If you have not read Locke & Key: Keys To The Kingdom, then there may be a few spoilers up ahead so proceed at your own risk.
Wow! What a way to start off an issue! Joe Hill must know that there is nothing more scary than creepy little kids, and he puts that to the test in the first two pages. With a change of pace from last issue, we are brought to the present where the Locke family is unaware that they are still very much in danger. While still searching for the Omega Key, Dodge (in Bode’s body) is interrupted while searching Kinsey’s room. Startled by his “mom,” he ends up breaking the bottle that held Kinsey’s fear and tears, allowing them to escape. From here on things go from bad to really bad as Dodge gets closer to his goal.
The pace of the issue does slow down a bit after its great beginning, but it delivers nonetheless. Certain issues seem to take one of the Locke family through hell, and I guess in this one it was Tyler’s turn again. So, if you were wondering how Tyler was able to keep it all together and cope with all of the trauma, Hill gives you the answer. Everything else about the issue moves superbly with a definite purpose and meaning, which makes it a richer experience. What’s also been great about Hill’s approach to this series is that he will keep you guessing, so don’t be fooled by what he puts in front of you. It could all change in one of Gabe’s great looking panels or by next issue, but whatever it is you’ll like what happens. It was also a nice touch on how the story unfolded when you consider which key was found at the end of the issue.
Gabe’s art does it again in this issue just like all of the others. I love it when he gets a chance to draw a sequence that involves the Head Key, as it’s always a very warped view of reality no matter whose head it’s in. The best was seeing Tyler’s little superhero who was dressed in various things that symbolize his father. Another nice touch is seeing the headline change on the front page of the makeshift newspaper dress that Kinsey’s fear imp wears. It’s little things like these that make this one fantastic looking book.
When reviewing the first issue I made the comment that Clockworks would be a nice jumping on point. After reading this issue I’d have to make a correction that only that particular issue would be fine for a new reader. Aside from the brief recap in Clockworks #2, a new reader would still be missing out on some vital information. So do yourself a favor and start at the beginning and make your way to Clockworks. When taken into account the entire body of work in the Locke & Key series so far, you have to give this creative team mad props for their consistent excellent work. This is a series that’s very much worth your hard earned money every time it hits shelves.