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Steeple #4 Review

4 min read

Playing around the edges.

Creative Staff:
Story: John Allison
Art: John Allison
Colors: Sarah Stern
Letterer: Jim Campbell

What They Say:
A supernatural tale of friendship, the devil, and moral gray areas. The start of autumn brings more than changing leaves: it also brings Witchfest, where the coastal parish Tredregyn is beset by a horde of festive witches celebrating the equinox—and local curate Billie finds herself accidentally volunteering!

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
John Allison has definitely had a lot of fun exploring this little town and its makeup over the first few issues to set the tone and introduce us to everything. I like the main cast, the quirkiness of some of them, the seriousness of others. Lots of little bits and bobs that flesh it all out and make it interesting. I particularly like his style of art as it’s well-suited for something like this and it made both Maggie and Billie pretty accessible and expressive so that it’s been a lot of fun seeing how Billie adjusts to life here.

With this installment of the series, which wraps up with the next issue, it feels a little odd in what it’s doing. Most of the time is really spent with Billie and Maggie as Billie signs up to help with Witchfest, not really realizing that it really is all about witches and not just a community event. She’s fairly oblivious in this but still follows through because it is a fun thing to do – especially since it’s keeping some of the witches on a better path here from doing stupid things. She gets a decent bit of an education along the way and as the whole town celebrates she event gets a side job in picking up some VIPs that are coming in for it. They’re delighted by who she really is as it’s a chance to be a bit playful and while Maggie does worry from time to time – probably rightly so – Billie handles herself well enough and there’s a good bit of charm about her with it.

But really, beyond that, it mostly just focuses on small moments throughout Tredregyn. I do like that the Father is trying to figure out his place in everything now that some of the things he’s dealt and fought with for years has been solved with the water creatures. He’s coming to the idea that Billie is far better suited for this area than he is and her community-minded aspect is what’s needed. He’s been in such a rut for so long as part of his bigger fight that he’s lost sight of all of the other things. You do get a sense that he cares for Tredregyn and that he does have a good working relationship with the witches and their ilk so that comes together nicely and helps to humanize him a bit. But with this and a few other smaller bits that mostly feel forgettable, we get a decent look at the town during witchfest but not much else really registers.

In Summary:
Billie signing up for witchfest is all you really need to know about this installment. There are a lot of little moments that shine throughout it and makes for a good bit of the enjoyment. But it wasn’t enough to sustain the issue as a whole and it felt a little listless because of it. I like Billie a lot and focusing on her definitely works for the best in showing off the festival, Maggie, and some of the VIPs and how they operate. But I also really enjoy those that are on Billie’s “side” back home and their quirks amid the issue. I’m definitely curious to see how Allison wraps this up in the next issue and hopeful that it’s set in a way that there can be more as I’m already wanting to revisit this people in the near future.

Grade: B-

Age Rating: 15+
Released By: Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: December 11th, 2019
MSRP: $3.99

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