Title: Locke and Key: Keys to the Kingdom
Author: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Genre: Supernatural / Horror / Family
Year Published: 2011
Year Read: 2012
Series: Locke and Key #4
Publisher: IDW Comics
Content Rating: Ages 16+ (Strong Language and Gory Violence)
I have been reading Joe Hill’s fantastic “Locke and Key” series for awhile and so far, this series has been nothing but brilliant so far and I am enjoying every single story coming out of this series! The fourth volume “Locke and Key: Keys to the Kingdom” is an Eisner nominated book by Joe Hill that proves to be the huge turning point for this series as Zack Wells, who turns out to be Lucas Don Caravaggio in a new body, starts showing his true colors! “Locke and Key: Keys to the Kingdom” is a brilliant volume that will definitely turn the tides for this series!
There are a total of five chapters in this volume and here are the chapters:
Chapter One: Sparrow:
In this chapter, Joe Hill makes a tribute to Bill Watterson’s famous comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” by detailing a story where Bode tries to make new friends but there appears to be a key that can turn anyone into a wolf and Zack happens to obtain the key to transform himself into a wolf and attack Tyler and Kinsey! Meanwhile, Bode is able to transform himself into a bird and has crazy adventures in his bird form!
Chapter Two: White
When an elderly woman named Erin Voss started acting crazy every time she is near something white, Kinsey encounters the subject of racism, while she is curious about how Erin Voss knows about her father Rendell. So to approach Erin Voss, Kinsey finds a key that allows her to change the color of her skin. But what secrets is Erin Voss hiding?
Chapter Three: February
During this month, the Locke kids go through so many supernatural activities where they are attacked by various monsters. Meanwhile, the kids try to tell their friends about the keys, but they end up facing the consequences of their actions.
Chapter Four: Casualties
When Rufus, Coach Whedon’s son is visited by the ghost of Sam Lesser, he finds out that Zack Wells is not all he is cracked up to be and Rufus must find a way to warn the Locke kids about Zack.
Chapter Five: Detectives
When Tyler discovers something foul about Zack Wells, he goes to find out more about Zack Wells and his connection with the murders in the town. Unfortunately, Tyler will soon realize that Zack might be up to some sinister tricks that could endanger his family!
Oh my goodness! Did I mention before that this series just keeps getting better and better every time I read them? The fourth volume in the “Locke and Key” series is definitely no exception to this as it serves to be a huge turning point for our favorite Locke kids! Joe Hill has once again done an excellent job at balancing the supernatural nature of this story with the everyday problems that the Locke kids have to face after the death of their father. I loved the way that Joe Hill portrayed the relationships between Tyler, Kinsey and Bode as they all care about each other and it was great seeing them protect each other from any danger that comes towards them. I also loved seeing the relationships that the Locke kids have with their friends, especially Kinsey with Jamal and Scot as they are extremely close with each other and I loved the dialogues that Joe Hill sets up between the three of them as they are extremely funny and thought-provoking to read. I also loved the tension that Joe Hill builds up with Zack Wells as it seems that his true nature is beginning the show in the most terrifying way possible (there was one scene where Zack seems to do something to a person that made me really cringe – you have to read it for yourself!) Gabriel Rodriguez’s artwork is as always truly dramatic and gorgeous to look at as all the coloring is dark which fits the gloomy feel of this story and I loved the way that the characters look semi-realistic which really gives the story a more mature feel. I also loved the way that Gabriel Rodriguez was able to portray the Locke kids as characters from “Calvin and Hobbes” in the first chapter “Sparrow” and the artwork in that chapter truly portrayed the spirit and humor that came from the “Calvin and Hobbes” comics.
As with the majority of the “Locke and Key” series, this volume has extremely strong language and many violent and disturbing scenes that would cause anyone who is not used to gory images to feel uncomfortable. I have mentioned before that there was a little scene where Zack does something horrible to another character and it might disturb many readers (it definitely disturbed me a bit, although the artwork was fantastic for that scene).
Overall, “Locke and Key: Keys to the Kingdom” is a brilliant volume that really turns this series to a new direction and I cannot wait to see what will become of the Locke kids at this point! Now, I am definitely excited for the fifth volume “Clockworks!”