by Simon Spurrier, Jeff Stokely, and André May
The start to The Spire was incredibly interesting, if not a bit overwhelming in just how intricate and sizable the world seemed to be. Simon Spurrier’s new series introduced a significant amount of new information in its opening issue, simply through its setting and the interactions of its characters. After an action packed second issue, the readers have settled into the universe a bit more and the third chapter is the strongest yet. With more wonderful art from Jeff Stokely and André May, The Spire #3 is an incredibly strong chapter.
With each issue, Spurrier has included a snippet of an event from thirty-three years prior to the start of this series. With each piece, and the added bits thrown in from characters in present day, the puzzle about just what happened with the Pax and how that has affected the present day create such a clever and intricate puzzle underneath the main plot of the story. There is so much depth to the universe in this series and the creative team does an excellent job building on that at every level. In this issue, members of the delegation arrive at The Spire for the coronation. Stokely’s designs for the different races and species has been interesting so far in the series and he gets to shine a bit more with each of the different groups here. André May’s coloring is wonderful throughout, and as the story takes a moment to shift back to Shä’s past, the colors change to a beautiful palette.
There are a number of fantastic pieces to this issue. Readers get a bit more of a sense of the different groups living out in the Nothinglands, a really interesting element to Shä’s backstory, some great exchanges between a number of the cast and an incredible art sequence. At one point, Stokely overlays a scene with the city folk gathered to watch the delegates process in with a series of panels showing Shä rush to a meeting with alarming news. On the following page, readers are presented with a stunning two-page spread of an overhead view of the tower. Stokely’s panel arrangement, placing panels in a curve mimicking the spiral steps alongside the towering building is a great touch and, with May’s colors, the pages are a treat to witness.
Not only does this issue provide more pieces to the puzzle of both the present crime spree and the past with Julietta, but the story also includes some great bits of action. Spurrier puts one great burst of action early in the story at a moment, placed perfectly to really sneak up on the reader. Later, as Shä sits on a roof top watching a member of the Medusi, the book builds on its tension bit by bit until it erupts. The final pages of the issue are the most exciting of the series thus far and it finishes with a cruel teaser that will had readers searching for another page.
The Spire #3 is an excellent issue that raises the bar even further on the series, adds even more intrigue and still has some of the series’ best moments of action and tension.