Review: ‘Locke & Key: Omega’ #1

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Locke & Key: Omega #1 builds up on the oddly touching family drama, while capturing the sinister elements of the story. The suspenseful pacing is one of the comic’s best strengths as readers become fully invested with the flawed and relatable Locke family. It’s hard to read without wanting to go through the fantastic doors of the Keyhouse mansion.

WRITTEN BY: Joe Hill
ART BY: Gabriel Rodriguez
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: November 14th, 2012

A powerful demon named Dodge hopes to unlock the mysteries of the Black Door. If the Black Door is opened, Dodge will discover a hidden passageway to another dimension. Lurking in the shadows, monsters of hate and madness want to cross over from their dimension to ours. With the Omega Key in the hands of Dodge, nothing can stop this creature from bringing forth her demonic kind. Debts and spirits must be settled as the final battle for Keyhouse is about to begin.

With the chapter titled, “Our Regrets,” Joe Hill focuses on the theme to seek out an emotional truth. After everything that has happened to you, what would you do if you could go back in time? What would you tell your younger self? This is the perfect question to ask members of the Locke family, who are suffering from survivor’s guilt. Though time has passed, Tyler and Kinsey are still in mourning from their father’s death. This is a dysfunctional family dealing with the pain and sorrow of having to rebuild their life together. At certain times, Tyler appears to be on a self-destructive path as he takes in all the blame for what happened to his father.

Hill examines how people reveal their thoughts and feelings in front of a camera. This isn’t an homage to the found-footage genre, but more of a reference to reality TV shows. In a creative use of soliloquies and monologues, Kinsey and Tyler pour their hearts out as they describe how the rest of their family is falling apart. Characters pretend to be someone else in public, but in private, this is the opportunity to be themselves.

Gabriel Rodriquez does an incredible job of representing the whirlwind of emotions that flow within the monologues. By using the camera’s viewfinder, Rodriguez makes great use of close- ups during Tyler’s heartfelt monologue. Tyler has a pained expression on his face, as if carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders is too much to bear. When Kinsey introduces herself to the camera, she is vibrantly cheerful and seemingly oblivious to the people around her. As she reveals her true self, Kinsey slowly becomes wrapped up in her own emotions, letting out the tears.

With the added benefit of Jay Fotos’ colors, there is such a creepy vibe in the hidden caves under the lighthouse. In the filth-infested tunnels, notice how the rat’s long tail curls around as if they are trying to strangle someone. Away from the caves, Rodriquez illustrates these terrific backgrounds with steel gates and a blossoming garden. If you notice in the opening pages, there’s a Stephen King-looking character as a paramedic.

“Locke & Key: Omega” #1 promises lots of trouble and doom for the Locke family. With this installment geared for newcomers, it becomes clear that Hill and Rodriquez want to bring in as many readers for their final chapter. Because these are the last seven issues in the “Locke & Key” series, you shouldn’t miss out on any of them. Having been a fan since the beginning, I can’t wait to see how it all ends.

4/5 skulls

Reviewed by Jorge Solis