Spencer and Locke 2 #1
Action Lab Entertainment
Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Jorge Santiago, Jr.
Spencer and Locke return in a whole new story, almost two years after their first adventure ended. This time, Pepose and Santiago aren’t homaging only Calvin and Hobbes – they’re doing a take on Beetle Bailey as well. They introduce Roach Riley, the homage to Beetle Bailey, who serves as the antagonist of the story. But, let’s take a few steps back.
This brand new mini picks up right at the heels of the previous one. After Locke left a trail of bodies, he lost his badge and custody of his daughter, Hero. He has to fight hard to gain back both of those, all the while fighting his inner demons. While he’s been seeking a therapist and trying to stay out of trouble, a new serial killer has emerged – one that has been going after city officials. The wife of one of the targeted people wants to hire Locke to investigate the shootings and protect her husband. In exchange, she offers to make all his problems go away. Locke is determined to do all of it the right way and declines the offer, but he can’t help his curiosity and decides to look in one of the recent crime scenes…
Spencer and Locke have changed considerably. Locke is trying to confront his inner demons and deal with his extensive trauma. He has a girlfriend and is seeing a therapist, all in the hopes of getting his life back on track. But Spencer, a reflection of his subconsciousness, has a different idea. “We’re hunters,” he says and urges Locke to get back on the streets. It’s the only way he’s not going to lose it completely. It’s some really great character growth between the two arcs and David Pepose has handled this nicely. There isn’t much to go on about Roach Riley, but Pepose is definitely painting him to be rather similar to Locke. “We are not so different, you and I” when?
Jorge Santiago, Jr. and Jasen Smith are back on pencils and colours, respectively, and they do a pretty good job. I enjoyed the art of the first arc quite a bit, with my only gripe being the occasional colouring of the book. However, there’s been a huge improvement on that front with this new issue. The colours look great and elevate the Neo-noir atmosphere the team is clearly going for. Santiago’s style looks neat and I really like most of his designs, but there are some problems. Some pages around the middle section of the book look rushed and lack a lot of details. There are also some occasional problems with the proportions of body parts. He clearly has a problem with protruding hands.
Another thing that I really enjoyed in this book are the various throwbacks to classic comics – especially The Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen. They are really cool moments that lean on your nostalgia but also fit really well in the overall story and flow of the book.
Spencer and Locke 2 is a great return of a fan-favourite. The team has doubled down on the classic comic strip homages, adding their own unique twists. Looking forward to seeing where they take us next!
Spencer and Locke 2 #1
The team has doubled down on the classic comic strip homages, adding their own unique twists.