So here it goes: Locke & Key is a supernatural/horror/dark fantasy/thriller comic that revolves around a family driven to take "refuge" in an ancient Massachusetts manor long seated in their heritage. Where they hoped to find solace, they soon find temptation, moral deliberation and emotional trials. In this residence there are doors (both metaphorical and literal) that will transform you, give you power or abilities untold. But by what means are they to be opened? Is there a consequence? Perhaps the tenant of a generation past holds the answers...
It is rare for me to feel like this - if I provide more than just a very general description of the collective works of writer Joe Hill (son of Stephen King) and artist Gabriel Rodriguez, I would be taking away from the enjoyment that I had reading this series.
Well, how did I do? Are you intrigued? I sure hope so. This is one of the most original works that I have read in a long time and I highly recommend it for any fan of the genre(s). The writing is slick without getting too convoluted and the plot has that, "I think I know where this is going but I'm not sure so I better keep reading," status. Even if I did guess correctly,the actual outcome or sum of the parts was often a surprise nonetheless. The art is very vibrant, almost looking like stills from an animation. While the imagery is stylized, realism is still the focus. The detail isn't skimped on, especial when things get graphic and brutal.
Part of the reason why I'm only showing volume covers is that so much of the story is conveyed through its imagery. With how the story is tied together, seeing too much could ruin multiple parts of the series for you. Locke & Key ran from 2008 to 2013, comprising of 6 volumes with 6 issues per (the last volume has 7). While there is a palpable break between most of the volumes, the story pulls you right back in each time. This was definitely a "volume per sitting" read for me.
Rating: 8.75/10. The negatives are few and far between on this one. There were a few slow parts in the middle of the series, where some character development and relationships were being hashed out. Besides that, there was a little bit of "the characters are too big to fail" during the latter half as well, but not enough to be a deal breaker. With that being said, I can see how those issue did help make the amazing ending what it was. If it wasn't for those nitpickings, I would have given it a 9+.
TLDR: READ IT!