Published on August 5th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
The Spire #2 Review
The mystery deepens as the past and present story lines begin to meet up: “Proud stands the Spire”
This issue opens similar to the first with a quick glimpse into the Marchioness’ past trip into The Nothingland. The people here live in a choking, dusty haze perfectly illustrated by Jeff Stokely’s grittiness and Andre May’s murky colours. The muck almost wipes off on your hands as you read.
The muffled conversations are replaced with the chatter of a Royal visit as the story jumps to the modern day where the Marchioness is visiting a hospital. The reporters follow her into the wards, seemingly uncaring about the disruption that they are causing but the recently widowed Marchioness has more respect and she puts the rabble in their place. Despite her recent loss she still has an air of dignity and strength which makes what happens to her next even harder to stomach. Trapped in an old greenhouse the Royal and her retinue is attacked, brutally and the culprit can only be one of the Sculpted.
Speaking of which, Captain Sha almost loses her composure when she receives the call that the Marchioness has been attacked, especially when she gets to the crime scene to discover that the guards have done nothing to assist the injured. Her mood does not improve when Tavi turns up in time to insinuate that the Captain is in some way to blame. She makes it quite clear that she doesn’t like The Sculpted, in fact she thinks she is above them; better than them because they were created to serve.
Sha rises above the insult, her attention is clearly on the health of the Marchioness as she accompanies her to her private rooms. But her affection is more than that of an employee for an employer which becomes clear when Meera turns up; Meera, girlfriend to Sha and daughter to the Marchioness. The relationship is a secret, one that Sha tries to hide as Meera is more playful but there is a moment early in the comic that suggests the mother already knows about their secret.
Meanwhile the Pug is leading the Medusi through the Nothingland towards their meeting at the Spire but first they must pass the Zoarim. Usually this would not be a problem, afterall “The Medusi do not fear these bitter Men of the Book” but this time something’s different, the Zoarim have a new weapon that is, to say the least, devastating. What does this mean for the Medusi? Or the Spire? Does this relate to the ‘misunderstanding’ that the Marchioness mentioned to Sha?
And why are Sniffers leading Milk up into the higher tiers of The Spire?
This issue is packed with humour, intrigue and adorable characters. Sha continues to show determination in her work and commitment to the people she cares about. The Marchioness knows her station but also how to use it and Meera exudes charm. She’s one to watch, as my mother would say. Simon Spurrier crams as much character as he possible can into his story without allowing the pace of the plot to fall away. If you took the speech away from the images you would still be able to tell which of the characters was talking; this is a sign that the characters have strong, individual voices.
And whoever is responsible for the design of the Sniffers deserves an award of some description. The furry noses are a wonderful example of the humour embedded into this comic. They are the very notion of ridiculousness but Spurrier and Stokely make them work.
Stokely’s artwork is again a pleasure to ogle at with his array of weird little creatures and at times Manga-esqu characters. But this month, Andre May’s colours really standout. I’ve already mentioned the opening scene but the desolation of the Nothinglands and the affluence of the higher tiers of the Spire are most obvious in the contrasting colour schemes. May uses minimal but striking colours for the near empty wastelands and a brighter array of colours that show the hustle and bustle of life within the city. You get a true feel for the difference between the two landscapes.
The mystery at the heart of this story continues to build and is supported with great characters and pleasing visuals. The more you read it the more of the detail you notice so much so that you’ll end up skipping back and forth between the pages becoming fully engrossed in the art and the narrative. And surely that’s the reason why we read comics?
Title: The Spire
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jeff Stokely
Colourist: Andre May