Action Lab Danger Zone #2
Written by David Pepose
Illustrated by Jorge Santiago, Jr.
Coloured by Jasen Smith
Lettered by Colin Bell
The trial of Spencer and Locke starts now! After turning the city upside-down to stop Roach Riley, our hard-boiled heroes suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of the law — but what happens when Roach crashes their hearing with a sixty-ton tank?
Gosh darnnit I am special and people like me, you like me you really like me! Right Newt, Affirmative! I love this stupid book, not really stupid but you get my drift. What David does with the writing, concept and how he terrifies us by revamping childhood favourites is just bloody brilliant. Move over Beetle Bailey, Roach Riley’s here and he’s taking no prisoners, nor allowing prisoners to live for that matter. I think David and I could be great friends and go out have a few pints and probably giggle for a while because he’s as warped and twisted as I am.
The way that this is structured is fantastic! With these being limited series arcs the pacing has to be impeccable and it is. The fast paced way we seem to go through the story doesn’t deter from anything instead it seems to enhance the tension and sense of danger that is going on. For while Locke is busy being arrested Melinda is following up on a lead and it feels like a giant collision is just around the bend and no party can see what’s on the other side. The tension this brings about for the reader is sensational and while we may have this knowledge that it will happen we don’t know how it’s going to happen. So essentially it is the journey not the destination that really is what we want to experience.
The characterisation here is killer as well. It doesn’t really matter who we encounter there’s someone in this book you are going to relate to, empathise with and connect with whether you plan to or not and it’s this kind of work that David does that is so damn impressive. There is also another event that happens within these pages that takes you by surprise and will leave you breathless as we eagerly await next issue. And that’s all I am willing to say on that front.
Jorge and Jasen make a great team when it comes to the interior artwork here. From the Sunday Newspaper Strip style to the main event these guys bring us emotion and feeling from these characters in spades. The linework is stupendous and while they don’t try for the realistic approach they do achieve this Anime type style instead that fits the story to perfection. So much so that Locke is one of those Ginger men that is sought after by men and women alike as he’s extremely alluring to look at, thanks to those facial features. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a superb eye for storytelling.
We all know I am this huge proponent of utilising backgrounds and that the guys do more than I expect to see thrills me beyond belief. They expand moments and bring a gorgeous sense of size and scope to the book. The colour work is four colour when needed but also alive and vibrant when we see the main work. There is some fantastic use of shading from the way light sources are utilised. I would normally say let’s see more colour gradation but it isn’t really needed here not with the highlights we already see.
A little twisted, a little sick and all kinds of high octane balls to the walls violence make this one of those series that you don’t want to put down!