Updated: Jan 24, 2020
SPENCER AND LOCKE 2 #1
Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Jorge Santiago Jr.
Colorist: Jasen Smith
Letterer: Colin Bell
Publisher: Action Lab Comics
Everyone's favorite detectives are back, Spencer and Locke. Detective Locke is a damaged guy that partners up with his imaginary friend Spencer, who happens to be a 7ft. tall panther. If you haven't read the first volume of this unbelievable series, stop reading right now. Seriously, go buy the first volume, then come back here and finish this review. So just to summarize, when we last saw our heroes, Detective Locke had just killed his father Augustus, who was the head of a crime organization and found out he had a daughter. To say his life is a little complicated would be an understatement.
We pick up with him being investigated by internal affairs and his daughter Hero, has been taken into child protective services. Locke is trying to do whatever he can to be reinstated on the force and get Hero back. All the while our new villain Roach Riley has been brutally murdering city officials. Locke an Spencer are at odds about what direction to take and their relationship is put to the test during these trying times. Pepose not only introduces a new villain but a love interest for Locke, who just happens to be a news reporter. I wonder what she'll think about Spencer when Locke finally tells her the truth.
Having expertly mashed up Calvin & Hobbes with a Frank Miller noir style, with the first volume, was genius. Taking a funny character like Mort Walker's Beetle Bailey and turning him into a sadistic killer with Roach Riley is inspired and makes you wonder how nobody though to do this before. Roach Riley is terrifying and ruthless, the complete moral opposite of Locke.
Pepose has crafted another brilliant story that dives even deeper into the dark and tortured souls of his characters. Jorge Santiago's alternating styles between present and past while paying homage to Mort Walker and Bill Watterson is flawlessly executed. These two have expanded off the first series and are really hitting their stride with this new volume. Bill Watterson without a doubt would have given his blessing to these two creators, their love and admiration is apparent throughout the book.
This book with it's amalgamation of art styles, amazing script and unique premise, is a must read. There's no other book like this anywhere and that is no easy feat to achieve. My only hope is that you guys all go out and support this so we can continue to read the adventures of Spencer and Locke for years to come.