Welcome to Lovecraft was rated quite highly when the Major Spoilers crew gave it a look-see, and it was clear at the end of the series there was more story to tell.  IDW Publishing and Joe Hill just released the first installment of the next chapter of this compelling story, in Locke & Key: Head Games #1.

lockandkeyheadgames_cv01.jpgThe end of the Welcome to Lovecraft series featured a shocking moment when the spirit in the bottom of the well escaped to take on human form, switched genders and became Zack, a new friend for Tyler Locke.  It was a pretty creepy ending to a tale that left readers with one of those “Oh Noze!” feelings of foreboding.

This series starts off by keeping the reader as far away from the Locke family as possible, instead focusing on Joe Ridgeway, the drama teacher at the Lovecraft Academy.  He’s a man in the twilight of his years, who lost his beloved wife several years before.  And even though his mind wanders, he is still sharp enough to recognize the face of his former student, Lucas Caravaggio, who just so happens to look exactly like Zack.

His investigation into this sudden appearance gives the reader a hint at something that happened years before involving the cast of the school’s production of The Tempest.  Of the six cast members, something “terrible” happened to three of the members, with Lucas mysteriously disappearing too.  Ridgeway begins to believe Lucas’ return might actually be a spirit returned from the dead to watch over the Locke children.

Ridgeway’s belief couldn’t be further from the truth as Lucas reveals he’s really there to extract revenge on those who killed him and dumped him in the well.  Suddenly, this story of the fantastical, has turned into a deep murder mystery.  While the Locke children discovering and using the numerous keys found in the house bring a magical all ages feel to the story, the history of what transpired with the cast members, and the background of the deceased Mr. Locke and his involvement with the keys puts this tale into the realm of the adult.

Speaking of the keys, we do get to see Lucas/Zack use the key that opens doors to anywhere to jump from the school to his home, steal a gun from the police evidence room, and slip into Ridgeway’s house to murder him for being a fly in the ointment.

Gabriel Rodriguez continues to deliver great art from the first series.  There are a few graphically violent moments in the issue that puts this issue in the mature category.  It isn’t over the top violence and blood, but enough that readers under 12 should probably have parents read through first.

For those hooked on the first volume, Head Games continues the excitement and intrigue. Joe Hill obviously picked up a few things from his famous father, as the story pacing, dialogue and potential foreshadowing moments engage the reader from the first page to the last.  Locke & Key: Head Games #1 a great way to start off this six-issue run, earning 4 out of 5 Stars.




About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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