Digital Mini Reviews | Locke & Key

Hi there!

Among all the comic book series that have successfully completed their run while garnering incredible praise among fans and critics around the world is writer Joe Hill and illustrator Gabriel RodrΓ­guez’s Locke & Key. This highly-creative and thrilling family drama with a hint of terrifying horror is one the greatest comic book runs that not only has depth but stellar artwork to beautifully tell a story that you will never forget.

The series also got the Netflix TV series treatment with its first season out since February 7th, 2020. I still haven’t given the first season a try but I hear that it is pretty decent even if there’s no way they could capture the horror elements from the comic books without shifting to a R-rated programming. For those who have seen it, rest assured that there’s a second season that was confirmed on March 30th, 2020! πŸ˜‰


This feature published at an undetermined frequency (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, who knows) will present a couple of mini reviews on anything that isn’t a physical book that I own (ebooks, comic books, TV series or movies).
Anything presented in this feature doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t get a full-review treatment in the future. That will entirely depend on how much I loved it, how interested you are in hearing more on it, and how much I have to still say about it! 🀣

Locke & Key (Vol. 1): Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill.

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Publisher: IDW Publishing.
Pages: 168.
Format: Digital Comic Book.
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†.

What is it about? This series follows the Locke family in their new home at Keyhouse and discover that it hides far more secrets than it lets on. All they need to do is find the right keys for the right locks before an evil spirit escapes and executes his most cruelest plans.

This was an excellent volume to introduce us to Joe Hill’s story-telling skills. Did you know that he was writer Stephen King’s son? One thing’s for sure. He made a name for himself in the world of literature. This first volumes begins with a gruesome tragedy that unveils a whole new universe for the Locke family. Mixed with a healthy dose of supernatural, the story drives us quickly onto a trail filled with mysteries begging to be discovered. It also does a fantastic job in developing unique characters in such a short time while making us care for each of their struggles. In fact, writer Joe Hill’s masterful dialogue highlights wonderful word plays, especially those related to locks and keys, while brilliantly playing with Gabriel Rodriguez’s artwork. It’s honestly in the details that this series shines and grabs your attention.

While I’m not the biggest fan of the artwork, it is far from being awful. It’s beautiful and crisp, but it just gives this odd cartoon’ish touch that slightly misses its mark with me here. However, this first volume does such an exceptional job at setting the table for countless other possibilities. It would be a mistake to pass on this series upon just reading this volume. And with the amount of blood that was spilled in this volume, I can only imagine where things can go next.

Locke & Key (Vol. 2): Head Games by Joe Hill.

6120349
Publisher: IDW Publishing.
Pages: 160.
Format: Digital Comic Book.
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†.

What is it about? The story continues as the Locke kids try and deal with the emotional aftermath of the tragedy that strikes their father. They end up befriending Zack Wells to cope with their feelings but little do they know about this individual’s dark secrets.

This was another fantastic installment in this franchise that further explores the concept behind the keys while delving deep into the minds of the characters scarred by recent events.

The main antagonist continues to plot his return to the real world and it is a treat to see how writer Joe Hill coats him in a fear-inducing aurora.

I really love how much psychological depth this story has and how it explores fear and pain through these characters. The artwork beautifully captures the tone and there’s no lying that you’ll have fallen head over heel for this style if the first volume didn’t do so already. Some of the fantastical elements are actually eerily horrifying!

Locke & Key (Vol. 3): Crown of Shadows by Joe Hill.

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Publisher: IDW Publishing.
Pages: 152.
Format: Digital Comic Book.
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†.

What is it about? The evil spirit continues his hunt for the key to a mysterious and hidden black door while the Locke kids engage their ruthless enemy who will not shy away from using the shadows to assault them, stopping them in their tracks, and obtaining the key for himself.

Writer Joe Hill continues strong with this volume as he explores the concept of fear through Kinsey’s character. Her unique position (lack of fear) allows for some thoroughly exhaustive exploration of the emotion and its consequence on our behaviours and experiences.

Joe Hill also continues to build on his key lore and he introduces new ones with unique powers, some so huge that they invite a lot of destruction, if you know what I mean.

Gabriel Rodriguez’s artwork is also iconic at this point, beautifully capturing the tone of this world and the emotions of the characters. How he draws the “horror” elements are also fantastic. There’s just so much fun to get out of this series!

Locke & Key (Vol. 4): Keys to the Kingdom by Joe Hill.

9674335
Publisher: IDW Publishing.
Pages: 152.
Format: Digital Comic Book.
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†β˜†.

What is it about? The hunt for more keys continues as the secrets of this house is slowly revealed to the Locke family.

The first half of this volume is convoluted and messy. It tackles too many ideas too quickly while introducing new ones that were a bit too awkward to start with, especially the whole exploration of racism…

The second half is where the story picks up its usual pacing and finally gets things rolling as revelations hit certain characters differently and a plot twist presents itself to set up the last two volumes.

Locke & Key (Vol. 5): Clockworks by Joe Hill.

13490570
Publisher: IDW Publishing.
Pages: 160.
Format: Digital Comic Book.
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†.

What is it about? The battleground has now changed with significant repercussions on how the Locke family will have to take down the evil spirit. However, the latest key they discover sends them back somewhere where the truth can be found once and for all: the past.

As we approach the grand finale to this comic book series, writer Joe Hill introduces a brand-new temporal key that allow him to present one of the most fascinating and cleverly told origin stories.

While the kids are left in the background, overseeing the evolution of events that implicated their father and his friends, we are set upon another terrifying tale where misery and darkness pervades the life of these new yet old characters.

Locke & Key (Vol. 6): Alpha & Omega by Joe Hill.

