Skip to main content

REVIEW: 'Spencer & Locke' #3 by David Pepose, Jorge Santiago, Jr., and Jasen Smith

As a reviewer, I'm always hoping to find something different, creative, unexpected when opening a fresh comic book to review. Luckily, 'Spencer & Locke' by David Pepose, Jorge Santiago, Jr., and Jasen Smith is that kind of comic. It's only gotten better through three issues as Locke's mental state spirals out of control while being drugged and tortured.


SPENCER & LOCKE #3 
    
Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Jorge Santiago, Jr.
Colorist: Jasen Smith
Letterer: Colin Bell
Publisher: Action Lab Comics
Release Date: June 21, 2017
Cover Price: $3.99

★★★★★ (5/5)

What started as a cute idea, re-imagining iconic comic strip 'Calvin and Hobbes' as a hard-boiled crime noir, has evolved into one of the most disturbing and thrilling psychological dramas in comics. Locke's descent into madness is accelerated with an injection of a narcotic cocktail into his bloodstream by his captors. It unleashes a psychedelic alternative reality in his mind. Already affected by childhood trauma that causes him to imagine his stuffed panther as his real life investigative partner, Locke retreats to the persona of 'Rocketman Reynolds,' a Flash Gordon-type on a galactic mission. Reality and imagination collide in Locke's psyche as he tries to flee the men holding him hostage. 

Jorge Santiago brilliantly captures these different states of reality with versatility and precision. He has to alternate between the space adventure in Locke's head in the style of silver age comics, the comic strip of the flashbacks and art in the present day. It seems disorienting but it mirrors the dizzying elements going on in Locke's mind. Then we follow Spencer's perspective in finding Locke. Each scenario is distinctive and fully realized. Jasen Smith's colors also must adjust for each running storyline in each reality. Deeper richer colors for present day faded hues for the flashbacks and bolder, brighter colors for 'Rocket Reynolds' serve as perfect individual palettes. It's quite a task for the artists but they are more than up to it.

The struggle for survival is thrilling while the revelations of Locke's past is devastatingly sad. He is a man fighting the demons of his past, riddled with guilt and anguish, driven to delusion as a coping mechanism. 'Spence & Locked' is steeped in psychological trauma and violence. It's a crime drama with layers upon layers. Pepose has revealed more and more with each issue, keeping the reader off balance with twists and reveals as the protagonist spirals out of control. You're getting your money's worth and then some. 

'Spencer & Locke' continues to impress with new revelations and the upping of action, violence, and psychological drama. To say there isn't anything like this in comics right now would be an understatement. Pepose, Santiago, and Smith have delivered a multi-layered tour de force of a thriller. It takes your expectations and blows them away. 'Spencer & Locke' is an unexpected thrill that must be read. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

WONDER WOMAN OF THE DAY: Fitness Model Gia Macool Embodies the Amazon Princess

The closest we'll ever get, probably, to superheroes in real life is through the great work of cosplayers. You see them at every pop culture convention from the very basic to extremely elaborate costume design. However, you don't have to be a cosplayer to enjoy dressing up as your favorite superhero from time to time. Take fitness model and entrepreneur Gia Macool for example. An accomplished fitness competitor and model, Macool is also a big fan of DC Comics' Wonder Woman. She shows her love of the iconic Amazon Princess in her fitness wear, meal prep accessories and even a full blown photo shoot in a Wonder Woman costume. 

For decades comics have featured very muscular superheroes, male and female, epitomizing the human form at its strongest. So when bodybuilders and fitness pros decide to suit up as these costumed heroes, they are the embodiment of those fictional characters in the flesh. Macool looks like she stepped out of the pages of a Wonder Woman comic with a suit …

An Artist Will Get His Revenge in The Post-WWII Original Graphic Novel SIMON SAYS

Image Comics announces an all-new, original graphic novel Simon Says by Andre R. Frattino and Jesse Lee which will paint a post-World War II Europe in a scarlet shade of revenge this September.


Simon Says is a drama-filled, crime noir story that follows a former artist to the Führer who hunts down and seeks justice upon the Nazis he witnessed murder his friends and loved ones during the war. It is an original graphic novel inspired by true events and by a real-world Holocaust survivor, Simon Wiesenthal, an artist who lost his family and took justice into his own hands.
"Simon Says is about an innocent and gentleman, an artist, whose family and life are destroyed by a real-world event. Not something sci-fi or fanciful, but something that has happened and could happen again. In that way, it's the story of any of us, and how we would respond if who we were and what we had were lost,” said Frattino. "The real-life, famed Nazi hunter, Simon Wiesenthal, was quoted as once sayin…

Dynamite & Playboy Present Exclusive Vampirella Story for Her 50th Anniversary

Dynamite announces an exclusive standalone Vampirella story published in Playboy's Spring 2019 Freedom of Speech issue available now.




The story is written by the legendary Gail Simone (Red Sonja, Wonder Woman, Domino) and drawn by the peerless Joyce Chin (Xena Warrior Princess, Wynonna Earp). Colorist Addison Duke (Barbarella/Dejah Thoris, Curse Words) and letterer Taylor Esposito (Batman, Aquaman, Elvira) round out the team on this six-page tale. The cover of Playboy was shot by photographer Kelia Anne MacCluskey.

Vampi protects a couple of professional cosplayers from crazed cannibal peers. Cosplay, cannibalism and no kink-shaming! Fans of the Daughter of Drakulon will not want to miss this story.

This is actually a reunion for Simone and Chin, fitting for Vampirella's 50th anniversary banner year. The pair collaborated on the colossal crossover Witchblade/Magdalena/Vampirella published by Top Cow Productions in 2004.

“Vampirella is the original monster girl of comics. It’s …

Fitness Women in Superhero Body Paint by J.M. Manion

J.M. Manion has long been a successful photographer covering the fitness and bodybuilding industry. He has photographed some of the strongest, well-defined physiques on the planet. He's also had a love of super-heroes and comic books. So much so that Manion began publishing his own comic book, Iron Siren Comics, featuring some of the fitness competitors he's covered as superheroes themselves. It's no wonder he sometimes incorporates superhero cosplay and body paint into photo shoots. Here are just some examples of his work:

PREVIEW: 'Red Sonja (Vol.5)' #5 by Mark Russell, Mirko Colak, and Robert Carey

Like an all-consuming fire, the armies of Dragan The Magnificent pursued Sonja The Red until there was nowhere else to flee. The corpses of her people scattered before her like charred rabbits, she turned to face his exquisite wrath. And prayed in vain for death to take her quickly. The epic continues by MARK RUSSELL (Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles, The Flintstones) and MIRKO COLAK (Conan).


Red Sonja (Vol.5) #5
writer: Mark Russell  |  artist: Mirko Colak, Robert Carey
covers: Amanda Conner (A)               Joseph Michael Linsner (B)               Christian Ward (C)               Jenn St-Onge (D)               Cosplay Variant (E)               Seduction (RI)               Amanda Conner (RI-B/W)               Joseph Michael Linsner (RI-B/W)               Jenn St-Onge (RI-Virgin)               Bob Q Seduction (RI-BW)
FC  |  32 pages  |  Action/Adventure  |  $3.99  |   Teen+