This issue of Revival doesn’t really move us terribly forward in terms of plot, but rather tries to introduce us to back stories and hints at past relationships. We figure out why Dana and Martha’s relationship is so strained, who Cooper’s real dad is (we’ve met him!), and a little bit about the carve-corpses-up family.
The cliff hanger, however, tells us that the next issue is going to leap us right back into more plots about murder in the poor quarantined town of Wassau, Wisconsin.
In the beginning, the Sheriff harps on about manpower in the town, which has pretty much been his tune from the beginning, while his daughter Dana argues that maybe they should be actually trying to apprehend Anderson Hines, the murderer from a few issues back. Manpower not being enough, he shuts her down and then looks horrified when Dana seems to profess some platonic affection towards Ramin (who she did sleep with in the beginning of the series, if we’re going to be fair about this).
Dana meets up with Martha, and they talk about who murdered her for about… two seconds before they start arguing about who their father loved more. Dana obviously thinks the number one child in her father’s eyes is Martha because she’s practically perfect in every way, whereas Martha saw Dana’s acting out through school to take revenge on her father for their mother’s death took all the attention away from her, and forced her to sacrifice her teenage years so she could study and be the perfect child her father would notice.
We find out the tattoo artist, Derek, from a few issues back is in fact Cooper’s dad, and the chick he was tattooing is his druggie girlfriend who seems nice enough, despite her need for Meth. He leaves Cooper in her care while he goes to an art class, and finds someone to tell his back story to which is the nude model. Essentially, once the town got quarantined, he lost hope of starting up a tattoo parlor. Meanwhile, back home, Cooper sees one of the alien creatures and chases it outside while Derek’s druggie girlfriend is distracted.
Enter the Check brothers, the men who rent a shed in order to cut up corpses and sell the parts. We find out they are white trash living in a trailer park near their indulgent mother with pink hair who doesn’t seem to notice when her sons are talking about criminal pursuits in almost the same room. The story ends with them, as Cooper finds them in the middle of their ghoulish dealings which involves a gruesomely disemboweled cadaver. When Nikki, Derek’s girlfriend, knocks on their door to ask if they’ve seen Cooper, they tell her yes and we see a gun poised just beyond the threshold as she walks into what looks like to be a very hellish ordeal in the next issue.
There are other plot points in the story, all about a page long, so not worth really going into. We know the Sheriff is concerned the racist anarchist Edmund Holt, will shoot the feds when they inevitably come in, so he goes to warn him. We know there is more than one alien creature, as Martha sees three of them down by the river being followed by three mysterious people in hazmat suits. And lastly, we know that we are going to be introduced to Sherry Myers, who is understandably worried about her husband’s behavior. It being understandable largely because the first time we see him, he’s crying while he digs at a frozen grave with his bare hands.
All in all, the issue gave us some much needed back story, and broke up the constant attack of plots that we have to remember and piece together later despite there being a month between each issue. It was nice to slow down and really take stock of the situation for the main characters, but I’m not sure for how long we can catch our breath with Cooper kidnapped by the nefarious Checks! We shall have to see next issue.
Story by Tim Seely
Art by Mike Norton