Review - Steeple #1 (@DarkHorseComics)

"Have faith."

Finding faith in religion brings with it plenty of ups and downs. In Steeple #1 from Dark Horse Comics, the downs are downright scary. The issue is written and illustrated by John Allison, colored by Sarah Stern and lettered by Jim Campbell.

Two women with wildly different worldviews become unlikely friends as they navigate the supernatural happenings in a sleepy coastal parish--and soon find themselves forced to choose sides in the war between good and evil, facing demons, curses, and a miniature Rapture!

Allison funnels the bulk of the narrative through Bilinda “Billie” Baker who's been sent to assist Reverend Penrose in his quest to encourage those in Cornwall. Things get interesting in Allison's approach, in that he effectively uses the naivety of Billie in her new role to help bring the reader along as well to what's really happening in Cornwall. Most of the issue is spent following along with Billie as she arrives at the town and encounters another character who proves to be a bit more dangerous than she's used to. That dynamic plays well with the overarching approach of the issue and Allison will (smartly) use it as a conflict down the road. The dialogue is pretty snappy throughout the issue as well, with Allison leaning on lines that feel natural and fit well with the characters speaking them.

The artwork by Allison is a great fit for the script as it infuses the issue with a cartoonish sensibility that helps ground the book. Any time religion is involved things can get pretty intense pretty quickly so Allison's art style is light and somewhat humorous, adding some levity to an otherwise dramatic situation. Allison uses simple linework throughout the issue that gets the point across yet still manages to infuse the issue with plenty of expressive characters. The crispness of the panel arrangements also keeps things neat and tidy. Stern's colors are largely darker with pops of colors throughout that add to the overall atmosphere of the book itself.

Steeple #1 is a pretty fun first issue that sets the stage for some good stuff down the road. Billie is eager to help however she can, but she doesn't seem to fully recognize what she's getting herself into. Allison's script is enjoyable and lighthearted, establishing the stakes and letting the reader in on a little secret about the new town Billie finds herself in. Allison's artwork is a nice touch in that it's expressive while still being somewhat airy. Steeple #1 is a pretty fun first issue that has a lot of heart and seems like it will be a fun ride as it progresses.

Steeple #1 is available now.