Contrary to what the title implies, there will be no escaping to “the badger state” in this volume. What does happen is Dana Cypress, police officer and related either directly or tangentially to pretty much every plot thread and conspiracy in this series, is headhunted by the FBI for a trip to New York as they have reason to believe that a Revival has made its way out there. Meanwhile, back in Rothschild, Dana’s sister Martha gets involved with a Revival who injures himself to make funny webcam videos, her father Wayne butts heads with anti-government right-winger Edmund Holt and winds up being coerced by the mayor into helping him with his problems, and her son Coop won’t stop talking about the “glowing man” outside his room. Then you’ve got other running subplots like Lester Majak’s efforts to take revenge on the “glowing man” that killed his dog, Ibrahim’s run-in with a fortune teller and its deadly fallout, and May’s attempt to get her life back in order. If that wasn’t enough, the town is also paid a visit by the F.D.A.’s own Tony Chu.
In case it wasn’t obvious, there’s a lot going on in this volume and it’s all pretty interesting compared to what has come before. Writer Tim Seeley has done a better job in making the supernatural and character-driven elements work more smoothly together, particularly in the New York-centric parts. Given the FBI’s involvement, you’d think that Seeley was attempting to write his own “X-Files” episode; and, it turned out to be a pretty good one. There are also plenty of interesting developments back in the town itself, to the point where I think that giving this series a re-read at some point may be justified. Artist Mike Norton also makes a better showing here with his character work, but also with the more macabre bits of the story. Particularly with all of the “skin dancing” bits of the “Revival/Chew” crossover story collected here. While the banter between Tony, Dana, and Ibrahim is good, adding Tony’s cibopathic powers here feels at odds with the kind of weirdness we’ve come to expect from “Revival” itself. I don’t feel truly passionate about this series yet, though this volume has me thinking that it might be possible in the future.