Review – Revolver

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RevolverI feel like the highlights of the year all involve graphic novels.  Matt Kindt has put together an amazing read with Revolver, the trippy mind bending graphic novel from Vertigo.  It’s hard to describe the story without giving too much away but Kindt pulls double duty as both the writer and illustrator with the lettering by Steve Wands.

What happens when the whole world literally changes overnight?

Stuck in a dead-end job, tormented by a tyrannical boss and a annoyingly materialistic girlfriend, Sam rises from another night of aimless bar-hopping to discover his whole world has changed – and for the worse.  An avian flu outbreak has killed millions, the nation’s infrastructure has crashed, and a dirty bomb has destroyed Seattle.  But when he wakes the next day, Sam finds himself back in his “normal” world – and back in chaos the day after that.

In one world, anything goes.  In another, he’s out of danger, but sleepwalking through his life.  So now Sam has an even bigger problem:

Which one to choose?

Revolver reminds me of many mind bending stories from before.  The previously reviewed (and praised) Tumor, Fight Club, Inception and any Philip K. Dick story.  All of them share the bending of reality and Fight Club and Inception include similar themes and explore similar questions.

The story is not just amazing but the art also is top notch, with the colors differentiating between the two worlds.  There’s also a fantastic touch of a news ticker at the bottom of each page that ties in the page number.

I feel like I’ve been saying this a lot, but this is another must read of the summer.  Revolver is a contender for graphic novel of the year and you should absolutely find out why.

Plot: Kindt pulls double duty both writing and illustrating, which makes this even more impressive.  The story is great and the switching between the two worlds leaves us on our toes.  We’re not quite sure where the story is taking us, though we have a faint hint of the direction and where things are going, much like what Sam experiences every night before going to bed and the next day when he wakes up.  The story is from the perspective of Sam and all we’re treated to in the surrounding world is the news he learns.  In addition to that is a news ticker that runs at the bottom of each page.  A fantastic and nice touch that adds immensely to the usual dull page number.  It’s small things like that which shows there’s a lot of thought that’s been put into the product making you appreciate the bigger picture that much more.  Rating: 10

Art: Kindt also takes care of the illustration and keeps it pretty simple with his own style.  There’s two worlds that have to come off as distinct, the major obstacle in pulling this off, and Kindt does it masterfully with a simple but effectively used color pallet.  Whether it was done on purpose the art also adds to the dream-scape storyline with the reader never quite grasping onto which is reality and which is make believe.  Just fantastic.  Rating: 10

Overall: Even though this graphic novel was part of our weekly purchase, we decided to break our own rule to review it in an extended entry.  That should tell you how good it is.  I can’t find any fault with it at all.  This is not only an amazing read, but I want to see a big screen adaptation.  The story, the art, the small details of the news ticker, it all comes together in a confluence of brilliance.  Bravo, Mr. Kindt, I tip my hat to you.  Job well done.  Overall rating: 10

Recommendation: Buy

Page count: 169 pages    Price: $24.99     Release: 7/20/2010

DC and Vertigo provided Graphic Policy with an advance copy of this issue for FREE for review.