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Review – The Spire #6 (of 8) (BOOM! Studios)

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jeff Stokely
Release Date: 27th January, 2016


I have to warn you, this isn’t a story to dip in and out of. It requires concentration and probably a re-read when all eight issues have been published. In fact, it might be best consumed in a binge-like fashion. That being said, it’s definitely worthwhile tracking down the earlier issues if you don’t have them already, as this is a nice little read.

Our protagonist Shå is a Skew (skews are physically different from the human norm), with multiple different powers and a very mysterious past. Some details are drip fed to us, but for the most part the past 5 issues have been slowly but steadily building of back story of the royal family. What we know for sure is that there is a murder mystery to be solved and as the Spire’s premier law officer, it is up to Shå to solve it.

More importantly, there is a princess to keep safe, and as the lover of said princess, Lady Meera, Shå also feels that she needs to do this. Which leads us to the reveal at the beginning of this issue. Amongst her other powers Shå is also a shapeshifter, and she has taken the shape of Lady Meera’s lady in waiting so that she can accompany Meera as she gives herself to the Pax as a hostage. (Go and read issues 1-5 if you want the full back story).

Stuff happens (no spoilers, yo!), which is interesting in both a character and plot development kind of way, and we are shown that the religious zealots known as “The Pax” have multiple uses for the varied skews of the world, and none of them are pleasant. They see all of the Skews as subhuman commodities and they use one species heads for either saddles or bedpans. By the end of the issue, Shå has broken into the leader of the Pax bed chamber and interrogates him, looking for answers and thats when things go slightly wrong.

Simon Spurrier is taking his time with a fine piece of world building here. It is all unreal and foreign, yet he has made the world of the Spire come alive with a colourful use of language and the wonderful interplay between the characters. In Shå, Spurrier has created a splendid, strong, wilful, tenacious character.

Jeff Stokely’s pencil work captures the mood and fantastic otherworldly oddness of the Spire wonderfully. He is aided magnificently by André May, who’s palate choice is inspired, and help the panels burst into life. Together they give the work life whilst, where necessary, imbue the images with a sense of decay.

This is a fine addition to the story of The Spire so far. It adds value, history and intriguing twist to the overall arc. That said, I did have to go back and reread the first five issues again, just to make sure I didn’t make an idiot of myself in this review. It’s dense, but it’s worth it.

Rating: 4/5.


PREVIEW ARTWORK
[Click to Enlarge]


The writer of this piece was: John Wallace
John Tweets from @jmwdaredevil.


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