9 Aug , 2011,
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Revolver - Cover Art

Imagine going to bed and waking up to another life, another world. Next, imagine conking out there, and waking up in your own reality again.

Revolver, a neat little volume by independent comicker Matt Kindt,  is just such a tale.

Sam, as average a guy as he ever could be, creeps home one night after having one drink too many at the bar.

He wakes up the following morning, only to discover that he’s somehow dropped into an alternate reality where the world’s gone to pot. Explosions rock the newspaper office he works at, the world is plunged into sudden war and violence, and he’s forced to do everything (even kill) to survive.

The next time he wakes up, and he’s back in his routine, mundane existence, questioning if everything he’d experienced in the other world were simply a dream, but the minute he closes his eyes again, the phenomenon repeats, plunging him into a series of inexplicable dangers and encounters.

I shan’t give much more away, save that the primary thrust is Sam’s ability to suddenly ‘revolve’ from one reality to the other. It’s pivotal in Sam’s character growth from wussy, underachieving office guy to tough-as-nails survivor, and this forms the bulk of the plot.

The real world and the other world, side-by-side.

Admittedly, I wasn’t impressed by the art, which seemed rather simplistic. Kindt’s a good artist, don’t get me wrong – the perspective and the paneling were decent – yet the style just didn’t gel (or maybe I’m just too used to digital painting and clean lines).

Still, I appreciated his layout and presentation. The use of two different tones (one blue, one brown) to denote the different realities was creative and deliberate, and this dichotomy played perfect complement to the stellar story.

It was also apparent that the writing and dialogue were probably Revolver’s strongest suit.

The juxtaposition between the experiences of ‘real world’ Sam and ‘other world’ Sam proved fascinating, and the consequences of his actions in both worlds kept me hooked, while the constant shuttling between two worlds gave non-linear narrative a whole new meaning.

A great read for those who don’t mind the art, and are gunning for something cerebral.