Detective Locke is investigating the death of a childhood friend with his partner and best friend Spencer who happens to be imaginary in Spencer & Locke.
When Locke approaches the crime scene and he immediately recognizes the body of his childhood friend Sophie Jenkins. Locke and Spencer waste no time putting the puzzle pieces of this murder back together because this one is personal.
However, there is a catch to the team which makes them unique. Spencer is a blue stuffed panther and has been with Locke since he was a kid. Locke can see and speak to Spencer as plain as day, but to everyone else he is just a doll.
The pair retrace Jenkins’ steps to try to find out who would want her dead. As they look into her life people, places and events resurface from Locke’s past. Spencer and Locke must relive traumatic events from the past while they deal with what their friend’s life had turned into.
Spencer & Locke was written by David Pepose with art by Jorge Santiago Jr and Jasen Smith. Action Lab published the comic in 2017.
When I first saw this comic I thought it reminded me of Calvin and Hobbes. A young boy with a stuffed animal who he thinks is alive. After a few pages I realized this isn’t like Calvin and Hobbes it is Calvin and Hobbes in an possible future. Early on in the book there is a panel which is an exact recreation of a famous Calvin and Hobbes panel.
However, this is not a fun-loving child friendly comic. This comic has a lot of adult themes and violence. This comic also has a lot of comedy in it as well. Early on Spencer and Locke are in a diner going over the murder when a waitress asks who Locke is talking to. The camera zooms out to show a stuffed panther on the other side of the both.
However, throughout the comic it is never fully explained if Spencer is real or not. At one point Spencer needs to drive the car and seems to and at another point he scratches someone. It is also not clear if Locke knows Spencer is a stuffed panther.
I really like the unclear nature of Spencer’s existence. It added extra depth and mystery to the story. I was always wondering if Spencer is like a toy from Toy Story and can switch back and forth from being real and fake.
This comic was amazing and I just couldn’t get enough of it. I am a big of Calvin and Hobbes and this really felt like a continuation of that series, but much darker and Locke’s early life was also very dark.
My only real complaint is how it ended. The last issue went off the rails and introduced things which did not add to the story. They actually took away from it. It felt like they had extra story and characters which had not been used yet so they got thrown in last minute. I got real confused by this and was really unnecessary.
I hope this series continues because I really loved it. The concept is really cool and I want to see what else they can do with this story and concept.