Comic Book Review – Locke & Key Volumes 1 to 6 (2009 to 2014)

Locke and Key

Accomplished novelist Joe Hill teams up with the artist Gabriel Rodriguez to fashion a spellbinding account of the devastated Locke family and their struggles to rebuild after Rendall, beloved father and husband, is brutally murdered by deranged high school student, Sam Lesser. The surviving Lockes relocate to an unlikely family manor on the island of Lovecraft, MA. Yet, as with every gothic mansion, this New England homestead holds dark and otherworldly secrets, secrets that go back generations. Okay, so there’s some standard horror clichés in this plot, and you might be asking, what’s the catch? Is it a safe bet that what starts off as a character study in grieving will swerve into the realm of spine-chilling terror? Yes, but that doesn’t quite cover it, old boy. As the youngest Locke child discovers, Keyhouse possesses some fantastic doors that transform all who dare to pass through them—namely, a doorway that temporarily kills you and allows your spirit to roam freely. Oh, and there’s also this well that houses a twisted spectral entity from the past, an evil phantom that desperately wants out and will use any means available to gain freedom, including releasing the very teenage murderer responsible for the grieving family’s disposition and unleashing him upon their uprooted lives once more.

Despite some familiar horror elements, the Locke & Key series manages to venture off the beaten path in some respects. This six volume series is a page-turning macabre story with clever transition scenes with memorable characters made all the more vivid through Rodriguez’s simple albeit compelling artwork. Joe Hill blends horror with fantasy and mystery to launch a riveting tale of a shattered family that cannot seem to outrun terror.


5 out of 5 stars


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