W – David PeposeA – Jorge Santiago JrC – Jasen SmithL – Colin Bell In the words of a famous former Food Network star, “Let’s kick it up a notch!” Here in the second issue of volume two that’s exactly what the creative team behind Spencer & Locke has done. With our new villain, Roach, it really looked as though we’d be getting a much bigger dive into ‘self’ (Locke) and the action presented in this issue follows up on that in my opinion. The entirety of the concept calls upon a certain level of suspending belief and that’s where the action for this issue calls us. A few spots truly engage that suspension but it isn’t out of line or misplaced with how things are done in conveying this story. It works, and for my money, makes the entirety of it that much better. Combined with the purposeful stylistic changes and some choice panel/page layouts, the look of this book continues to be an absolute treat on the eyes on top of adding to the story telling.
I’m not sure if it will go anywhere or not but there was a particular little line of dialogue that stuck out to me. As WE know, Spencer is all in Locke’s head. While speaking to him, Locke is asked “Talking to yourself back there Locke?” And, after he replies gets the follow up “Just always thought you were a creepy little bastard.” In the context of the ‘known’ we understand about the S&L universe it doesn’t really come off at all, let alone as anything significant. This issue opened up that universe tremendously though. It was the kind of issue that you’d look back on down the line and view as the one that saw the doors kicked open and the first images of ‘everything else that exists’ shining through. Why do I say that? Well, for as much of a progression of the arc as we got from the “main” characters, we got huge narrative driving from other members of the cast.
The ladies took the wheel this issue. While the boys were out back rough-housing we got entirely new perspectives on it all thanks to Melinda and Hero. This opening up and focus outside of S&L (in fact Spencer was but a figment in this issue, cough) has brought an entirely new view through which this book can be seen. There are some commonalities drawn between Locke and Melinda. With the two being who and what they are (and their lives are what they are) the dynamic of “effect” on people is illustrated without even trying. This is where the genius of this book shines. Yes, there’s more of the same as we get filled in on Roach’s past and how he’s come to be a mirror image of Locke essentially. But the driver of the narrative here is the book itself and this issue does an impeccable job of taking the wheel.
In addition to the jump in characters driving the narrative, this issue is FILLED with driving points outside of Locke, Spencer, and our new villain Roach. There is plenty within the pages to refresh all of us on just how it all works in the S&L universe. Open your eyes and pay a bit more attention and you’ll see just how much we’re being told (see that marriage counseling clinic in the background, for instance). There are little drops like that all throughout the issue (notice the cameos) that show the driving forces behind the narrative and also where it is going.
This book continues to impress and treat on multiple levels. Hell, even the SFX take you on a ride in this book.
Pick it up folks, you’ll love it.