‘The Spire #4:’ Advance Comic Book Review

Quick recap: The Spire is fantasy taking place in a land in which one of its prominent cities is part of a spire that shoots treacherously high into the sky. Below are the denizens that are looked down upon due to their race or poverty level. Up in the spire reside the royalty. An attack on the royalty and a murder have put an undo amount of stress on the Captain of the City Watch, Sha, who is a different race than those that have royal blood. Sha is a badass fighter with ample amounts of wit and helpful, thin tentacles that shoot out of her back for fighting and climbing. She also has an eye patch – badass. She also happens to be emotionally exhausted. To carry the weight and responsibility of the city guard in the face of racial bias and the shifting sands of royal support would do that.

As the dust after a scuffle settles, Simon Spurrier (Marvel Zombies) puts the pressure on Sha even more. Everything is in flux. After thirty years as Captain of the Royal Guard, if she doesn’t solve her case in three days, she’s out. Her love life may have hit a rocky patch. All of this is distracting her as political turmoil builds and enemies draw closer – whomever the enemy may be. This is one epic mystery that needs solving. At her side is a farting, flying messenger/goblin-like creature named Pug who will do anything for her – but even his loyalty may have been shaken. Spurrier has taken his time setting up this world, and now we get to enjoy as he shakes it up, watching the seams unfurl.

Jeff Stokely’s art is really enjoyable in a cinematic way. He brings a manga-like inventiveness to each of his panels and characters. Paired with Andre Mays’ luminous color palettes, we’re left with something pretty awesome to look at.

This is an enjoyably complex mystery with humor and sharply constructed characters. I highly recommend it.

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