Published by Vault Comics, Spiritus is set in a world where convicts are forced into slave labour to pay for their crimes by transferring their consciousness into humanoid like robots with certain restrictions in place that significantly limit a person’s free will. This wouldn’t be too bad, except for the fact that while a person is within the robot their body is left to naturally decompose, leading the reader to infer that the punishment is an indefinite one – which may or may not suit the crime the convicted person may or may not have committed. An all together awful proposition for those sentenced, but one ripe for exploration within the confines of a comic.
Written by Tim Daniel, with Michael Kennedy providing the art, Spiritus #1 is a very interesting comic. The high concept of Spiritus is explained well enough on the back cover synopsis and within the opening narration that you can follow along with the more human aspects of the sci fi story with relative ease, but the characters never truly feel as though they open up to you, which left me with a bit of a conundrum; the characters are barely two dimensional extensions of the background machines as they go through the motions of their jobs to turn a living person into a machine – asking the question of who, really, is going to be a robot at the end of the day.Kennedy’s art is striking, with an almost Andy Warhol style pop art feel that simultaneously works fantastically well for the story whilst causing some of the details to get lost on the page. Personally I love the large, flat colouring and the almost soulless feeling it has, but I understand why it won’t be for everybody.
The first issue of Spiritus shows a promise that is hard to ignore, and aside from some moments where the art makes a panel sequence a little hard to follow, this is a fantastic read. I highly recommend you start paying attention to his series; the first issue sets up what could be a fantastic story.
Story: Tim Daniel Art: Michael Kennedy
Story: 8.75 Art: 8 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy
Vault Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review