PopCultHQ Comic Book Review: SPENCER & LOCKE TPB by Action Lab: Danger Zone

PopCultHQ received a review copy of Spencer and Locke TPB Vol. 1 from Action Lab: Danger Zone. Available August 2nd, the creative team for this series features writing from David Pepose, art from Jorge Santiago Jr., colors by Jasen Smith, and lettering from Colin Bell.

Here’s PopCultHQ’s spoiler-free review of…

Spencer and Locke TPB

David Pepose
Artist: Jorge Santiago Jr.
Colors: Jasen Smith
Lettering: Colin Bell
Cover Artist: Jorge Santiago Jr.
In Shops: August 2nd, 2017
SRP: $14.99

Collecting the hit mini-series, Spencer & Locke follows hard-boiled Detective Locke as he investigates a brutal murder with the strangest of partners — his childhood imaginary panther, Spencer. But when they face brutal gunfights, deadly car chases and memories of Locke’s traumatic upbringing, can this unlikely pair survive long enough to find the truth?

PopCultHQ’s Comic Book Review:
Spencer and Locke TPB


This being David Pepose’s first run out of the gate, all that can be said is wow! There are no punches pulled with this story, and while there are softer elements involved, the nitty-gritty aspects of the script shine out like a bright light through a dark fog. If Pepose chooses to do a second Spencer and Locke series, it will be just as great as this first one!


Jorge Santiago Jr.’s art is stand out! There is the mix of the more adult style for all the main action and story that takes place (it has a very Frank Miller quality to it), followed by the obvious homage style to a certain famed and retired comic strip creator. His art with Pepose’s story…it’s a match made in comics heaven.

Jasen Smith’s colors were phenomenal! He knew just what color to use for pages and panels that are very dark, very big city/urban crime, and also knew what colors would work for the more bright and less serious parts of the story. May he come back to do the coloring on a second Spencer and Locke series (should one happen), because bringing anyone else on board to work with Pepose and Santiago would be a crime.

Colin Bell’s lettering is a varied mix. There are pages where the letters are like something from the funny pages (and a certain famed comic strip), and then there are the pages where the letters and text are pulled straight from a noir/detective story. Boxes with internal monologues so rich with drama that one can hear jazz music being played in the background. Dialogue pulled straight from a pulp or mystery author’s creative core, it’s all so rich and vibrant.

PopCultHQ’s overall assessment:

What would happen if Calvin and Hobbes had been written and drawn by Frank Miller? Well, in Spencer & Locke readers get to see just that. A gritty detective story involving a murdered woman, and the PI who cracks the case with help from his imaginary best friend, a tough talking panther. This whole series is, in a nutshell, a love letter to the stories and art of Bill Watterson and Frank Miller. In short, everyone who picks up this trade paper back will love it, hands down.

PopCultHQ’s Rating:

5 Out of 5 Stars

SPENCER & LOCKE TPB can be purchased on ComiXology
and available at your local comic shop and online retailers now!

Be sure to follow the creative team!








Writer – David Pepose






Artist – Jorge Santiago, Jr.







Colorist – Jasen Smith






Letterer – Colin Bell







Publisher – Action Lab: Danger Zone