Spectacle #5 Review: Quirky and Surreal Murder Mystery

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Anna jumps Lucy on the suspicion that she killed Kat, but Carl intervenes. He defends Lucy and, in part of doing so, explains how he and Lucy met.

Meanwhile, Ike and Gideon fight over whether or not to leave Jebediah given that the town has no more money to give to the circus. Fortunately, Anna may have a means of aiding in that issue.

Spectacle #5 cover by Megan Rose Gedris
Spectacle #5 cover by Megan Rose Gedris

Spectacle provides a charming read about some very eccentric characters. Being a period piece set in a circus gives a lot of opportunity to do so, and it gives the perspective of many types of people who wouldn't be afforded it otherwise.

Circulating around a murder mystery where many of the characters are at least somewhat fleshed out like this is also quite clever, as there aren't any characters placed in the story to be nothing more than the perpetrator like many tales of murder.

The story does have some tonal issues. Some horrible things can happen, but the overall comic is so quirky and lighthearted that the narrative really just doesn't know what to do about it. In the latter half of the book, something like this happens, and the comic just moves on from it with nary a word about the rather disturbing events that transpire. This was one of my problems with Gerard Way's Doom Patrol #1, and Spectacle doesn't do much better in this regard.

Spectacle #5 art by Megan Rose Gedris
Spectacle #5 art by Megan Rose Gedris

Megan Rose Gedris's artwork adds a lot to her quirky tale. The world appears just as strangely as the personalities and overall plot. Each character of the circus has a unique visual identity, and they match their personality very well. The coloring is wild and off-beat as well, but it's still fairly balanced and looks good.

Spectacle #5 gives a good continuation to the murder mystery, further exploring the strange yet endearing characters in this circus, Gedris's writing and art builds an absorbing and cohesive world, and it is worth a read despite some tonal problems. This one gets a recommendation. Check it out.

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About Joshua Davison

Josh is a longtime super hero comic fan and an aspiring comic book and fiction writer himself. He also trades in videogames, Star Wars, and Magic: The Gathering, and he is also a budding film buff. He's always been a huge nerd, and he hopes to contribute something of worth to the wider geek culture conversation. He is also happy to announce that he is the new Reviews Editor for Bleeding Cool. Follow on Twitter @joshdavisonbolt.