Monday, October 22, 2012

Countdown to Halloween Day 22 -- A Review of "Locke and Key"

My first exposure to the writing talent of Stephen King's son Joe Hill was not through either of his novels, but instead through his comic book series Locke and Key.  Published as a succession of mini-series, the book follows the Locke family who have moved into the family estate known as Keyhouse following a tragedy.  In the first volume, Welcome to Lovecraft, the three Locke children, shaken by the death of their father at the hands of an unbalanced young man named Sam Lesser, struggle to make the best of their new situation -- a struggle that is complicated by the fact that their new home is host to mysterious forces, including a spirit in the well house which has helped Sam Lesser escape prison.  With their father's killer hunting them, the Locke kids have to figure out how to use the mystical keys hidden in their new home to battle the evil that threatens their family.  In each subsequent volume, the Locke kid slowly uncover more of their home's secrets, until the fifth volume, Clockworks allows them to use a time-travel key to witness the true origin of their mystical talismans. 

I cannot say enough good things about this series.  Hill has created an engaging world with complex characters and an intriguing mythology, and he does a good job of doling out the secrets of Keyhouse slowly enough to maintain interest, but not so slowly that the story drags on forever.  Enhancing Hill's scripts is the artwork of Gabriel Rodriguez, who manages to capture both humor and horror very well. 

I'm saddened to learn that the not-yet-published mini-series, Omega, will bring the story of Locke and Key to an end, but am glad that it has been popular enough to allow Hill and Rodriguez to fully tell the story they wanted to tell.

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