Not having a local comic book shop is frustrating; granted, I don’t purchase an exorbitant amount of comics, but having the ability to purchase the ones I do like would be preferred. My local comic shop is located approximately an hour and a half away, and seeing as I’m still waiting on an online order I for this comic, I turned to comiXology to feed the need.
I feel a bit unprepared for this post; I’ve only reviewed the first volume of Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft. However, “The Guide to the Known Keys” is a one-shot prequel filled with many other goodies for the Locke & Key enthusiast including fan art, an updated guide to the known keys, and a short & very sweet 16 page story.
The story here details the creation of a new key, the Moon Key, and its purpose. As the story opens, Chamberlain Locke and his son Ian, are talking about the moon, its inner workings and outer illusions, as well as long dead family members. The year is 1912; young Ian has a cancerous tumor, and experiences seizures due to his condition. His father is prone to sleepless nights looking over his son.
To those that have read volume two of the Locke & Key saga Head Games, you will remember a sequence towards the end of it about the Mending Key. Well, in this one-shot, our understanding of how it works is greatly aggrandized. The main story focuses on the creation of the Moon Key. Without giving too much away, Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez craft a fairy tale about what’s inside the moon and it’s mending abilities. You will have tears running down your face at the end of the story, that’s a guarantee.
Also included is an expanded version of the guide to the known keys. The keys are explained over the centuries by various family members as posts in a journal, beginning with Benjamin Locke back in the mid 1700’s all the way up to now with Bode Locke. Some of the new key explanations include the Key to the Moon, the Time Shift Key (first show to the reader in Head Games but not used until the new series Clockworks. That’ s right, I remember page 35!), and the Chain Key that goes to the Great Lock. Bode’s exploration with keys is quite explosive and leads him to Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez themselves!
The fan art is a nice addition, and there is some stunning pieces featured in this edition including Bode’s first use of the ghost key, a stunning image of the girl in the well that will turn some heads, and a nice short comic about a comic shop employee trying to sell Locke & Key to a customer who’s only looking for the new Justice League.
This one-shot has met with rousing success; so much that they have decided to do another printing of it, and Joe Hill has assured us that we will be seeing more one-shot’s in the future. With that said, find a store, buy online, or do the comiXology thing, pick a quiet room, and dive in to the wonder that is Locke & Key.