Title Locke & Key Vol. 1
Author Joe Hill (Author), Gabriel Rodríguez (Artist)
Genre Horror, Fantasy, Graphic Novel
Page Length 168 pages
Publication Date 29 Sep 2008
Publisher IDW Publishing
Read Date Nov 2017
Rating 4.2633 stars – Recommended
Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them, and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all!
So, there are these keys and doors that have supernatural powers, a murderer on the loose, and a freaky ghost woman that lives in a well. Seriously, what isn’t there to like?!
Rendell Locke is murdered by Sam Lesser, a student from the school he works at. This happens in the first few pages, no spoilers here. His widow and three kids move back to his hometown of Lovecraft, Massachusetts and into the Keyhouse mansion. While the Locke family tries to adjust to their new life, Bode, the youngest of the children, find a key to a door that kills him when he passes through it. Sounds terrible right, well… not so much. You see, the door allows a person to travel around as a spirit whilst their dead body remains stiff on the ground. When they get bored of travelling around as a ghost, they just pop back into their body and all is good again!
Bode also discovers someone claiming to be his echo at the bottom of the well in the wellhouse. After Sam Lesser escapes prison, he tracks down the Locke family and invades their home, keeping them hostage in the hope of acquiring The Key to Anywhere and The Key to the Black Door. During the invasion, Bode’s echo convinces him to find The Key to Anywhere with the promise to stop Sam Lesser from killing them all. Problem is, the echo has been locked in the well for a reason, and their release is not a good thing.
I first read this story a couple of years back when I was gifted hardcover editions of volumes 1-6. For some reason, I read volume 1, and then didn’t read the rest. I’m not sure why, because I really like it.
The characters are really well defined in this. All of the Locke family are struggling with the tragic events that took place, and the exploration of this is done really well, with each character managing it differently. Bode is delightful. The echo trapped in the wellhouse creeps me the fuck out, and I’m desperate to know more. Who are they?! Why are they trapped in the wellhouse?! Why can they communicate with people through photographs and reflections in water?! Why do they want out?! What is their favourite food?! I must know more now.
The whole, magical keys and locks is obviously a major part of the story. I can sense that there is much more lore to this world than just what we learn in this volume. I can’t wait to learn more about the keys, where they come from, and if more exist. Spoilers – more keys do exist, I’ve seen them on the covers!
I must say, the artwork doesn’t particularly blow me away, and that is a little disappointing. The artwork is obviously a major part of how enjoyable comics are. This isn’t bad art by any means, and it does a good job of setting the mood and scene, but it isn’t breaking any new ground.
Overall, this is a solid introduction to a great, gritty, fantasy filled supernatural story. It sets up enough to keep me interested in the series. I look forward to giving the rest a read over the next few months.
Anyway, I’m off to search the house for secret keys and doorways. Peace and Love.