By now, you should all be in on the joke: this book is Calvin & Hobbes meets Sin City. I have been a fan of this mix in the first couple of issues, but three issues in; enough is enough – I get it! Repetition is not funny!
In this issue we get the Spencer & Locke version of Spaceman Spiff – welcome everyone to Rocketman Reynolds! Now anyone who has read my previous reviews on this series will now that I am a big Calvin and crew fan and will also know I have smiled at the obvious and not so obvious homages that have appeared. At this stage in the game, it feels like this is one trick pony; a pony that due to the ongoing “homages” is becoming less enjoyable. Which, is a shame as when writer David Pepose tries something other than Calvin, he does so really well.
Separated from Spencer and captured by the bad guys, Locke ends up being given the mother of all cooties shot and regresses into his childhood fantasy Rocketman Reynolds whilst also taking on the bad guys. During this trip, we get to see a number of different elements from Locke’s past and possible signs of abuse or PTSD. Pepose does as he did in previous books, taking the various homage elements and weaving a story that does deliver an impact. One interesting aspect of this issue in particular, is the focus on Spencer as a real character, which pulls the reader into Locke’s world view effectively.
Jorge Santiago Jr is again on art duties. This time he gets to cut loose some with aliens and alien landscapes as a change of pace from Locke’s present and past that we usually see. By now, Santiago is in full reign of his creative powers, the art delivering the craziness of Rocketman, the Waterson elements of the past and of course, snippets of Locke’s “normal” world. The colors are provided by Jasen Smith, who bathes the book in a psychedelic scheme that infers as much as the art or the script.
I totally can see how the two main influences have been slammed together to make a whole and sure, at time mix and matching can work; a cheese and onion sandwich for example or coca cola in southern comfort. However, at least in these examples you can switch to plain cheese or lemonade in your drink. In Spence and Locke you don’t have that choice; you are stuck with what you got. Of course, you could always go back to Calvin and Hobbes.
Writing – 3 Stars
Art – 3.5 Stars
Colors – 3.5 Stars
- Written by David Pepose
Art by Jorge Santiago Jr
Colored by Jasen Smith
Cover by Maan House, Jorge Santiago Jr