The thrilling tale of the hard-boiled detective trying to track down the killers of his childhood sweetheart continues with our hero captured and tortured, but somehow, our plucky gumshoe prevails. In a similar fashion Spencer & Locke triumphs against all odds. The seemingly unconquerable difficulties of the premise fall away with each issue. As unlikely as it may seem, and contrary to reasonable expectations as it truly is, this is an excellent story and exciting comic. The struggle is riveting and the protagonist is insane (probably).
Not only is Locke more fractured than we knew, there are reasons for his behaviors. The nonsensical and fantastical elements of Spencer & Locke are starting to make sense. The detective is damaged, and we are seeing the beginnings of his madness. Guilt and rage drive him and he really is delusional. How would he have survived otherwise?
Yet, despite the drugs and trauma, we get scenes from Spencer the stuffed animal’s point of view. He has agency and problem-solving skills and he is loyal and brave. How is that even possible? This high concept noir detective story inspired by the funny pages continues to surprise. There is depth and psychological complexity in a story about a boy and his stuffed animal and after three issues, beyond any reasonable expectation, the unreal pastiche has not fallen apart. It holds to its internal logic while still delivering on an action packed and thrilling story.