An emotionally gripping finale, “Locke & Key: Alpha” #2 is the perfect conclusion any fan could hope for. The deeply flawed Locke family stand together one last time. A mixture of somber and closure, the “Locke & Key” series delivers a touching ending that will make you appreciate the years of brilliant work from its creators.
WRITTEN BY: Joe Hill
ART BY: Gabriel Rodriguez
PUBLISHER: IDW Publishing
RELEASE: December 18th, 2013
In the last stand between good and evil, the beaten Locke members stood together as a family against Dodge. With no one to stop him, Dodge was about to strike and begin a war that has been brewing for 250 years ago. Now, we will see who will be the victor and who ends up on the losing side. What really happened in the dark caverns underneath Keyhouse? Who came out of the bloody massacre alive? Has anyone come out unscathed and unharmed from the battle against Dodge?
What I really love about Joe Hill’s writing is how he comes back to the themes from the first issue. Since the first installment, this has been about a family pulling together after the death of a loved one. How do you move on after losing someone important in your life? How do you try to let go without losing those cherished memories that are keeping you together? How do you keep going forward when you’re still stuck in the past? How do you put up a strong front when it is so easy to fall apart? In a full circle, Hill returns to this list of difficult questions with an honest answer, “as best as you can.”
The Locke family has been pulled apart and put together as the series progressed. Hill spotlights each character and provides an endearing conclusion that caps off their arc. This is about letting the characters mature and change after what they have been through. As the narrative comes to a satisfying payoff, Hill ties up any loose ends in the series while staying true to his characters.
In each panel, artist Gabriel Rodriguez is in tune to the emotions that the characters are experiencing. Settling for close-ups and medium shots, Rodriguez focuses on the facial expressions and emotional toll of the scene. Rodriguez delivers that dramatic moment that says what character is feeling. Rodriguez breaks away from the pattern and delivers a few breathtaking wide shots.
Aided by the colors by Jay Fotos, the scheme highlights the timeline as the story moves forward. Notice that the final installment takes place in a single day. You can tell what part of the day it is, whether its morning or evening, through Fotos’ background palette. When you reach the last page, these striking illustrations from Fotos and Rodriguez will definitely stick to your mind and stay planted there.
It’s finally time to say goodbye to “Locke & Key: Alpha”. I look forward to the next projects that Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez come up with. As a fan, I couldn’t have asked for a better ending from my favorite series.
Reviewed by Jorge Solis