Review: The Revenants
Review by Seamus Kavanagh
Creators: Austin Flanagan & Aaron Flanagan
Writer: Daniel Flanagan
Artist: John McFarlane
Colourist: Tara O’Connor
Lettering & Design: Aaron Flanagan
What we have here is a comic book from two Comic Book Store owning brothers which features said brothers in their own adventure set, no less, in their own Comic Book Store. What really should be a recipe for a vanity project instead reveals itself as fun fantasy adventure that ensures that all readers are on board for the ride.
Taking place in Spires Mall, Belfast City Centre, this stand alone comic sees Brothers Aaron and Austin Flanagan fighting off an invasion of creatures effected by a chemical spillage at a local cemetery. Unable to escape, the two brothers fight back using whatever pop culture items they can get their hands on. In doing so, references are made throughout the book to comics, movies and, some might use this term loosely, sports. All are popular enough to be well known and so I imagine that most readers would be able to enjoy these references and feel part of the adventure. If there are private or in-jokes within this book, none are made in such a way that would make a non-local reader feel like they are missing out.
As characters, the Aaron and Austin enjoy have a humorous back and forth from start to finish. The nature of the book is unapologetic in tone and that also extends to the language. “Mature Content” is flagged on the outside of the book and to be fair, I would say that this is simply to target the right audience as I didn’t see any images or read any dialogue that cross any lines.
A review on this very site last year went into great detail about reviewing art in a comic from an Illustrator’s point of view. I don’t consider myself qualified to comment on the art within this book and so I will simply say that I did enjoy Illustrator John McFarlane’s material and found that the style suited the tone of the book.
This comic wears its influences on its sleeve and asks you to join in what is undoubtedly a celebration of its creator’s pop culture influences. Influences that I as a reader share and enjoyed seeing throughout the book. Next time you find yourself in Belfast City Centre, pop in for the book and I’m sure you’ll feel the same.