The cat’s out of the bag, and it’s one ugly cat


The first rule of Fight Club is, “You don’t talk about Fight Club.”  The first rule about finding a key that unlocks your head and allows you to add or remove memories is, “You don’t talk about Fight Club (or the fact you have a key that unlocks your head).”  It’s only going to lead to trouble down the road.

lockekey4cover.jpgWe haven’t seen Uncle Duncan Locke in a while, as the last time readers saw him, he was heading out of Lovecraft to do some art teaching. Readers get the chance to check in on him, and discover there’s probably a good reason why he and the widow Nina Locke haven’t hooked up, as we catch him macking with an older guy.  While most of Provincetown is cool with alternative lifestyles, there are those homophobes that won’t put up with those kind of shenanigans.  It all comes to a head when Duncan and his friend Brian get into a fight with a couple of butch women in one of the local bars.

Duncan ends up the worse for wear, getting his head smashed in with a bottle, but during the time he’s out, has a shocking revelation that his nephew Tyler might be in big trouble.  I have a feeling trouble is going to follow Duncan back to Lovecraft, as the two tough women from the bar have followed the duo home and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.

And what about that revelation?  There is a strange dream sequence that pops up a couple of times in the issue, where Duncan is a young lad about Bode’s age and he is in a seaside cave with creepy Zack, his older (now dead brother), and what looks to be other kids from the school play who mysteriously died.  It’s the recognition that Zack hasn’t aged that is going to get Duncan back into the lives of his sister-in-law and kids.

In each review, I keep commenting on how good Gabriel Rodriguez’s art is.  It was only during my second reading of the issue that I noticed the shadows cast by the kids have very specific meanings.  It is these kinds of hints and clues that pop up throughout the issue, that make examining each and every panel that much more fun and exciting.

As far as Kinsey, Tyler, and Bode go, they’ve made the ultimate mistake by showing the Head Key to Zack and showing what it can do.  Zack is more interested in ever, but plays the entire exchange nonchalantly.  Kinsey decides it is time for her to use the Head Key to remove some unwanted memories from her head.  The resulting creatures are pretty disgusting, but at the same time quite interesting.  Not because the kids decide to put the two (fear and crying) in a jar, but because both appear to spout events that might occur later in the series.

And all the while Zack looks on and plots his/her next move.

Even with kids as the central characters in this thriller, this is not a title for kids.  With each new issue Joe Hill peels away another layer to reveal the disturbing thoughts and actions of the villain of the tale, and before this is all over, I sense a blood bath of epic proportion.  Even though I’m dying to find out how this series is going to end, I’m quite satisfied with the pacing and layout of the story.

IDW Publishing is going to come out the winner this year by having Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez in its corner.  By far Locke & Key: Head Games is by far the best series I’ve read so far this year, and the way things are going, this will probably be one of the best titles by the time this calendar year runs out.  Locke & Key: Head Games #4 earns 5 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...

1 Comment

  1. I agree 5 out of 5. This series is just amazing. There aren’t words that describe how much I like this series.

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