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Review – The Spire #2 (of 4) (BOOM! Studios)

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Art: Jeff Stokely, André May, Steve Wands
Released: 5th August 2015


Surprises are always nice, but after the surprise, it’s always a question of whether the material is worth sticking with. In the case of Spire, it remains early days, and whilst this second issue does score a load of points in its favour, it’s yet to gain the momentum required to starting thrusting the series into people’s faces, yelling incomprehensible recommendations. But like I said: early days.

Spurrier’s writing is still excellent work – the dialogue pops off the page beautifully, and it retains the naturalistic quality that made the first issue such a pleasure to read. He does now have a habit of littering it with a veritable litany of fantasy terminology, and if your interest is piqued, it’d be best to go pick up issue 1 if you want to have a hope of understanding what the hell everyone is yammering about. Still, it’s most admirable that Spurrier’s sticking to his guns on that front.

Shå, our unconventional heroine at the centre of it all, remains a compelling protagonist, and whilst the story is currently in still in the process of laying the foundations, it’s a joy to see her shrewdly navigate through the sequence of murders and intrigues at the plot’s heart. There’s also a lovely development in the precise identity of her current belle – hinted at oh-so-subtly previously – and the scene where it’s revealed is a smile-inducing one.

The art has taken a considerable step forward from that rough-hewn first issue – it’s still beautifully gauche, but there’s a confidence present now that the first issue didn’t seem to have. Characters are far more consistently rendered, and there’s a finer hand to the final inks that makes it all the more pleasing, imbuing each panel with a magnificently scratchy detail.

Overall, after that surprising and intriguing first issue, the series looks like it’s now settling in, but the plot itself has yet to reach its stride. That’s not at all to say that it won’t – many a building block has been placed, and it remains to be seen if there’ll be a payoff at the end. This doesn’t stop the series as a whole being a fascinating oddity, and one to keep an eye on going forward.

Rating: 3/5.


INTERIOR ARTWORK
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RSavThe Writer of this piece was: Ross Sweeney
Ross tweets from @Rostopher24


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