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‘The Spire #2:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Whether you’re top of the heap or the bottom, we all look the same in the end.

Issue #1 had us hooked, and now the second issue is delightfully reeling us in.  Rolling with a more stately pace for the most part, this noir-ish world gets a whole lot bigger, a whole lot smaller, and exceptionally more dangerous.  I was, at first, afraid that this issue would turn into an exposition dump, layering all of the (admittedly interesting) nuance to the world of the Spire, and, yes, there is a lot there, but the killer from the first book interrupts at an unexpected and opportune moment to keep the mystery and us alive.

Simon Spurrier gets to expand on his creation in this issue and really let the edges of the map begin to fill in a bit.  We get a fuller understanding of the people of this world and their relationships.  We’re also treated to sadly smaller, but still rollickingly funny, moments from the comic relievers (I'm going to enjoy that term a bit; it conjures quite the image.) and from our heroine herself, though mostly motivated by plot.  A bold attack exposes more of the past and what may be happening and drives an even deeper wedge between the Skewed and the normals.  Spurrier does not shy away from the racial undertones of his work and, in fact, lays it out bluntly, so that there can be no forgetting, no glossing over to separate and simply escape through this work.  It’s a good way to make it important and a central driving issue that you can’t avoid in the discussion of this work.  It’s as important to this series as it is to the X-Men, and I think it’s handled wonderfully.

I really enjoy Jeff Stokely’s work on this series. He does a fantastic job of drawing us right to what’s important in each panel and has brought this odd and remarkable place to life.  I like how there’s a feeling of “what just happened” to major moments (especially the final panel . . . wow), just like a flash or traumatic moment in life.  A new reality seems to stamp itself upon us before we’re able to react.  This speed of action is seeming to be a centerpiece of this series and I love it.

This is a fun and engaging mystery mixed with some surprisingly non-jarring sitcom moments.  It is a good read for any fan of sci-fi.  There’s a lot of momentum to the story so far, and I’m really excited to see where it leads.


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