Netflix recently announced the Locke & Key miniseries, which is an adaptation of the horror comic book series from co-creators Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Here’s the trailer, which showcases a mansion, a group of kids, and some supernatural shenanigans.
And here’s a panel from the comic book.
Looks cool, right? Well, if you can’t wait until 8th February, you can always read the entire comic series which is available for purchase right now as we speak. But if you want a quick primer and guide on what this book is about, we’ve got you sorted.
We won’t be spoiling the entire series here because this is one series you need to read from start to finish. But there will be some light spoilers for some parts here and there, so as a precaution…
What’s It Really About?
Locke & Key is a six-volume series revolving around the three Locke children and the legacy they have to deal with. High schooler Tyler, along with his younger sister Kinsey, and youngest brother Bode, move to a family estate called the Keyhouse with their mother after their dad Rendell was murdered.
Turns out the new house has a bunch of secrets, like a large set of magical keys that come with special powers. Toss in a ghost named Dodge and a psycho killer named Sam Lesser, and you get a grab bag of horror, mystery, and family drama.
Why Are These “Keys” Important?
Because they have different magical properties. They’re the objects that make all the supernatural magic bits in Locke & Key possible.
These powers include changing your sex, or open a door to anywhere in the world. One key even lets you take out memories and character traits, or even put a few new ones in. There’s even a key that lets you grow feathered wings and even transform into an animal depending on the situation.
Most importantly, there’s an Omega key that opens a lock on a demonic door that ends up being the macguffin of the book.
Why Is This Comic Series A Big Deal?
First off, have you SEEN the artwork?
Apart from that, it’s a great blend of what we mentioned above: horror, family drama, and mystery. The series teases the keys and their significance to the Locke family bit by bit, as well as slowly unravels its larger narrative concerning the family history and the aforementioned Dodge. And its creators do it in the best to make each of its leads as relatable as possible.
The kids in the book are dealing with powers that can shake the heavens, but they do not possess the wisdom to apply it well until the very end. The adults here like Nina the mother and Duncan (Rendell’s brother) have to also deal with their vices and hostile environments.
Heck, even the villain in this piece ends up revealing why he ended up doing what he did. It’s portrayed and framed in a way that makes you realize that the story isn’t as black and white as you think.
It’s also pretty violent and gory. That’s also a chief reason why this book gets quite a bit of attention.
Definitely, DEFINITELY not for kids.
Who Are The Main Characters? Let’s Find Out!
The eldest of the trio of siblings. He was a former popular kid who ends up having to deal with being the “head of the pack” ever since the death of his dad. He also has to deal with the guilt that he was on bad terms with his dad prior to his death.
He is played by Connor Jessup in the upcoming adaptation.
The second kid in the Locke family. She’s insecure about her status in school and always tries to fit in and change her look to get by. Probably the most level-headed among the three siblings.
She is played by Emilia Jones in the adaptation.
The youngest of the trio. Bode is innocent and naive to a fault but somehow ends up being in touch with the book’s spiritual and magical aspects better than the rest.
He is played by Jackson Robert Scott.
The matriarch of the Locke family. Rape survivor who ended up with a busted leg. Also resorts to alcohol following the trauma that started the book.
She is played by Darby Stanchfield, who is known for her roles in Mad Men and Scandal.
Former schoolmate of Tyler and the sociopath responsible for Rendell’s death. He’s generally bad news. Played byThomas Mitchell Barnet.
The ghost in the well of the Keyhouse who ends up being the major antagonist in the show. Played by Laysla De Oliveira.
Can We Find Out More About The Book’s Creators?
Joe Hill is actually Stephen King’s son, in case you haven’t heard. He used his middle name in all of his writing credits so that he can succeed on his own merits instead of as the son of Stephen King.
Right after he got his novel Heart-Shaped Box published in 2007 and proving himself beforehand, he ended up doing Locke & Key for 5 years straight.
Gabriel Rodriguez is an artist who made his worldwide debut with, well, Locke & Key. Prior to this, he did a bunch of awesome illustrations for a Mitos y Leyendas card game and the CSI comic book series based on the TV show under the IDW publisher banner.
Thanks to Locke & Key and his nomination for Best Penciller/Inker in the 2011 Eisner Awards for the book, he’s now a pretty high-profile artist with DC work like the Adventures of Superman back in 2013 and IDW’s Little Nemo: Return to Slumberland. As you can tell from the panels on this feature, it’s clear to see why: his work is highly-detailed and pulls no punches.
It also helps that he was a former architect with a Master’s degree prior to the series, which is why his environment work is stellar.
Are There Any Stephen King story tropes in Locke & Key?
Well, you have the mentally-handicapped person who ends up being integral to the narrative and kids getting access to powers ala The Shining…
…so yeah, like father like son, kinda. At least Joe Hill ended Locke & Key on a hugely satisfying note.
Locke & Key will be out on Netflix this Friday. Check out our review of the Netflix series here.