See all reviews of Locke & Key: Alpha (2)

And so we come to the final issue of Locke and Key. Is it good? I’m telling you right now, it’s a wee bit expensive.


Locke and Key: Alpha #2 (IDW)


So here’s the bottom line. I was moved by the beginning of this comic. Hill has a wonderful circle of events, where the Locke family ends up, yet again, at the same funeral home. Bode is, at this point (cue the X-Files style blacked out line), super dead, like cremated dead. But his soul is still floating around Keyhouse. I’m not giving anything away, but by the end of this comic, things became so saccharin I could hardly stomach it.

Now, I know it’s the end of a long running series, what is the creator supposed to do, kill everybody off? (Like in The Dark Tower series, except, wait, that last book ended with magical get out of death free cards too! I’m sorry, I try to separate King and Hill, but sometimes it’s damn near impossible for me not to compare the two, having read the majority of both men’s work.) You have to have a happy ending for the rubes, after all. And, the series did start with the Locke family having their dad murdered, and plenty of other people stayed dead at the end of this issue. So, there’s that. So, if you like happy endings, voila, eat it up.

locke-and-key-alpha-funeral

Gabby draws pretty as per usual. His depiction of the remains of Keyhouse after last issue’s fire are creepy. Basically, if you have enjoyed his art thus far, you will continue to. I’ve run out of ways to say his art is pretty. It’s always been a little rounded off for my taste, but it’s still perty.

Since this is to be my very last review of Locke and Key, the color work Jay Fotos has performed on these, the pages of Locke and Key, has been great. A good mix of blues, reds, and the all-important use of black. I have a tremendously difficult time describing coloring (harder than describing art, with my lack of art background), so the best I can give ya is Fotos’ colors always made the panels and splash pages, especially those in the well (sad trombone), pop.

Is it Good?

It’s all right. I am but one man, and my opinions are but my own. I’m not a huge fan of happy endings, and I’m not a huge fan of the surprise, everything is fine, ending. Hill’s musical references kill me inside, and if I have to see one more person who has some kind of mental or physical disorder who is basically an angel, I might claw my eyes out, so I can be in the next Hill novel as the blind guy who saves the day.

However, Joe Hill has a very accessible style, in a good way, and he knows how interpersonal relationships work. As previously stated, this comic did move me, and made me a little sad. And despite all the bitching about last issue, the shadow demons have always been pretty cool, if not a little silly at times.

So, the important question now, is how does this series as a whole stack up? It’s a slightly above average horror series with fantastical elements (I’d rather die than describe supernatural horror as “dark fantasy”), that has great characterization, and some odd elements involving keys and noggins. If you’re already a mega-fan of the series, you will obviously go out and pick up the comic, even if I was to just have my review be a 100 sized font one word review that said, in all caps, “BAAAAAD!” It is not bad, but I never found the series to be amazing. However, it kept me entertained. That’s what I want to harp on. It held my interest. So, despite all the nit-pickery, and the bitching, I must have enjoyed it on some level, because unlike B.P.R.D, Hell on Earth, I continued to read Locke and Key.

7.0

  • Expetly drawn monsters, and just exquisite art.
  • Abe is so fucking cool looking.
  • Stewart colors like a beast!
  • The pacing is a bit slow, action is nonexistent, and it’s a bit drab.

On a personal note (and with my rampant abuse of the first person pronoun, when is it ever not?!) I did think it was pretty cool Lovecraft, Massachusetts (despite my hatred of Lovecraft as a town name) turned out to be based off of the town of Nahant, off the coast near Boston. I’ll have to check it out next time I’m around the area. And this issue also has a bunch of alternate covers, and a series of pictures of the real town they based Lovecraft off of (see blacked out text for town name).

  • shawn

    It’s kind of ridiculous that both Alpha issues were $8. I love Locke & Key, but the pricing was crazy high. After finishing this issue it doesn’t really feel worth it to have spent $16 on the finale.

    • Sean

      Right? Alpha 1 I went easier on it because I didn’t realize, getting the comic as a pdf from IDW, that it was so expensive.
      When I rolled up into the New England Comics and saw the price tag on issue 1, I knew I had to mention the price tag in the #2 review.

  • Ryan Durant

    I’m going to pretend it ended with alpha 1. Better that way.

    • Sean

      Good idea. I should have done that, haha.

  • puzzled.daily

    Nahant is far from Cape Cod. It’s awesome, and it’s very easy to imagine many creepy stories taking place there.

    • Sean

      My bad. I thought I’d heard it was near Martha’s Vineyard.

      • Sean

        Oh, jeez, it’s actually an island close to where I live, lol.