Review: ‘Locke & Key: Omega’ #3

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Delivering another terrific installment, Locke & Key: Omega #3 continues to be a suspenseful horror story and a touching family drama. The deeply flawed Locke family are the most interesting characters you will ever read. As the last issues of the “Locke & Key” series come winding down, you have to be there for the end.

WRITTEN BY: Joe Hill
ART BY: Gabriel Rodriguez
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
PRICE: $3.99
RELEASE: February 20th, 2013

A powerful demon named Dodge has finally unlocked the evil mysteries of the Black Door. With the Black Door open, monsters of hate and madness are able to crossover from their unholy dimension into ours. With the Omega Key in the hands of Dodge, nothing can stop this evil creature from letting loose her demonic kind. As Dodge launches her first attack, not a single person will be spared from her bloodlust. There will be no safe haven for anyone as the battle between good and evil takes place.

What I particularly loved about this issue is how writer Joe Hill combines horror movies and John Hughes teen dramas, such as The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. The subtext of Hill’s themes are about the pain of being an adolescent, the torture of high school. As the characters reach a major turning point in their lives, Hill allows his characters to grow from childhood. Guilt-ridden since his father’s death, Tyler gives himself a chance to be a normal teenager and attends his high school prom.

The brilliance of Hill’s writing is how his characters explore their own emotional truths. When giving advice to Tyler, Uncle Dunk is really talking about himself. Uncle Dunk hints at the secrets he has kept from his family and how he let himself get locked up in his own prison. A major theme about the Locke family is how they struggle to communicate their own personal loss to each other. What they really want is someone to listen and not judge them.

Artist Gabriel Rodriquez does a great job balancing teen angst and the horror elements. In a wide shot, Rodriquez is able to impress readers by illustrating a crowded high school prom. Every student at the prom has their own tuxedo, dress, and hairstyle. Rodriguez brings out the dark humor as he recreates the famous scene from the movie, Carrie. Evenly matched, Hill’s witty dialogue and Rodriguez’s shot-for-shot homage work well together as the bucket of pig’s blood falls from the ceiling.

The best part of the issue is the suspenseful attack on Keyhouse. Rodriguez and colorist Jay Fotos do a fantastic job depicting the eeriness of the shadow monsters. Using just black tones, readers can easily make out figures of an ancient samurai, a zombie, and a pig smoking a cigarette. In an overhead shot, Rodriguez plays around with the lighting and shadow of Uncle Dunk. After reaching the last page, readers will be left wondering who lives and who dies.

“Locke & Key: Omega” #3 closes on an exciting cliff-ganger. As the “Locke and Key” series reaches its final chapter, an epic finale is promised to longtime fans. Having been a fan since the beginning, I’m anxious to see how it all ends.

4.5/5 Skulls

Reviewed by Jorge Solis