We should warn you that Locke & Key is on the graphic side. However, it is a very addicting read. Locke & Key comes out as singles issues or once a year in a graphic novel. We recommend waiting for the graphic novels to help avoid the breaks in the story. Granted the graphic novels still end on a cliffhanger, but it’s better to get the story in large chunks instead of little pieces.
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It’s October and that means it’s time to get spooky. There is a demand for horror comics and yet there doesn’t seem to be that many of them around. So what is a comic geek to do when they want a good scare? Luckily that’s why we’re here, to help out fellow comic addicts with dilemmas such as this. If you’re looking for a good spooky read we recommend Locke & Key by Joe Hill.
Locke & Key is a series about a family named Locke. The father gets killed right in the beginning forcing his wife and three kids to move back to the old family homestead. Once there the youngest, Bode, starts to discover these keys that do fantastical things. His two older siblings, Tyler and Kinsey, also know about the keys, but they keep mom in the dark. Mom has become an alcoholic since her husband was killed and has one bad leg from when she was ravaged by the same perps.
The keys themselves are facsinating things because they do what no ordinary key will do. For example, the head key allows one to literally open their mind to either put in information or to take it out manually. You could put an encyclopedia in your head and immediately know all of the information within it. Is there a past boyfriend/girlfriend you’d like to forget about? The head key allow you to remove them from your memory.
As grand as the keys sound there is a dark side. There is something posing as a friend of the Locke family who isn’t who they claim to be. Zack is looking for one specific key and he has knowledge about the other keys and what they can do. The Locke family has no idea who or what Zack really is, but he uses the powers of the keys to mask himself when he attacks the kids in his search for the omega key. Whatever his ultimate goal is Zack is one who has a very dark agenda.
Now we did promise you scary and we aim to fulfill that promise. What’s so scary about Locke & Key aside from everything we just told you? How about that it’s written by Joe Hill? For those unfamiliar Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King. Yes, THE Stephen King, the horror master. Hill writes under the name of Joe Hill because he wanted to make it on his own steam and not on his dad’s reputation. The storyline that he has come up with in Locke & Key is unlike anything his father has done. Not only that, but this is a project Hill is doing specifically for comics and not a book being adapted into a comic. Very cool!
Locke & Key has about three or four different storylines going all at once. While that may seem like it’s confusing, don’t worry, they all contribute to the overall plot. Hints are dropped about Zack and Rendell Locke (the father) as well as the history of the house. There are a lot of pieces to a very large puzzle. In between the detective work Zack is attacking the Locke family and killing those who get in his way.