Saturday, April 15, 2017

Spencer & Locke #1 Review (Action Labs Danger Zone)

I'm too Imaginary for this...

Writer: David Pepose
Artist: Jorge Santiago, Jr.
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 12, 2017
Publisher: Action Labs Danger Zone

Guys, Calvin and Hobbes got dark. Or at least this version of the pairing did at least. We get Spencer and Locke who are now a buddy cop duo, only one is an imaginary panther. As they set out on a murder mystery that brings Locke back to some old stomping grounds, we learn more about this long time friendly pairing.

I went into this book expecting Agent Dale Cooper with an imaginary Panther as his partner in place of his assistant via cassette tape recorder who grew up a lot like Calvin and Hobbes. Other than the cover I’m not seeing much Dale Cooper in this, but it’s definitely leaning into the Calvin and Hobbes aspect.

We get a murder mystery from the jump that takes Locke back to his old stomping ground as the victim is someone from his childhood. This gives us some nice chances for more Calvin and Hobbes and gives us some background on our main character. It stays a little vague for my tastes, but overall it’s a nice mix between fun and dark.

With the investigation itself, it leads us to believe that Spencer is either making stuff up, or his imaginary friend is possibly giving him some heightened senses. Either way this dude probably looks really weird at crime scenes and I can’t wait for that to come up later on. We catch a small glimpse of is as Spencer and Locke are at a diner discussing the case, so it does set up the idea of Locke looking pretty weird in public as we also see what Spencer looks like to others.

Through one of the flashbacks it possibly gives us a glimpse of what it looks like when Locke gets in a fight, but is then later confused when Locke gets in a fight in present time. It seems that Spencer is more the lover than the fighter, so it leads me to believe some of the violent stuff we see in flashbacks or present that you would think as done by Spencer could actually be being done by Locke? I’m not really sure on the intent and specifics around this aspect, but I’m curious to see more because it has some possibilities.

The ending ends up having a cliffhanger that I didn’t see coming, but at the same time didn’t know to expect or know the implications. I’d say it wasn’t the best set up cliffhanger, but it didn’t really disappoint. It was just sort of…”Ok” and move on. The impact was left feeling a little pleating due to not feeling really set up.

Overall I really liked this. It has a nice blend of fun and dark while remaining interesting and funny. It feels like the mystery takes largely a back seat, and was lacking in a bit of set up, but the pros far outweigh the cons as the cons are pretty minor and can easily be built upon in subsequent issues.

Bits and Pieces:
The mystery takes a backseat to a fun and mildly dark romp as we learn more about a kid growing up to be a cop with his imaginary panther.  A little lacking in the area of set-up and some minor confusion on the distinction between characters when it pertains to what others see, but the weird and funny interactions is interesting throughout. Oh, and did I mention Calvin and Hobbes?


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