Spencer & Locke 2 hits stores on May 1, 2019, as it continues a well-established story featuring a fierce detective (Locke) and his imaginary partner-in-crime (Spencer). After its five Ringo Award nominations in 2018, including Best Series, the “Calvin and Hobbes meets Sin City” team is back, leading fans into the near future beyond those events of the first story arc.
David Pepose (Ringo Award nominee for Best Writer) introduces a new character immediately in Spencer & Locke 2, and much like the action sequences we’ve come to know and love, Roach Riley enters with a BANG! This decisive introduction makes it clear for readers who the nemesis will be moving forward, or at least for this particular issue. Another surefire win for Issue 1 is having artist Jorge Santiago, Jr., colorist Jasen Smith, and letterer Colin Bell returning to the fold, all of who were also nominated for a Ringo Award. The perfectly gritty style returns as Locke must reorient himself back into society after the fallout from his previous case.
Pepose continues to establish himself as a phenomenal storyteller, as he dives further into the psyche of Locke, while also recognizing the positive moral compass he represents in the face of a life-altering decision. Locke cannot be bought, and that defining moment will let readers know for sure who they will always be rooting for. As Spencer represents Locke’s emotional grasp of the world, and quite possibly his sanity, the banter between these two is something I could read all day long. This successful concept doesn’t disappoint in this first issue, as we continue to see the double-edged sword that comes with making decisions in the mind of Locke.
Artist Santiago, Jr., and colorist Smith showcase each panel through Spencer & Locke 2 #1 with colors that pop just enough from the page, while darker tones and backgrounds set the framework for the shadowy (and scary) Riley as our new villain. Action sequences are amazingly dynamic, balancing back and forth between the Sin City grittiness and classic comic strips, while a couple of panels do an incredible job at emphasizing physical impact with a black-and-white noir style on top of a colorful background.
This comic book will fly by, and much like the original story, you will discover a new way to fall in love with Spencer & Locke 2. If you don’t believe me, wait until you get to the very last page of this wonderful first issue.
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).