Written by Simon Spurrier
Art by Jeff Stokely
The Spire is a mountain of metal and stone that rises out of the middle of the desert, containing a vast city of twisting tunnels, grinding elevators, ancient machinery, and is home to over a million human and non-human residents. Shå, the last of the Medusi, is responsible for keeping watch over them as Commander of the City Watch, despite the fact she isn’t shown any respect due to her race. When a string of grisly murders is committed just as a new Baroness of the Spire is about to be sworn in, Shå will have to find the serial killer and bring them to justice. But the new Baroness has a deep hatred of non-humans, and Shå will have more than one enemy at her back.
Now being a Yorkshire man, I am pretty tight with my cash, but I have to admit, when I was walking around the hustle and bustle of Thought Bubble, with comics left and right not to mention various other “nerdy” paraphernalia, I was keeping my hands firmly in my pockets in the fear of making an ill advised Impulse buy, and then I passed Simon Spurriers stall, and was instantly grabbed by that cover art! I mean look at it, its beautiful. I looked down to see a copy in my hand, and I thought well.. this is happening now!.
And I am so glad it did! I made a few purchases at this years thought bubble and this was definitely one of the best I made. Now those of you who know, I am all about the big crazy cities, sprawling fantasy worlds, swords, magic and peril in my “standard” literature, and it certainly translates across into this particular comic book. “The Spire” is the name of this great towering leviathan like structure full of grit, vinegar and amazing Steampunk-esc elements, this structure houses humans and others alike.
The comic itself literally rotates around or “Spirals” if you will through the viewpoints of different characters from various races, genders and social standing and allows us to see how their social interaction with others and the world, how they differ, are similar and and yet interweave into this amazing fantasy hug like world. It is a brilliant world to launch any kind of story and especially one of this nature.
The first issue sets the pace for the story, The King is dead, and underneath the calm exterior of the higher ups, are the underhand and coy dealing has as they all jostle for position trying to claw as much power as there greedy fingers can claw towards themselves. Meanwhile enter our protagonist Shå, head of the city guard, who has begun an investigation that may lead her from street-level skirmishes right to the throne room.
Now this is by far a tried and tested storyline, but in the hand of the master Spurrier it played like a whole new tune, its gripping and enthralling and a thrillingly good read!
Now don’t worry the review isn’t over I’ve not mentioned the most talented artist of this piece, and without him I would never have picked up this issue.
Stokely’s world design is a key component in the creation of this believable, lived-in world. However despite his world building and visual scenes, much like Spurriers basis of world building within his writing this just the top of the proverbial mountain of awesome that is his work. It’s clear to me that Stokely really loves creating and bringing the monsters and characters to life in this story, their expressions, design, and placements in each scene are so on point its breath taking and together with Spurriers writing, and the dialogue being short and modern I feel as though this is very close to being perfect for me.
If you ever get the chance to pick up a copy of the Spire I implore you to pick it up and give it a read! it is well worth your time, and more importantly a Yorkshireman, your money!
Until next time, read more books!..