Author: Joe Hill
Illustrators: Gabriel Rodriguez
Publisher: IDW Publishing
There are many things that make the Locke & Key series so enjoyable. Perhaps most importantly, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. The second volume, Head Games, features a premise that would likely not work in any other form of media other than comics. But that is precisely why it works.
In Head Games, six-year-old Bode Locke discovers another magical key inside their Lovecraft mansion. This key has the power to open one’s mind — literally. By inserting the key in the back of the head, the mind and memories of the person is graphically displayed inside their head like a bowl full of Halloween candy. Memories can be plucked out or information can be placed inside. This works out well for Ty Locke, who is behind in his homework and can now cram the books inside his head.
Ty has befriended his schoolmate, Zack Wells (who in a previous life was also the Locke father’s classmate, Luke). Unbeknownst to Ty and Kinsey, Zack has supernatural powers of his own and will stop at nothing to unlock the powers of the key house.
Joe Hill has achieved a good balance of harnessing the true emotions of teens, while making the series escapist fun. There are many elements of horror and Gabriel Rodriguez’s artwork is a great complement to Hill’s narrative. I was a little confused toward the end of where the story was going and in a sense, it lacked full closure to the story arc. Regardless, this is definitely a series I will stick with until the end.