Face your fears, and put them in a bottle with that thing that makes you cry

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IDW Publishing’s Locke & Key: Head Games continues to move at a brisk pace as the Locke kids continue to explore the powers each of the house’s magic keys bestow up on the wielder.  But what happens when you remove your fears, and the thing you fear the most is right next to you?

Headgames05-1.jpgThe big reveal last issue was Kinsey Locke using the Brain Key to unlock her head and fish out those two things that bother her the most; namely her fear and the thing that makes her cry.  This issue features the after effects of those events and how things spiral even further out of control.

I don’t know what it would be like to have no fears, but Joe Hill tweaks Kinsey to the point it looks like she is on a couple dozen happy pills.  It’s a little disturbing to see her so happy and carefree considering the way we’ve seen her in past issues, and is even more disturbing that she is encouraging everyone else to remove their fears as well.  This brings up an interesting question about the Keyhouse and the keys; does one become addicted to the magical items over time?  It would certainly explain why Zack/Lucas is so interested in catching them all.

Hill does an excellent job of writing in this issue, as he is able to bridge the action at the Keyhouse to the action in Provincetown, where uncle Duncan is recovering from his recent, and brutal, gay bashing incident.  While readers discovered Duncan’s orientation last issue, it’s unclear if the rest of the family knows his preferences.  It’s almost comical when Tyler tries to explain to Zack/Lucas that his uncle is a lifelong bachelor.  There’s a hint in the delivery that he knows what is going on, but is trying to brush it off and not outing his uncle. Again, kudos to Hill for bringing life to these characters that makes readers want to get further into their heads, all while they are trying to take things out.

For uncle Duncan things go from bad to worse as evening comes, and Zack/Lucas makes off with the Brain Key, and the Door to Anywhere Key to pay a visit to the quiet provincial town.  While Zack/Lucas is able to successfully remove all memory Duncan may have of him in his current and past lives, hubris gets the better of Zack as he’s discovered by Duncan’s significant other, Brian.

In a gun fight, you don’t bring a knife, causing Brian to flee into the street.  And this is where it gets weird; Brian ends up getting run over by the two women who tried to kill him earlier.  It’s a strange twist that works in Zack’s favor, as he brushes off the incident, returns to Keyhouse, and gets involved in something readers could see happening, but is still shocking when the moment comes.

I really thought Hill topped himself with the psychopath Sam Lesser from the first volume, but Zack/Lucas gives off the Scare the Crap Out of You vibe every time he is doing something other than standing around and observing. Once he acts, you know things aren’t going to go well, and the more we learn about the villain of this story, the more I want to put the book down and hope to Jeebus that people like these really don’t exist.

Unfortunately, Hill is such a wonderful writer, and he’s found a perfect medium for sharing his story, that one can’t put this book down.  Complimenting the Wordsmith is artist Gabriel Rodriguez, who once again adds the cherry on this sundae.  The euphoria of this series still has a hold on me, and I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop, but fortunately it doesn’t happen with this issue as Locke & Key: Head Games #5 earns another 5 out of 5 Stars.

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The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

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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