SPENCER AND LOCKE 2 #3
Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Jorge Santiago Jr.
Colors: Jasen Smith
Letterer: Colin Bell
Publisher: Action Lab Comics
Ok guys here's a brief recap to catch you up on what's happened so far. Locke has been under investigation due to the events of Vol. 1 (which you guys should read if you haven't already). While at court, Roach Riley attacks the building and begins his attack on the city. Of course our heroes, Spencer and Locke go after him, but our buried under a mountain of rubble, with their survival in not looking so good. At the end of the last issue,
we see Locke's daughter Hero, don a costume to go after Roach. She sets out to catch this villain, all to make her Dad proud of her.
This is one of the most unique and thought provoking issues yet, Pepose and Santiago Jr. are putting all the pieces in place for their epic finale. They hit so many emotional beats in this issue and show why they're one of the elite creative teams in comics.
When the issue opens up we are given a little more insight into the crazy that is Roach Riley. If you thought this dude was insane before. The lengths that he goes to, just to survive while being captured, will make you cringe. In just 3 short issues Pepose has created one of the most unforgettable villains I've ever read. Part of me hopes he survives past this series, to become Locke's "Joker".
Back in present day, the city is on fire. The Mayor stands on a rooftop with commissioner Dan Tiffany (an obvious homage to Dick Tracy), discussing how to stop the mayhem. Cue Roach Riley, he crashes a helicopter into them, killing the Mayor. Riley aka "The Bringer of Death" will stop at nothing to make hhis plans come to reality.
When we catch up with Locke, he's in a snow covered city fighting Nazi Snowmen, yeah you read that right. As he's fighting Spencer comes to his rescue. After being captured by his former lover, Locke soon realizes that this is all in his head, that he's on the brink of death. After talking with is younger self, he decides to live and go save his daughter. This scene of Locke and his younger self, is what makes me love this series. Pepose has Locke talk about how scars help define who we are. That if we don't remember our scars, then everything we survived loses it's meaning. It was such a powerful scene, that really resonated with me. As someone who has been through a lot of dark and traumatic experiences, it hit me right in the gut. That is the magic of this series, it makes you think and feel a wide range of emotions, while entertaining the hell out of you.
I can't forget to talk about the emergence of our new hero Captain Astounding (Locke's daughter Hero). She goes after Roach, hoping to stop his dastardly plans. Just when she thought he succeeded at stopping a bomb, Roach tells her that he 8 more around the city. He tells her that she did more than most people in the city had the balls to do, and to find him in a couple of years if she wants a rematch. Man I can't wait to see Roach go down and I hope Hero has a huge part in it. Remember how I said Locke clung to life, well just as Hero is feeling defeated and the she let he father down, Locke emerges from the rubble.
The art on this series continues to be one of my favorite aspects. Santiago Jr. continues to amaze me with is artistic skill with each passing issue. From the quiet moments of Locke talking to his younger self, to the horrific moment of Roach in the beginning of the issue, his range is unbelievable. The way he switches up his style to homage Mort Walker and Bill Watterson, while transitioning to his own style is a testament to his skill. Jasen Smith's coloring skills, as always, are phenomenal. He uses bright colors yet also gives the book a dark noir feel at the same time. This book wouldn't be the same without him.
With only one issue left, I can only imagine the explosive and gut wrenching finale these guys have in mind. They've constantly kept me on the edge of my seat, never knowing what to expect. This series has consistently been a solid read and one you can't afford to miss. So make sure you go out and give it a try, if you haven't already.