Published on October 28th, 2015 | by JCDoyle0
The Spire #4 Review
Some of the secrets are starting to come out and doesn’t she look good for her age? (If you want to know what that refers to you’ll have to read the actual comic – no spoilers here)
An air of madness has started to descend onto the Spire as Captain Sha fights with an enemy that turns out to be a friend and turns to a government that she can no longer rely on. The overall theme for this issue appears to be trust; who can you trust; who should you trust; who do you want to trust. Seeds of discontent are sown by some unsuspected people but at the same time these people sneak out secrets that will make you go “ooooooo” in a thought provoking way.
The ‘truth’ and the secrets are all wrapped up in the pomp of hierarchy and Sha is shown to be losing an uphill battle; she reaches a low point in this issue and an unseemly outburst illustrates her passions as much as her anger. Spurrier has crafted a clever narrative that moves the story forward but focuses on the emotional stress of the central characters. He manages to show how pressures and manipulations can affect the way that the characters interact with each other while at the same time pump up the pace with fight scenes and chases through the depths of the Spire.
The Spire itself is another ‘character’ that gets further development this month. The twists and turns and the interactions of the people all go to form the greater character of habitat. Just like the space station from The Fuse the narrative wouldn’t have any base or real depth without the emerging history of the Spire itself. This is a smart move by Spurrier to pull the reader deeper into the story because every corner appears to hold something new, something exciting.
Jeff Stokely takes this idea and runs with it in his art work. His panels are designed around the construct of the Spire so that at times they are straight, hard edged boxes that represent the rigidity of the upper classes while others take the forms of gutters weaving around the action. In previous issues Stokely has over laid a two page spread with contrasting panels to indicate the differences between the characters social standing and he does it again here when the accolades present themselves. They just keep hammering home the point that the higher up you are in the society the better and more organised you life is. I want to use the word ‘stuffy’ here and I might just do that.
Despite everything that happens in this issue, the focus is really on Sha and her emotional state at this difficult time in her life. Both the writer and artist express their sympathy for the character and this comes through on each page. It’s pleasing that a miniseries like this can still take time to concentrate on character and their development, especially in a high fantasy genre where it can become too easy to get to the hoards battling it out in the fields, not that that isn’t coming.
Issue 4 of The Spire is another fine issue and tells a well-crafted character driven story that is surrounded by a world of politics and intrigue.
Title: The Spire
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Writer: Simon Spurrier
Artist: Jeff Stokely
Colourist: Andre May