STEEPLE #2, out this week from Dark Horse Comics, reminds us that there is more than one way to fight the evil of the world. Steeple tackles the rich debates of religion, expectations, and how to give back.
Steeple is the latest series to come from the mind of John Allison. And like Giant Days, this series is already proving to defy expectations and preconceptions about it. The series is set in a coastal city – one which has much more going on than meets the eye.
This is a land over which many forces battle over. The monsters of the sea want it back, while one Vicar stands in their way. Meanwhile, another…less orthodox church has taken up residence. It’s relatively easy to start making assumptions about how the series is going to go from here.
But Steeple #2 has already taken a few surprising turns for the newly formed fans. And that’s brilliant. Once again, Allison is busting expectations and defying the norms, all while providing fans with an enchanting escape from the real world.
There are many opinions and expectations when it comes to the battle of good versus evil. But Steeple #2 forces us to reconsider all of it. How do we know what is good or bad, just by taking a look at things? And is there more than one way to do what is good, and fight evil?
This issue doesn’t go so far as to answer any of those questions for us, but it will get readers thinking. All while continuing the plot arc of one very enthusiastic and new Vicar. There’s something so wholesome about Billie, and we’re not just talking about her chosen profession here. She’s so willing to see the good in everyone. And perhaps that is exactly what this town needs.
In some ways, the series has put down its dark and mysterious edge. Instead, it’s taken a new focus. Yet there still seems to be a lingering sense of foreboding in the panels. Almost like we’re missing something. Only time will tell what that is.
Along with being the writer for this series, John Allison is also the lead artist. Perhaps that is why everything feels so cohesive in this series, with the artwork perfectly complementing the tale being told. The overall theme and tone for this series have been an odd balance between foreshadowing and chipper. But it works here, especially within the artwork.
Steeple #2 featured some truly dramatic sky scenes, as well as plenty of opportunities to get a better look at our leading characters. As with the first issue, the characters seem to be strikingly designed, going for a simple and understated look whenever possible. But in many ways that fit with the art style and tone of the series itself.
Sarah Stern’s colors enhanced the artwork in this issue, giving us this almost bubbly feel. And if bubbly and enthusiastic doesn’t fit Billie’s personality, we don’t know what does. But seriously, the colors are well suited to this tale, and Stern’s grasp of the practice created some truly dynamic scenes.
Jim Campbell was the letterer for this issue, and his work was as understated as it was perfect. Just like how we like our lettering – it fits in so seamlessly as to almost feel like it wasn’t present.
Steeple #2 may have thrown some unexpected twists our way, but the series is off to a fantastic start. This issue confirmed that like Allison’s other works, Steeple will be a heavily character-driven plot. And we can’t wait to see what these characters will get into in the next issue.