Spencer & Locke 2 #2 explodes out of the gate with its latest release on Wednesday, May 29. The entire Spencer & Locke series is a dark and gritty look at the human psyche, where the main character deals with traumatic childhood abuses with the help of a special sidekick. Detective Locke depends on Spencer, an imaginary, big, blue panther, whether it be to ask for advice, help him in a gun fight, or defend his daughter in deadly situations. The bond formed with an imaginary character has never been greater – and the mental clock keeps on ticking.
Spencer & Locke 2 #2 explores the aftermath of some less-than-procedural actions from Locke, while also highlighting how dangerous Roach Riley is to Locke and the entire city. Writer David Pepose continues to push the boundaries of Locke’s willingness to do whatever it takes to do the right thing. In this case, taking down his new arch enemy will be a lot more difficult to accomplish when he’s in handcuffs and facing a trial for his actions. For dedicated fans, or if you’re new to the Spencer & Locke series, this issue stands on its own. Pepose creates a wild ride for readers, with just enough time for a breath to take it all in.
Artist Jorge Santiago, Jr. and colorist Jasen Smith continue to deliver in a way that solidifies their own take, while flashing back and forth between newspaper cartoons and falling from the noir edge of Sin City. Panels in the courtroom are subdued perfectly to take in the consequences facing Locke, while action sequences blast from the pages, keeping readers on their toes. Once the action starts, there isn’t an end in sight, amplifying the intensity of each panel from one to the next.
With what has become a gold standard for the creative team behind Spencer & Locke, Pepose, Santiago, Jr., Smith, and letterer Colin Bell dig their heels deeper in Spencer & Lock 2, delivering another uniquely engaging storyline that does not disappoint. Readers continue to learn more about other characters that Locke has come to depend on in one way or another. Reporter Melinda Mercury showcases her ability to uncover a story, with sticky fingers along the way, as she tries to discover some truths behind Roach Riley. On the other side of things, a dedicated innocence can be found in Locke’s daughter, Hero, as she stands by him in court to make sure he doesn’t have to face things alone.
The recognition from someone so young, wanting to support her dad, is so compelling to see play out. It not only highlights the love of a child for her parent, but also highlights how alone Locke has truly been for so long. This particular scene sets the stage for what happens at the end of this chapter. On one hand, understanding the actions of a little girl trying to help her dad in a pinch is easy. On the other, seeing it play out in the final image of this comic book is like a major gut punch, leaving you breathless and needing to know what happens next.
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).