I cannot believe it took me this long to finally check out this series. I think Joe Hill's books are absolutely incredible! I'm so ecstatic that he has ventured into comics!
If you've been waiting to check this series out, don't wait any longer! Go grab it today!
Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez (Illustrator)
In this first volume we meet the Locke family; Rendell (father), Nina (mother), Tyler (oldest son), Kinsey (middle daughter), and Bode (youngest son). While at their summer home, two disgruntled students that had Rendell as a guidance counselor show up and demand that he give them keys. When Rendell says he doesn't know what they are talking about, the students murder him. Tyler witnesses the whole thing and then has to fight back while his two younger siblings hide.
After the funeral for Rendell, the family goes to Lovecraft, Massachusetts to stay at a house called Keyhouse. Right away Bode discovers a few paranormal features of the house; a key that opens a door which turns you into a ghost when you pass through, and a woman who speaks to him from the bottom of a well. Because Bode is so young and has just been through a trauma, his family thinks he is making it all up. But those things are very real. And someone is coming for the keys...
I did not do any research before diving into this book. I simply saw that it was by Joe Hill and wanted to check it out. This first volume sat on my TBR for an embarrassingly long time, but now that I have read it, I can already tell you that it is going to be one of my all time favorite series (dear other volumes, please don't let me down!).
The storyline was suspenseful and very dark. The action starts right away and carries through the rest of the volume. This is definitely a comic for a mature audience. There was a lot of violence and blood, but it was so wonderfully done. I loved all of the paranormal features.
The artwork was perfect for the storyline. I really enjoyed the color palette, the various facial expressions of the characters, and all of the detail! One panel completely freaked me out because it was a bit dark with Bode in the forefront. So when I saw the background, I actually jumped!
The flow of this collection was also wonderful. Whether it was a chapter break or a setting jump on the same page, you can tell that the transitions were really thought out, and therefore they were executed perfectly. For example, on one page we see a character about to shoot a gun in one panel, and then in the next a track coach is pointing her hand in the air and shouting "bang" to start a race (image below, face blurred to prevent spoilers).
The main storyline started with a bang but then did a bit of backtracking through the use of "then" and "now" sections. These flashbacks were added in the perfect places throughout the volume. I really enjoyed getting more information about the characters and their backstories as we went. I also really enjoyed panels like this:
I loved all of the siblings in the Locke family and I cannot wait to see where the other volumes bring them. Of course there were some other characters that I didn't love, but I did really appreciate how creepy they were!
My final thoughts:
Highly recommended! 5 stars!
Click here to read my review for Volume 2.
Thanks for reading!
What is your favorite Joe Hill work?