Locke & Key v1: Welcome to Lovecraft (IDW)


Rating: 5/5 – Unlocking a world of mystery, horror and suspense.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Shawn Hoklas.

New York Times best selling author Joe HIll tells a story about a family that after living through a tragic event, travels across the county to find peace and a new beginning.  That peace is relatively short lived as even more danger, horrors, and mystery await them in the town called Lovecraft, and also within their new residence, the mansion called Keyhouse.  In this first volume of Locke and Key: Welcome to Lovecraft, we’re introduced to the Locke family and get a feel for what’s to come in the next five volumes.  This is a haunting and at times disturbing story, that’s rendered beautifully by artist Gabriel Hernandez.

The sixth and last volume of this story was recently released by IDW, so I decided to give this first volume a re-read and it continues to amaze me just how tight and fluid the storytelling is, not only in the writing, but in the art as well.  Hill takes the Locke family from a horrible tragedy to their taking up a new residence in just a handful of pages, but it never feels rushed or forced.  Not only that, but he’s also able to dive into each character’s development, especially the older siblings Tyler and Kinsey.  The tragedy has changed them both, and Hill shows how each of them cope and deal with their pain.  The villains of the story are both mysterious and disturbing, and again, Hill writes one of them with such realism, that you can actually picture a person like this which makes him all that more frightening.  There’s also a handful of keys that unlock different doors and “powers” introduced throughout, adding depth and mystery to the already curious mansion.

The whole book, and the for that matter the whole series is drawn by Gabriel Rodriguez.  It’s tough to find anything negative to say about his work here.  His characters look and act consistently throughout.  When you feel Tyler and Kinsey’s pain, you feel it in Hill’s writing, but just as equally in Rodriguez’s art.  He’s able to use so much expression in his character’s body language and poses.  Tyler’s big shoulders slump and hunch over, while Kinsey’s look changes a few times throughout this volume’s first six issues.  Rodriguez’s art is stylized, but because of the consistency throughout, it feels real.  Hill and Rodriguez have created something truly special in this first volume, and they’re just getting started as each subsequent volume carries forth their brilliant collaboration.  This is one of IDW’s finest published works and now that the whole series is complete and collected, I’d highly recommend you give this a try.

Reviewed by: Shawn Hoklas
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2 Responses to Locke & Key v1: Welcome to Lovecraft (IDW)

  1. The only Joe Hill book I was familiar with was “Heart-Shaped Box.” I didn’t realize he’d written so many others. This one sounds interesting. I like the name of the town. I always appreciate it when authors do homage to the venerable H.P. Lovecraft 🙂

  2. Pingback: GUEST BLOG: Al’s Year in Graphic Novels | ComicSpectrum – Bob's Blog

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