Spencer and Locke 2 #2 // Review
Detective Locke and his partner/imaginary friend Spencer the panther are back for more hi jinks and violence; in Action Lab’s Ringo award nominated series Spencer and Locke. Writer David Pepose, artist Jorge Santiago Jr., colorist Jasen Smith and Colin Bell on lettering deliver yet another stunning issue that is sure to leave fans talking with an ending that will break more than one heart. Roach Riley, the soldier with a criminal case of PTSD, is behind bars thanks to Detective Locke. The good times don’t last long, however, as Riley escapes and Locke oversteps his jurisdiction looking for answers.
Roach Riley has gotten under Locke’s skin. When Riley makes an easy escape from jail, Locke ignores is administrative suspension and goes on the hunt for answers. Locke soon realizes that Roach Riley is not to be underestimated, and may pose a much more significant threat than Locke initially thought.
Spencer and Locke 2 continues to provide readers with a great blend of action and comedy while still dealing with the actual problem of mental illness. This is all attributed to the writing talent of David Pepose. Pepose continues to push the envelope with Locke’s character, and just how high the stakes can be for a grown man with an imaginary friend. Pepose delves deeper into the broken psyche of detective Locke and Roach Riley. The reader is given a bit more backstory on Riley, but not enough to tell what made him snap. This is good, however, as Pepose can slowly reveal that information in due time. Locke’s girlfriend star reporter Melinda Mercury who seems to be a Lois Lane type character is given a chance to shine as she looks to uncover information on Roach Riley’s past. Melinda is a bright spot in this surprisingly dark series and hopefully can pull Locke out of the darkness.
Artist Jorge Santiago Jr. has been nothing short of dazzling in every single issue. Continuing the trend of this series of mixing the gritty realism of the series with the Sunday funny pages of yesteryear. There are some other twisted versions of beloved Sunday characters introduced in this issue, that help gives a sense of how big the world of this series is. Jasen Smith once again finds the delicate balance of coloring this dark and gritty series with it’s delightful and bright Calvin and Hobbes moments. Smith also continues the trend of coloring action panels with vast explosive colors to invoke an anime vibe. Colin Bell’s lettering is fast and frantic with explosions and gunfire galore. Locke’s personal narrative looks as though it’s written on a lined paper, which is a nice touch, as though it’s being written in a journal.
Pepose and the creative team are quickly proving that Spencer and Locke 2 is a multilayered series that looks to address several social issues. The ending will only raise more questions as it is both empowering and heartbreaking at the same time. Spencer and Locke 2 should absolutely be in reader’s pull list as this series will no doubt get crazier with each new issue. And that’s just how it should be.