STEEPLE #5, out Wednesday, January 15th from Dark Horse is filled with witchcraft, second-guessing and self-doubt. And thus ends another brilliant and quirky series.
It’s hard to believe that Steeple is coming to a close, but that is exactly what Steeple #5 signifies for its fans. This may be the final issue in the series, but the door has been left open for those fans desperate to see more – and to have their lingering questions answered.
Steeple was always meant to be a miniseries, so we can’t pretend to be surprised by this early conclusion. But that won’t stop us from being sad about it. Billie’s personality was so unique and charming, it was difficult to do anything but look forward to whatever antics she was going to get into next.
The silver lining here is this: John Allison (writer and lead artist) isn’t done. In fact, we already know of at least one new project he’s working on called Wicked Things. He’ll be working alongside Max Sarin, which is really all the more reason to get excited here. So at least we have something to look forward to there.
Steeple #5 is not your ordinary wrap-up issue. But then again, Billie isn’t exactly an ordinary leading character, is she? That’s where the charm of this series comes from. So we really shouldn’t be surprised by any additional twists that John Allison throws our way.
There is a lot to love and appreciate about this issue. The entire series has been this exploration of the human condition, about doubt, hesitation, and questioning your very nature. But this fifth and final issue in the series takes it so much farther.
With it comes several changes. Those changes may be for the better, or they may not be. That depends entirely on your perspective, and that is part of the point behind this whole series. It’s been beautifully showcased here, and done in such a way as to make the readers sit down and think.
Interestingly, while this issue is intended to be the end, it is left with enough wiggle room to easily continue. We’re not saying that it will – but the door has been left open, and that has gotten us curious.
Steeple #5 contains much of the charming artwork that we’ve seen in the previous issues. John Allison was the lead artist for this issue. His writing and his art merge together flawlessly, creating a world full of interesting and admittedly very peculiar characters.
As for the colors, those were provided by Sarah Stern. Her work is lovely, finding a balance between the muted colors of a small town and the vibrant colors that come from magic and life. It’s a fine balance, but it has given Steeple such a distinctive feel.
Finally, Jim Campbell was the letterer for this issue. And once again you can see how subtlety is key. There are several moments in which Campbell was allowed to get a bit more creative in this issue, and he didn’t waste those opportunities. The end result was something subtle, but fascinating. It was one of those moments that added layers to the story being told.
While we’re sad to see Steeple end, we have to admit that Steeple #5 was another brilliant addition to this series. It pushed the boundaries and comfort zones of our characters, forcing them to think for themselves and make some tough decisions. That has always been a highlight of this series, so it was wonderful to see one last monumental decision before it all came to an end (for now).