Review: The Spire #3

It feels like it’s been longer than a month, and that I’ve been sitting here salivating, waiting for the newest issue of The Spire to drop. We got restocks of issues 1 and 2 at the store where I work, and my heart leapt because I thought they were new issues; now I can finally rejoice at having another issue to literally force into peoples’ hands. After a couple issues building the worlds of The Spire and the Nothinglands, we’re finally starting to see those worlds collide and the plot proper take off. The Medusi have arrived with the other Tithebound from the Nothinglands, and while they commit their oath, they only ask that they be allowed to take a fugitive into custody--The Soulbreaker. The fact that no one seems to know who the Soulbreaker is is only compounded by the fact that Shå is still tracking the murderer who seems to be able to sneak into locked rooms at will and murder anyone they like. Proud stands the Spire.

Spire-#3The Spire has been one of those masterclass kinds of books already that can and should be used to teach people about what comics can do. There are limitations on what can be put on a static page of illustration, and Spurrier, Stokely, May and Wands are constantly pushing against that boundary. There’s a double page splash in here of a scene that begins in the top of the Spire and winds its way down the stairs that mimics the visual sense of watching someone walk down stairs in such a perfect way--it’s difficult to explain what exactly is happening, but it’s things like this splash that make me wonder when we’re going to start giving Jeff Stokely All The Awards.

Spurrier’s writing in this series has been a continual credit to the intelligence of his readers. He doles out information at a measured pace, just enough to keep the plot moving forward and to keep you asking questions. The series, for all its fantastical dressing and world-building has as much in common with a Jack Reacher novel or a classic noir--it’s a supercop, with faults all her own, going after a killer who’s been moving right under her nose. I can’t think of a hell of a lot of instances of this kind of story in a fantasy world like the world of The Spire; the fact that it wears that plot so well is a credit to Spurrier’s writing and his rich characters.

Most comics, I’m able to sit back and enjoy the high quality the creators put out and disappear into the story. On one level, I can do that with The Spire, but there are so many things about this series that stand out in excellence without jarring you from the story that it’s impossible not to stop every couple pages and just be shocked by how good it is. I know it’s only a limited series, but at this point, I would love to see it go on forever just so I could keep getting surprised by Spurrier, Stokely, Mays and Wands.

Score: 5/5

The Spire #3 Written by: Simon Spurrier Illustrated by: Jeff Stokely Colors by: André May Lettered by: Steve Wands Publisher: BOOM! Studios Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/23/15 Format: Mini-Series; Print/Digital