Spencer and Locke 2 #1 // Review
Spencer and Locke 2 #1 Review
Most every child at some point had an imaginary friend, Spencer and Locke ask the question: what happens to those friends when kids grow up? Writer David Prepose aptly describes the series as “Calvin and Hobbes growing up in Sin City.” The creative team of Prepose, along with artist Jorge Santiago Jr and colorist Jasen Smith return for another thrilling adventure after a four-issue run of Spencer and Locke in 2017. Detective Locke now finds himself in mandated therapy to help cope with the traumatic events of his previous case. Dealing with trauma plays a pivotal role in series and will explore how Detective Locke copes with it as well as the antagonist Roach Riley, a twisted version of the classic Sunday paper character Beetle Bailey.
A trail of blood has followed Detective Locke from the events of his last case. He will have to play by the rules this time if he hopes to wear the badge again. However, some vital city council members tempt him with an offer Locke will have to have a hard time saying no to. He will need to make a decision fast; however, as a new string of gruesome murders has the city in a panic.
Locke and Spencer writer David Prepose exploration of characters with extensive trauma and how they deal with said trauma is quite refreshing. This topic is being written about more frequently lately in comics, yet Prepose finds a way to deliver an enormous amount of character trauma bit by bit, so the reader doesn’t feel overwhelmed. Giving a new spin on the ideas behind classic cartoon characters is always fun, and Prepose does them proper justice. Calvin and Hobbes is a national treasure for a good reason. Prepose still retains much of their childhood innocence while giving Locke and Spencer a rich backstory that will engross readers. Roach Riley looks to be a character that will keep people talking, as he is such a drastic departure from the loveable and dopey Beetle Bailey. A man dealing with extreme PTSD is a trope that is all too familiar in this day and age.
Jorge Santiago Jr is an artist to keep an eye on for sure. He can transition between drastically different art styles seamlessly. Capturing the grittiness of the city that Spencer and Locke reside in with run-down buildings and trash littered streets, as well as the distinct art style of Calvin and Hobbes and Beetle Bailey showcases such skill. Santiago Jr’s designs of Spencer is what every reader would expect an imaginary friend all grown up to look like. Years of wear and tear have taken their toll on both Spencer and Locke. One of the biggest surprises is the integration of the real world violence into the cartoony world, adding new depth to the story.
Like Santiago Jr, colorist Jasen Smith can showcase his skill in transitioning the colors between two vastly different comics. The bright and happy colors of the Sunday funny pages are a stark contrast to the dark and grimy city. Roach Riley stalks his next victim under a blood red night sky that is foreboding of what lies in the panels ahead. Large splashes of color every now and then, almost given the book an anime sort of feel as they help heighten the emotion of the board.
Spencer and Locke 2 will quickly prove that the creative team has created something special. Giving classic characters a new twist is not a new idea, but giving them such depth, with trauma and how they cope with it, is an issue that resonates with many. Although they do provide a recap of the events of the first four issues, readers should check them out anyway as they are a terrific story arc in themselves. Spencer and Locke 2 will be a title that readers should keep their eyes out for.