16164271
Publisher: IDW Publishing.
Pages: 192.
Format: Digital Comic Book.
Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†.

What is it about? The end. The moment where all keys are found and the showdown begins. Who will triumph? Good or evil?

A stunning finale wrapping up a fantastic story where the past inflicts its pain upon the present as the Locke family, their friends, and their family go through hell to take on the one source of evil that has reigned their lives ever since the tragedy that struck Rendell Locke (the father) and themselves in Lovecraft.


Have you read any of these?

Share your thoughts on anything and everything with me! 😁

TILL NEXT TIME,

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29 comments

  • I did know Joe Hill was Stephen King’s son😊 In fact my first encounter with him was for the book NOS4A2 (Nosferatu) which is a novel I highly recommend if you haven’t read it already.
    As for this series of graphic novels I of course definitely know about them, but as with way too many other things, haven’t yet been able to get around to them. All of these sound great though, so I think I might just have to shift up my timetable for them 😊 As always terrific post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I have always been meaning to try at least one novel by him but I never found the time for them. NOS4A2 is indeed one that I have high on my list too. I’ll have to make time for it!

      I’m glad to hear your interest in this one and I hope you’ll find a little bit of time somewhere in your day to check these out the! πŸ˜€ Thanks for reading, Michel! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  • I have come to the conclusion that Joe Hill just isn’t my cup of tea. My only interaction with his work was that terrible movie Horns but even all of the reviews, glowing or not, simply don’t appeal to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad to hear your interest in the comics, Heather! I hope you get the chance to see how it was originally told! I’ll have to make time for the Netflix show myself in the near future. πŸ˜€ Thanks for reading!

      Like

  • Haven’t read the comic yet – now I’m tempted πŸ™‚ The show is definitely ok, but no great, at least the first 6 episodes I’ve seen. Not sth I would binge-watch, but I’m going to finish one day… thanks for the review!

    Liked by 1 person

  • I only read the first volume, but I think it’s because it was just too violent for me and I didn’t appreciate the art style either. It was super interesting to read your thoughts on the entire series though! I didn’t love, but I liked the Netflix show, so I am glad it got another season for now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh snap. It’s not ALWAYS super violent but when it’s time for it in each volume, it goes pretty far into gore-land hahaha I also got used to the art style after volume 2 and it remains pretty consistent throughout the series too. If you really didn’t like it the first time, it might indeed be hard to enjoy it as you go further into the series hahah I’ll definitely have to try out the series then. A passing grade from Kat is always a good sign! πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading, Kat.

      Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve read volume #1 and watched the show. I thought the artwork (all aspects of art) were great in the comic. Although I did have it somewhere in my brain to buy the graphic novel at some point ( not a high priority ) I read it early because of Kindle Unlimited. Cheers. =D

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ohhh sweet! I’m glad to hear how much you enjoyed them both! You won’t be disappointed by the rest of the comic book series in that case! I hope you get the chance to go through them soon. πŸ˜€ Thank you so much for reading my post!

      Liked by 1 person

  • I watched the Netflix series and it’s brilliant! Really looking forward to series 2! Those are some awesome looking books there Lashaan, not too sure I’d read them, but Netflix did it good πŸ˜ƒ Great post, ad always πŸ‘πŸ»

    Liked by 1 person

  • I’ve only read volume 1 so far, but I intend to get back to this series, even more so now. I also am not a huge fan of the illustrations, but I do like them. “Crisp” is the best word to use for illustrations I tend to favor.
    So far, I’ve only watched the first episode of the show. I wasn’t feeling it too much, but I plan to give it another chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. It’s nothing bad, but nothing that makes me go crazy either. Good thing the story and the ideas explored are quite fascinating and dark here. Just the concept of locks and keys made this excellent! I totally understand your feelings for the show though. It’s what I felt when I saw the trailer alone hahaha

      Like

  • Glad to see you enjoyed this series. Long ago I was given the chance to borrow the first volume from a friend, but I just didn’t care for the style of the artwork so I passed on the opportunity. Then last year I listened to an audiobook version of the story told using multiple narrators with music and sound effects, really well done, I thought. It had a bit of a YA feel to it, but I enjoyed it. Regarding Joe Hill, I did know he was Stephen King’s son, and had tried reading his novel Horns, but unfortunately was really disappointed by it. The concept seemed interesting but it was just way too long, seemed to drag on forever. I preferred the movie over the book because the movie was far shorter. I’d still like to try some of his other works, see how that sits with me. I’m thinking Heart-Shaped Box or NOS4A2.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s the first time I’m hearing about the audiobook version of this one! I’m glad that you still enjoyed that one though. I also totally understand that you passed on the comics because of the style too. If it wasn’t for the praise the series had received, I’d have looked the other way too. Ahhh interesting that the movie worked better for you. I’ve been meaning to try one of those 3 that you mention but never got around to it. I am curious to see how he does in a novel compared to comics though. His comics are usually quite fascinating conceptually! Thanks for reading, Todd. I appreciate it. πŸ˜€

      Like

  • Looks like you’re enjoying this, Lashaan! I don’t feel convinced by the premise, but I’m actually considering giving the comics a try. I like that short review feature, btw! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  • Great review as always Lashaan! I hadn’t heard of this series before but it sounds super entertaining! I’m always up for a bit of horror + family drama 😁 Maybe I will try the Netflix series first as I guess it will be easier to get a hold on! Thanks for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Juliette! I would tell you to try the show first too but I haven’t myself to confirm if it’s as good as the comics hahaha If you do, I’d love to know if it was anything worth your time though hahahah Otherwise, maybe someday you’ll have access somehow to these comics for you to read and discover the horrors created by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez! πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

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