with its dark herald, KARAOKE TRIPLE DATE NIGHT.
This issue quickly opens up to consequences of the last issue or so… then goes on to ignore them, push them aside and let life carry on. Only a few references are made here to the overall plot. Revival #13
switches gears and decides we all need to read up on some personal issues and small town drama. In a way, it feels like a holiday special (do those ever go down well retrospectively?).
There’s a loose holiday theme, minimal commitment to the on-going story and a focus on personal issues that honestly wouldn’t fit in anywhere else.
I can’t fault the consistency of the characters; Tim Seeley writes the characters as he normally would. Yet the whole set-up seems like a distraction; it’s as if he’s stalling for time or providing filler. Given that the dead are coming back to life and everything else, the sudden importance of “oh, crap – valentines day!” is unusual. Even the characters that aren’t going on a date make a point of this fact, or simply bring up the issue. Only at the end does it pick up and rush back into the actual plot.
As for the art, there’s no knocking Ed Norton’s standards. At the very least this issue looks like any other beautiful issue of Revival, with its deep color, large frames and attention to detail. That said, given the drama and dialogue heavy context of the issue, there’s not much for Norton to work with here.
In short, it’s safe to say I’m not a fan. It has a few elements that are likable, but for an entire issue this seems like a waste of a month. It’s more a side project than anything else; maybe it would be more enjoyable sold as such.