‘Spencer & Locke 2 #3:’ Advance Comic Book Review

The level of sophistication that keeps coming with Spencer & Locke 2 continues to astonish me, as I devoured Issue 3. Readers can enjoy Spencer & Locke 2 #3 on its own and be completely satisfied with the story within its comic book pages. That’s the talent of writer David Pepose, creating elements dedicated to this particular chapter, while still connecting the dots for longtime fans of this Sin City-meets-Calvin and Hobbes story.

“There’s only one thing worse than killer mutant snowmen…And that’s Nazi killer mutant snowmen.” – Spencer & Locke 2 #3

One of the covers by artists Jorge Santiago, Jr. and Jasen Smith catapults readers into the mindset of “mutant snowmen,” and it’s incredible to see. The explosion of snow as Spencer and Locke battle these snowmen is absolutely creative and fun, and then once you open the pages, the dots begin to connect (as usual).

Not only does this series dive into Detective Locke’s ability to handle mental trauma by having his best friend be an imaginary, blue panther, but Spencer & Locke 2 #3 continues to explore the various ways that someone might navigate such terrors with the unconscious mind. Pepose again creates an emotional connection with fans as Locke must face something more terrifying than Nazi killer mutant snowmen – to give up or to continue fighting, knowing the pain will always be there. It’s a sobering moment for a character that has suffered so much in his life.

On top of the amazing personal struggles seen within this chapter, fans new and returning will continue to see other characters push the story forward in an effort to find a way to stop the villain, Roach Riley. Reporter Melinda Mercury continues to search for clues that will identify who Riley is, while Locke’s daughter Hero kicks it up a notch. The final image of Spencer & Locke 2 #2 was shocking, but the ability to turn that moment into something hopeful and funny in Issue 3 is the reason the creative team behind this series is GOLD.

Pepose, Santiago, Jr., colorist Jasen Smith, and letterer Colin Bell have this incredible synergy where the final product is flawless. Intense moments are purposeful and don’t have to involve a gunfight, though, there are some wicked shootouts. Locke isn’t perfect, but his flaws intertwine with the emotional well-being that make his life bearable. When a character has seen the worst in people and then dedicates his life to help people to avoid those moments, that’s what truly makes a hero.

Speaking of Hero, she wants to help people like her father does, and watching her playful (and semi-nerve wracking) scenes play out are so well done. These moments give us a greater understanding of what it was like for Locke growing up and the impact he’s already had on his daughter. The bond between these two is something I can only hope we see more of. And, with Spencer & Locke 2 #4 on the horizon, I can only tell everyone to START READING NOW. I can’t wait to see where this story takes us.

Creative Team: David Pepose (writer), Jorge Santiago, Jr. (artist), Jasen Smith (colorist), Colin Bell (letterer)
Publisher: Action Lab Danger Zone
Available in Digital, Print, and Pre-Order (for the entire volume).

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