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"Steeple #1" Comic Review

Written by James Ferguson

Published by Dark Horse Comics

Steeple 1 Large

Written and illustrated by John Allison
Colored by Sarah Stern
Lettered by Jim Campbell
2019, 32 Pages, $3.99
Comic released on September 18th, 2019

Review:

Billie Baker is heading to the small town of Tredregyn to be the new trainee priest. The current reverend needs all the help he can get, but he scoffs at this bright young girl. Can she really assist him in his duties? We're not talking the usual Sunday mass here. This guy fights monsters to the death every single night, stopping the forces of Satan from taking over the town. To add another wrinkle to this arrangement, Billie's new friend just happens to live at the Church of Satan.

In case you hadn't figured it out yet, Steeple is a little quirky. It blends horror and comedy in a delightful way. Billie's upbeat nature is a nice contrast to the doom and gloom of the reverend. She seems entirely unprepared for the monsters in Tredregyn, yet she's very optimistic about this opportunity. Who knows? She could be really good at fighting these creatures. She just hasn't tried to do it yet.

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The fun in Steeple starts early as Billie's car literally explodes on the way into town. It's a pretty obvious omen that she takes with stride. Writer/artist John Allison gives Billie a charming look that you can't help but fall in love with. She looks so innocent yet super positive, even when she encounters a man with a giant eyeball for a head. You'd think that would be enough to make her run for the hills.

Her new friend, Maggie Warren, is the opposite. She rides around town on a motorcycle with a sly grin on her face. You get the feeling she's up to mischief, ready to corrupt young Billie, yet she could not be kinder or friendlier to the newcomer. The old woman who takes care of the rectory is the real bad guy in Steeple. She's gruff and mean to just about everyone except the reverend.

Sarah Stern's colors set the tone for Steeple. Things start bright and sunny as Billie arrives, casting a shining light even when the young woman's car explodes. As the sun goes down, things get darker...obviously, but they take on a more ominous feel as the eyeball monster appears. This is revealed in a great sequence where the dark-clad man is lit by the yellow moon in the sky. It feels like an old-school horror movie.

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The fight scene between the reverend and the monster is a little humorous, mostly because they both look a bit silly. I mean, this guy has an eyeball for a head. The reverend wastes no time laying into this creature with a slew of punches followed by a fierce headlock. When the action heats up, letterer Jim Campbell uses some wavy word balloons to show the extent of the damage the reverend is taking.

Steeple has all the charm of John Allison's previous work with a nice supernatural bend. There's a nice mix of personalities at work that makes for a fun read. It's a little cartoonish with just the right amount of scares, kind of like a horror sitcom.

Grades:

Story: Fourstars Steeple 1 Small
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Art: Fourstars
Overall: Fourstars

About The Author
Spez Bio 2
Lord of the Funny Books
James has a 2nd grade reading level and, as a result, only reads books with pictures. Horror is his 5th favorite genre right after romantic comedy and just before silent films. No one knows why he's here, but he won't leave.
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