Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Released: February 2013
Warnings: Assault, implied sexual assault, graphic injuries
At this point I imagine most comic fans have already head of Locke & Key, either through the original graphic novels, or through the Netflix series. I originally read this first volume years ago, but the series did inspire me to go back and do another read through (with the ultimate goal of reading the rest of the series as well).
Locke & Key Vol. 1 is the story of the Locke family, and their grand home: Keyhouse. Set in New England, this world quickly dives into the deep end, as keys and doorways have the ability to transform and transport.
It isn’t all a world of wonder, however. There is a darkness lingering around the family. Around the home as well, for that matter. There are dark forces that want their hands on those very keys, and they’re willing to do just about anything to get what they want.
On the off chance that this series is actually new to you, I feel like I should give a few warnings here. The series gets pretty dark at times, with the first volume alone portraying assault, violence, and implied sexual assault. Not to mention some pretty gruesome injuries. That is all par for the course in this series however, so consider yourself warned.
Locke & Key Vol. 1 is a fantastic yet dark introduction to this series. This series really isn’t for the faint of heart, and yet it is still inarguably brilliant. It explores concepts such as depression, loss, and trauma, as well as a magical world.
This series really does start off on a dark point. I had forgotten just how dark. Fans of the Netflix show might be surprised to learn that the introduction could in fact have been even darker, but I won’t delve into those details here.
The introduction of Keyhouse and all of the keys is, obviously, quite fascinating. It’s all balanced out with the implication that there is something hunting the family (with pretty obvious reasons).
Likewise, the rules revolving around the keys and memories are intriguing, and I look forward to learning more about them in future volumes (though I have spoiled quite a bit of that by reading articles about the keys, no regrets).
Gabriel Rodriguez’s artwork is the ideal complement for this darker series, portraying tortured characters going through the worst that life has to offer them. There’s no doubt about the trauma the mother is going through, or the rest of the kids, for that matter.
Being a heavy series, Locke & Key is not one I plan on binging all at once. Still, I plan on getting through the rest of it sooner rather than later. Though I’m not super worried about spoilers in this case – in fact, I might welcome them. Just this once.