Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Locke & Key: Clockworks issues 1 & 2



Being a rather impatient fellow, when I saw that Comixology have now started selling downloads of IDW comics and had copies of Locke & Key: Clockworks issues 1 and 2 for just $1.99 each (cover price $3.99 each), I downloaded them right away.  I’m still going to by the next hardcover collection when it comes out, but that probably won’t be out until next spring, at least, and who can wait that long?  Well, not me.  I like this series a lot and, as I said, I am rather impatient.

In Clockworks #1, in a story set in Lovecraft, Massachusetts, in 1775, we finally discover the origin of the various magical keys hidden around the Keyhouse.  In this particularly bloody issue, shortly after seeing his parents hung by the British for treason, locksmith’s son Benjamin Locke and his sister, Miranda, flee to the caves beneath Lovecraft to aid the revolutionaries hiding there, only to discover that there are worse things than the British – yes, really – hiding behind the ‘black door’.  Several revolutionaries are possessed by demons and go kill-crazy, and Benjamin Locke is inspired to create a padlock to hold the black door shut, and 100 magical keys, from some material that came from behind the door.  I enjoyed this issue a lot, and was quite disappointed to find that #2 was set in the present day, like all previous issues of this series, until I remembered where the last book, Keys To The Kingdom, left off – with the body of the youngest Locke sibling, Bode, now inhabited by the evil being formally known as Dodge.

Evil Bode establishes his evil credentials fairly quickly, dispatching one of his classmates, who has figured out that Bode is no longer Bode, by the second page of the issue.  From there, Evil Bode sets about looking for the key to the black door – the Omega Key – and accidently sets free his sister Kinsey’s fear and sorrow, which have been trapped in a jar, believed drowned, since they were removed from her head in L&K Vol.2 (yeah, I know that all sounds a bit odd, but I haven’t got time to fully recap the entire series – Clockworks is L&K Vol.5 – so you’ll just have to read it all yourself or go with me for now).  Kinsey’s fear and sorrow get into oldest Locke sibling Tyler’s head and cause a bit of trouble, but most importantly, by the end of the issue, the Locke kids have found yet another key and Evil Bode has the Omega key in his hands (I do wonder why Dodge / Evil Bode never just tortured the location of the Omega key out of Tyler, instead of putting so much effort into pretending to be a normal kid – going to school, etc. – in order to find it). 

This is a really good series, cleverly / wittily scripted by Joe Hill (I’ve read all his novels and enjoyed them, too – particularly the short story collection ‘20th Century Ghosts’ – but L&K is better) and with great, detailed art by Gabriel Rodriguez.  I can’t wait for the next issue, which I think is out next week, and I will probably download that, too, just as soon as the price drops to $1.99 or less (because I feel weird spending more than $1.99 on a comic with no resale value).

Note: I would like to point out that Comixology do not sponsor this blog – although, if they want to, they are more than welcome to do so – even though it might seem like it at the moment, what with all the downloads I keep reviewing.  I do still read paper comics and still have piles of unread graphic novels to get through, but even though the graphic novel / TPB remains my preferred format, I really can’t be bothered with paper periodical comics anymore, so most of the new serial comics I review from now on are likely to have been downloaded.

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