‘Boston Metaphysical Society: The Spirit of Rebellion’ - Comic Book Review

Madeleine Holly-Rosing’s Boston Metaphysical Society series spans several other comics, some short stories, and even a novel. It’s a beautiful and intricate world, with a lot to take in. The Spirit of Rebellion is billed as a standalone story which you can enjoy without necessarily being familiar with the rest of the oeuvre. Technically, this is true. Anything you do need to know about the previous adventures is covered deftly in Holly-Rosing’s introduction.

Even so, though, I recommend you at least read the other comics first before getting into this one. There are two reasons for this. First, because there are references to things the characters did previously. While this is its own adventure, it very much takes place in the aftermath of the BMS’ previous adventure, going up against a creature called the Shifter.

The events of that adventure set the tone for this one to the point where, even though you won’t have any trouble following what’s going on in the story, you’ll still find yourself wondering, “But what was that other adventure about?”

The second reason why you should read the other comics first is because they’re really good and worthwhile. You’re going to want to read them all anyway, so you might as well just start at the beginning.

So, what is The Spirit of Rebellion about? Irish medium and spirit photographer Caitlin O’Sullivan, in the wake of her ordeal with the Shifter, finds the streets of Boston are no longer welcoming to her. With the help of her friend and employer Samuel Hunter, she journeys to a boarding house in Philadelphia which specializes in offering safety and protection to young women who need it. While there, she begins to explore just how much her psychic powers can do and how she can use them to her fullest ability.

Meanwhile, Mr. Hunter meets up with some of his old friends from the Pinkerton Detective Agency and agrees to do some undercover work. The work is a bit unsavory, and his old friends are a bit more unsavory, but he has his reasons.

One of the things I love about the Boston Metaphysical Society is how it melds fact and fiction. Some of the characters are real historical figures from the 19th century, with a sci-fi/fantasy twist. In fact, the blending of sci-fi and fantasy is another highlight of the BMS. In a world of both steampunk technology and ghosts, anything is possible.

In case it wasn’t already clear, I highly recommend this comic. Read Spirit of Rebellion first if you must, but do also check out the original, six-issue arc, the other standalone, “Scourge of the Mechanical Men,” and the novel, too. You won’t be sorry.


Creative Team: Madeleine Holly-Rosing (writer and creator), Gwynn Tavares (art, cover art, inking, and coloring), Troy Peteri (lettering), and Tom Brown and Sophie Pfrotzschner (additional art)
Publisher: Brass-T Publishing
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