Monday, March 4, 2013

Graphic Novel review - Locke and Key Vol 1 - Joe Hill

Locke and Key – Joe Hill
It has been ages since I’ve read a comic. I’ve heard a lot about Locke and Key and after seeing the first 6 issues on the KF for only £2.99 I could not resist finding out what all the fuss was about.
Locke & Key
The Blurb:
Locke & Key tells of Keyhouse, an unlikely New England mansion, with fantastic doors that transform all who dare to walk through them.... and home to a hate-filled and relentless creature that will not rest until it forces open the most terrible door of them all...!
I knew nothing about this series going in. I had not even read the blurb. So I was pleasantly surprised with what I found. The premise is intriguing, a family is relocated to their summer home following the brutal murder of their family at the hands of one of his students. The remaining members of the family were present that day and only just survived.
What follows then, is the story of how each family member (wife and three children) deal with this loss. The mother is an alcoholic, the elder son experiences a profound guilt, the daughter tries to fit in with her new classmates and avoid being centre of attention and lastly there is the youngest son who discovers a secret that could explain the motivation behind the murder.
The characterisation of the three children is excellent, especially of the daughter, whilst the mother so far is a bit two-dimensional. However, running alongside these character studies, there is the ongoing mystery of what is really going on. Who is the hideous entity in the well? Why can Bode do what he can do? All of it adds to a terrific plot that really adds tension to the story.
Joe Hill also places regular flashbacks throughout the story to help explain what has gone on before and elaborate on the relationship between the father and the pupil that slayed him.
Gabriel Rodriguez’s art is fantastic. The action scenes are gory without being way over the top.  The use of colour is effective and works especially well on the Kindle Fire.
Occasionally, a character is introduced that left me confused as they looked very similar to another one, but this is a minor grumble.
Overall, I really enjoyed this first introduction to Locke and Key and have immediately purchased the second collection.
My rating: 8.5