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Thought we’d forgotten, didn’t you?

It’s been too long since the last installment of the Locke & Key series from IDW Publishing. The problem with waiting months for a new installment is readers may forget the issue is out and still being printed. Fortunately, the Locke & Key series rocks, and it’s always going to be on someone’s radar.

lockekey31COVER.jpgLocke & Key: Crown of Shadows #1
Joe Hill (w)
Gabriel Rodriguez (a & c)

As Lucas Caravaggio continues to scour the Keyhouse for the remaining magical keys, this issue takes a turn to the mystical and possibly alien side as Lucas uses the Ghost Door to pay a visit to Sam Lesser. Readers haven’t seen Lesser since the original Welcome to Lovecraft series, but he – or rather, his ghost has been hanging around the grounds of the Keyhouse, hoping the love of his life shows up. When Lucas steps through the Ghost Door, he not only turns intangible, but readers might be in for a bit of a shock when they see the thing attached to his spirit.

While Lucas claims it is a key to happiness, it looks more like an alien to this reviewer, which makes me wonder if Joe Hill will venture down the same extraterrestrial path his father has done in the past as well. It’s very disturbing to see the thing, but readers won’t get a chance to spend too much time on it, as Lucas and Sam end up exchanging spiritual fisticuffs. Lucas has been searching for a particular key that only Sam can sense, but Sam doesn’t want to help until he gets a body – any body to reside in.

The major fight that ensues, proves that Sam Lesser is just as dangerous alive as he is dead, and we’d all better hope no one else steps through the Ghost Door or there’s going to be trouble. It’s a fascinating fight that readers haven’t seen played out that often in the comic books, and it is a great hook to keep readers interested to see what happens in the second act of this series.

I really have enjoyed the writing by Joe Hill in this series, as he’s able to take the mystical and combine it with just the right amount of shock and horror to make readers want to come back time and time again. While I think following Lucas’ path to destruction/discovery is a good way to go, i can’t help but want to see more of the Locke kids having some fun unlocking the greater mystery of where the keys come from and what kind of adventures, Bode and the others will have.

There are many ways one can draw spirits, but I think Gabriel Rodriguez has taken ghost art to a new level with the way he’s represented Lesser and Caravaggio in this issue. It is tough enough from some artists to draw a character correctly from multiple angles, but Rodriguez is given the added task of drawing the characters with their see through bits showing and still keeping everything in perspective. Of course his attention to detail in every panel rocks as well, and his treatment of the credits for this issue are a nice treat.

Even with the lack of the Locke kids running around with all the drama in their life, this issue packs enough action, while further developing the story in a way that keeps one glued to the page. The hunt for the key to the Black Door is on, and it looks like readers are in for another great trip. Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows #1 earns 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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