The Spire 5 (December 2015)

The Spire #5

Politics, romance, danger, The Spire.

Five issues into the series and it still has a lot of surprises. Not just in the plot or a twist, which this issue ends on, but in how Spurrier is going to approach it. This issue is very straightforward, nearly noir with Shå having to figure some things out while trying to protect her girlfriend, her queen, not to mention having to get her sidekick back.

It’s a lot. And it’s packed because Stokely’s drawing this amazing setting–Stokely and Spurrier even do full page spreads, which is a little weird for The Spire. And Stokely’s not great at them, quite frankly, but I like seeing them. I like seeing Spurrier and Stokely open up The Spire. It feels like the series is still growing.

Spurrier’s writing is outstanding. Shå’s becoming something of a great character, which I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting.

CREDITS

Writer, Simon Spurrier; artist, Jeff Stokely; colorist, André May; letterer, Steve Wands; editors, Cameron Chittock and Eric Harburn; publisher, Boom! Studios.

The Humans 4 (February 2015)

The Humans #4

It’s The Humans version of a bridging issue, except because of how Keller paces it out, it’s just the plot perturbing. Each issue of The Humans has revealed another potential of the comic and this one is no different. The ability to further the plot while distracting the reader with a solid “done in one” situation is getting rarer, but Keller certainly knows what he’s doing.

He and Neely work for readers’ dollars. It’s a little surprising to see such concern for the reader, actually. The Humans is a complex book, with lots of characters, lots of C plots, lots of scenery. Keller and Neely make sure the reader can digest all of it. There’s a lot of effort and value in the content.

Still, and it’s the pessimist in me, I hope Keller doesn’t do these performances too often. The Humans is high concept (sci-fi Planet of the Apes, home front Vietnam stuff) and Keller seems more than willing to work at that high concept. He ought to have fun, but not at the expense of the book’s more serious qualities.

CREDITS

Welcome to the Skin-Cage; writer, Keenan Marshall Keller; artist, Tom Neely; colorist, Kristina Collantes; publisher, Image Comics.

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