COMIC: The Revenants #1

Writer: Daniel, Aaron & Austin Flanagan
Art: John McFarland

It’s the rare occasion in life that allows someone to do something they love as a profession.  For Belfast brothers Aaron and Austin Flanagan it became a reality a little over a year ago when they opened their own comic book store in Spires Mall (I would say single-handedly rejuvenating the mall but there are two of them!).  What once was a short-cut from College Square North to City Centre has now become a focal point of my week when the Wednesday releases come around and I get to grips with the latest adventures in my pull list.
Joey's query about directions to Forbidden Planet went down colder than
a corpse on a playground slide.
 Oh yes, it’s a rare occasion in life that allows someone to do something they love as a profession… and in the case of the Flanagans they may have just done it again.  Thursday past saw the night-time release of their first foyer into the creative sphere of comic books as The Revenants #1 hit their stands bringing curious excitement from those who know them and a mini-bus full of variant covers.

The story is one of a zombie uprising set against the backdrop of an ecological spill and yes their store; fitting as it is that the four walls of the CBG shop plays as mise-en-shot for the story of their comic.  Working together, and incorporating their knowledge (and merchandise) of comics the bros go Winchester on some decaying supernatural asses in a fast-paced, tightly contained one-shot.
BvS trolls will be "dealt with"
It’s a nicely sculpted story.  Narratively it’s on a well-set genre pathway allowing brothers (and indeed father) to highlight some of their personalities, humour and influences as Aaron naturally leans towards The Force as a means for self-defense while Austin sees the merits in putting the Civil War differences of Captain America and Iron Man aside to create… Captain Man… Iron America… Captain Iron?!  Yeah, that one works best… we’ll go with that.

The artwork by McFarland is excellent.  Not only does he draw the brothers in a wonderfully faithful comic book hyper-realism style but he manages to capture a level of personality, movement and identity in his ink work.  Like the dialogue, McFarland finds the humour in the set-pieces, and the disposal of said walking dead with various pieces of reasonably priced merchandise available in store (plug!) is a nice touch… though if you’re looking to buy a Star Wars umbrella I would haggle over the price if you find grey matter in it.
The song stuck in Barry's head for two days before things went *blammo*
The Revenants is a true Belfast book.  Not just because of the physical location of the story, but because of the typically Fast City way in which humour increases in line with gore and violence.  It’s a sharply written, gorgeously rendered snapshot of horror with a dash of humour in a time when humour has all but been forgotten by the genre. 

If it sells well, and I can see no reason why it shouldn’t, then it won’t be too long before we see an Issue 2 from the brothers Flan; maybe even a Comic Book Guys Independent Press so more of us can grasp that rare occasion that allows someone to do something they… yadda, yadda, yadda.




The Revenants #1 is available from Comic Book Guys, Spires Mall Belfast.


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