Comic Review: Locke And Key: Keys To The Kingdom

Here we go with the second series I’m reviewing this week that I want to finish this calendar year, and then on to the Netflix adaptation.  And heck, around the time the series first dropped on Netflix, I was able to get all of the remaining trades at Barnes and Noble without any trouble.  And sure, I could read them all at once, but I’ve never been all that comfortable doing something like that.  I like to divide up what I read as I go.  Reading too much from the same author can sometimes wear on me.  At one point, I had a rule that said no matter how much I liked any author’s work, I had to read two other books before I read another one.

Anyway, the long and the short of it is I will get to the last two eventually, but for now, here’s my thoughts on the fourth volume of Locke & Key, subtitled Keys to the Kingdom.

Life goes on in the Keyhouse, as the three Locke children Ty, Kinsey, and Bode continue to look into the mystery of the Dark Lady who wants the keys for a certain unknown reason, none of them having quite figured out Ty’s friend and Kinsey’s boyfriend Wade is, in fact, the Dark Lady using some of the very keys to disguise herself as a teenage boy.  Or the Lady is a disguise Wade uses.  It’s complicated.  But each of the children have their own sets of clues and problems.  Ty is smitten with a girl with issues that probably won’t stay faithful to him (she tells him herself and he refuses to believe it), but he’s more muscle and bravery than brains in many ways, looking to mostly protect the others rather than solve puzzles.  Kinsey removed her fear and sorrow with the head key, making herself utterly fearless and is only now realizing how bad a situation that might be.  Bode, as a kid, just wants the other two to take him seriously.

Much of this volume seems to follow individual stories, showing new keys and what they do while Wade and the spectral Lucas both conspire against each other to get the Omega Key to do…something.  If anything, Wade looks to be if not the evil one, then at least the more evil one if that makes sense.  I’m still not sure what the Omega Key does, only that Ty and only Ty knows where it is.

The trade ends with a two-parter where some secrets come out and ends with the Lockes in a bad place despite the fact most of them don’t know it yet.  For all that Bode and the others seem to get what the keys are and how to use them, they don’t have much on Wade.  Then again, Wade-as-Dodge was there when their father did his thing with the keys as a teenager, so who knows?

As always, I like what Joe Hill does as a writer even if I am not loving Gabriel Rodriguez’s artwork.  As always, I like the art.  I just don’t know how much it fits a horror title.  That and because I wait so long between trades, I tend to forget who some of these people actually are.  I’ll try to get to the next one relatively soon.  8.5 out of 10 tragic bird incidents.

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