The Revival is a post-apocalyptic series about a strange land host to various specifies that’s been dominated by a dictator and it’s up to a band of survivors to take back the land.
The Revival (Hound Comics)
This indie comic from Hound Comics is definitely one of the more interesting ones I’ve read; The Revival sets itself apart because of its blend of innocent and morbid themes to create a peculiar, but intriguing product. Equipped with new names and attire, this story depicts characters based off ’80s childrens’ toys, a quality which lends itself to the fantastical nature of the series. At times the plot is reminiscent of something a child would create given a handful of action figures and two hours of free play. However, that’s not to say this comic is juvenile; The Revival features very dark themes such as dictatorship, mass annihilation, and nightmarish horrors.
What initially sucked me into this series is the art. It’s incredibly well done with the design of the characters and gear bordering on steampunk. The characters are expressive, but maintain a quasi-doll appearance. This is contrasted with ghastly figures of genetically manipulated civilians and manufactured clone soldiers. All the panels are filled with dark coloring which successfully contributes to the somber tone of the story. It’s obvious that the visuals for these issues are more time-intensive than some of the bigger publishers and it’s definitely appreciated. Tom Kyzivat doubles as both the artist and the writer, something else he does skillfully.
The writing is excellent and grabs you in the very first panel of the first issue. The comic reads like a novel, but shares the burden of storytelling with the art. While the plot tends to be a little cookie-cutter at times, it doesn’t take away from the overall entertainment of the series. I’m not a child of the ‘80s so I can’t identify all of the toys portrayed in the comic (I’m sure “Tater” is Mr. Potato Head and I would ponder a guess at “Red” possibly being a Strawberry Shortcake doll), but not being able to recognize the toys doesn’t hamper the reading experience at all.
The characters themselves fulfill general archetypes for a rag-tag team, but I enjoy the fact it’s headed by a strong female character. There’s certainly nothing weak about a doll-inspired character smoking a cigarette and planning out the day’s scavenging expedition or wielding an axe-shotgun hybrid. There’s one character named Rainbow who’s similar to New 52’s Harley Quinn and she adds some thrill to the storyline. Rainbow flips between childlike and mature mannerisms, has an obsession with explosions and occasionally breaks the fourth wall by adding side comments to the reader. While you wouldn’t expect that from this genre of comic it just contributes to the unique hodgepodge that makes up this enticing series.
Is It Good?
What do you get when you mix the dark instances of reality and with the mind and utilities of a child? The Revival. It’s Tolkien-esque fantasy realm meets Soviet overthrow meets children’s toys. While it’s difficult to pinpoint the characteristics of its appeal, you know it’s definitely there. This is a great read if you’re trying to branch out from the “Big Two” comic publishers as it executes exactly what Indie comics are supposed to do: give readers something fresh and new.