Twenty-five years ago, the Keepers of the Keys attempted one last daring adventure. Even the best laid plans can go awry, and the result still haunts family members today. The final issue of Clockworks has arrived, and Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez don’t disappoint.

Writer: Joe HIll
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colorist: Jay Fotos
Letterer: Robbie Robbins
Editor: Chris Ryall
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99

Previously in Locke & Key: The evil behind the door in the Drowning Cave was supposed to turn into the Whispering Iron so the Keepers of the Keys could make their own wondrous keys. Unfortunately, young Duncan got in the way, and Dodge became possessed, vowing to kill any and all in his way if he can’t get the Omega Key.


The best thing about the Clockworks arc, is it does give us a look how Dodge became so evil, and why the family and friends seem so distant years later. At the same time, Hill and Rodriguez have served up a chilling tale that surprises on every turn. This issue is no exception.

In this issue, we find out how Erin lost all her memories, how Dodge became the girl seen in Welcome to Lovecraft, and more importantly, how everything fell apart. Some characters live, and some characters die, and it is the die part that hits the reader over the head. The big shock that Dodge took over Bodie’s body in the last arc had my mind reeling, but the ending to Clockworks leaves me wondering how Hill is going to bring back the dead – or those we believe to be dead. That being said, Hill drops hints throughout the issue that sets up “the return,” and even brings the story full circle to answer questions from the first volume. Pay attention to this issue closely, Dear Reader, as the “key” to defeating Dodge is probably sitting there on the page.

Joe Hill is a master story teller, and he drops so many holy crap moments in this issue, that I can’t believe any network would pass on this tale. A studio that understands magic and terror needs to pick up this property now, as a series of movies is just begging to be made.


I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to read this issue, but if you are just looking for pretty pictures, this issue is 100 times better than any other art you will see this week. The level of detail jumps out at you, and the squishy moments are just gory enough to make you cringe, but not enough to turn you away in horror. If Hill is the master storyteller, then Rodriguez is the master artist. The double page spread near the end of the issue works so well, that those getting this in a digital only format are going to be disappointed.


While I do understand the need to have a contained story, I really don’t want this series to end. It’s been terrific from the very beginning, and this arc, and this issue in particular , is so thrilling it’s worth reading a couple more times before the final seven issues of Locke & Key arrive. Locke & Key: Clockworks #6 is terrifying in the storytelling, awe inspiring in the artistic detail, and a perfect ending chapter for this arc. This is a must buy issue, earning 5 out of 5 Stars.

Rating: ★★★★★

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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  1. Ashen
    May 15, 2012 at 3:52 pm — Reply

    I started reading Locke & Key because of the reviews on Major Spoilers. Definitely glad I did.

    Any idea what the final story arc is titled and when it is scheduled for release?

  2. Michael
    May 15, 2012 at 6:49 pm — Reply

    The final story arc is Omega. I don’t know when it begins.

  3. Sarah
    May 16, 2012 at 3:57 pm — Reply

    Did JK Rowling change her name to Joe Hill and reinvent the Harry Potter story? Hm.

    Sarcasm aside, I’m one of the first ones in the comic store to pick up a new L&K issue. Am a big fan of the series and Joe’s work. But does anyone else see the similarities between the two stories?

    Character comparison: Tyler/Harry; Dodge/Voldemort; Rendell Locke (deceased father)/Lily Potter (deceased mother); Keepers of the Keys/Order of the Phoenix members

    **SPOILER ALERT—Now, in the latest issue, Dodge is even using memories like Horcruxes. And by the end of the forthcoming OMEGA, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rendell Locke’s spirit finds a way to come back and help his son defeat Dodge.

    Either way, L&K is a lot of fun!

    • David
      July 18, 2012 at 9:10 am — Reply

      There are alot of stories with a main character, a main antagonist, dead family members and a group of individuals with powers. I see almost no resemblance between the two. The two stories are completely different in scale, tone and almost everything else.

      • Sarah
        November 30, 2012 at 12:24 am — Reply

        You don’t see how Locke & Key is essentially beat-for-beat the same story? Same theme, the whole bit? Hmm. Either you’re Joe Hill or just in denial.

  4. Riley
    May 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm — Reply


    There are parts of the review that Id don’t understand.
    What does stephen mean when he says “Some characters live, and some characters die, and it is the die part that hits the reader over the head.” We knew Mark and Kim would die. Do you mean Dodge? Don’t we see Dodge’s resurrection in Head Games trough Ellie’s flashback, when she goes to the well house and wishers his name, like how Rendell’s mother was ‘resurrected’.
    I think this issue raised more questions than it answered but I still love it.

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