December 19, 2013

IDW Reviews: Locke & Key: Alpha #2

LnK-Alpha02-pr-1-1eb76Locke & Key: Alpha #2
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Writer: Joe Hill
Aritst: Gabriel Rodriguez
Cover: Gabriel Rodriguez & Jay Fotos

It’s the cover showing a mostly burned and destroyed Keyhouse that really hits you and sets up what is the final issue of this groundbreaking series. Hill chooses to start this one in a familiar, if somewhat sad, moment that immediately takes you all the way back to the first issue. It’s here where we see how the survivors of what happened in the Drowning Cave are honoring the friends they lost. As the story continues, Hill takes us on quite the emotional walk as Tyler attempts to find some closure and sets some things right.

The fact that this issue hits so many strong emotional beats is because of the excellent character building from Hill and Rodriguez throughout the entire series. From the Locke family to the surrounding cast (with favorites gone too soon) everyone has been a joy to read and get to know. Hill wraps things up quite well with the high point being the reconciliation between Tyler and his father. That moment stood out because Tyler’s relationship with his father has been a driving factor the entire series. From the first issue to his crafting of the final key there’s a very strong connecting thread there that can’t be ignored.

Another thing that can’t be ignored is the consistently great artwork from Gabriel Rodriguez. He’s put so much into this series and continues to deliver that right here until the end. The emotionally gripping opening scene at the funeral just punches you right in the chest. No dialogue, just Rodriguez telling the story and it’s always fascinating to see how he syncs up with Hill’s script. Though it was a treat that there were so many panels that were absent of dialogue and just full of Gabe’s artwork. There’s a full panel of the destroyed Keyhouse which is similar to the cover but with the addition of Tyler and even a sparrow in the foreground the level of emotion is pushed a little higher. Just a fantastic looking book, folks!

As far as endings go Locke & Key: Alpha #2 was done very well and much better than I had hoped. Now there was one element that seemed to be wrapped up a bit too perfect for my tastes but if we all had the same opinions things would be quite boring. But the worst part of this is that the story has come to an end but it’s been one great journey along the way. Joe, Gabe, and Jay have assuredly brought something fantastic to the industry and the world of comics is much better for it. So the next time someone says that there’s nothing good in comics anymore just know that they haven’t read Locke & Key and help them correct that mistake!

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