Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Jorge Santiago Jr.
Colorist: Jasen Smith
Letterer: Colin Bell
Publisher: Action Lab: Danger Zone
With last issue’s chilling final panel still seared in my mind, I knew Roach Riley wasn’t finished. Locke may have put him behind bars, but not before Roach got in his head. With each passing panel, Roach gains more control while Locke feels his slipping away. Now internal affairs has him dead to rights, and even Spencer might not be enough to keep him grounded … quite the opposite. By the time you reach the title page, you begin to wonder: where does the man end and the imaginary friend begin?
Spencer & Locke 2 #2 quickly flips the script on the characters, putting Locke in the hot seat of a cop car while Roach plots his next move. Honestly, it’s hard to see how Locke is going to talk his way out of this one, or if he’ll even try, but that’s nothing a little deus ex tank won’t fix! In all the chaos, there isn’t much time to explore the tension between the two partners established in the last issue, but this gives room for some needed character development for Melinda and Hero. I do hope Melinda’s character can get around the investigative reporter trope. I’m really stoked Hero is taking a more active role in the story, and like her father, she goes all in. How Spencer manifests with Hero versus how he behaves with Locke could also reveal the nuances of Locke’s internal struggles.
It still impresses me how this comic integrates parts of their source material so organically, in both the plot and layout. For a comic with this kind of premise, the references can seem jarring and worked in. However, Spencer & Locke 2 has found its balance, and this issue has some great moments where they wove things in really well. We also see familiar faces from the funny pages, albeit in decidedly less funny situations. The tie was a nice touch, though.
Spencer & Locke 2 #2 will be available in comicbook shops May 22, 2019.