Spencer and Locke 2 #4 // Review
Series writer David Pepose along with the creative team of artist Jorge Santiago Jr, colorist Jasen Smith and letterer Colin Bell have put the main character Detective Locke through absolute hell. Yet with such a compelling story and characters, they have delivered a thrilling conclusion that will leave readers shocked and itching for more. Locke is determined to hunt down and finish the psychopathic Roach Riley, this series interpretation of the lovable Sunday comic goof Beetle Bailey. Riley has carved a path of destruction across the city that seems to have no end in sight. However, star reporter Melinda Mercury this series take on Lois Lane has discovered the terrifying truth of Roach and who is pulling all of his strings. It’s the epic conclusion that will leave Locke changed forever.
The collision course that Locke has set himself out on disregards all notions of safety. As much as it pains him to think it, his relationships with Melinda and Hero will no doubt be changed forever at the conclusion of this book.
David Pepose has been feeding the readers bits and pieces of Roach Riley’s backstory since issue one. Everything comes full circle in this issue, and readers will finally understand what made him snap. In a great twist that ended chapter three, it’s revealed that Roach has some outside influence that urges him along his one-man carnage spree. This reveal is both a great surprise and quite sad, as it’s revealed that even at his lowest moment, Roach is being coerced for ulterior motives. Pepose’s character arc with Roach hits it’s climax as the depth of his psychosis reach a new level that will leave readers aghast. As previously mentioned, the conclusion that not many will see coming and absolutely must have a follow-up series. Locke’s character arc has seen many ups and downs from the events that he has experienced, this conclusion, however, may be the breakthrough that he finally needs, though the cost he pays may just be too much to handle.
Jorge Santiago Jr’s artwork has been a constant joy throughout this series. Seamlessly switching art styles from the lightheartedness of the Sunday funny pages to the grim and gritty city life is quite a sight to behold. A few panel’s that will really stick with readers are the reveal of Roach Riley’s eyes. It may seem like a small detail. However, they have been shadowed by his hat the entire series. This reveal shows just how far gone Roach really is and is a fantastic creepy detail that will be sure to stick with readers. The very last page also features a great homage to a classic Spider-Man cover. Jasen Smith lights the pages on fire as Roach engages in battle with a flamethrower! Panel after panel features Locke barely escaping the inferno as Roach burns the world around them to cinders. One panel features towards the end feature only black and red coloring and captures such a powerful moment in the story. Colin Bell has a three-panel spread with intense red lettering that changes the whole course of the book. He makes these three panels and their lettering, something that readers won’t soon forget.
Spencer and Locke 2 has reached a conclusion in only four issues. This may seem quite short for some readers; however, it keeps the story succinct without feeling bloated with unnecessary characters and exposition. The creative team has delivered another thrilling series for the lovable and violent Spencer and Locke, and the only thing left to ask is how long will readers have to wait for Spencer and Locke 3?