Comic Review: Locke & Key: Omega #5
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Locke & Key: Omega #5
Written by Joe Hill
Art by Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors by Jay Fotos
Letters by Robbie Robbins
Covers by Gabriel Rodriguez, Shane Leonard
IDW Publishing
Release Date: June 5, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

There are comic books out there that I read strictly because the art is just so fantastic it must be seen to be believed. There are also those that I read because the story is so riveting or the writing is so phenomenal. Well, Locke & Key: Omega #5 is firmly housed in both those categories. I cannot stress enough how awesome this entire series has been. From the very first comic to this current issue, nothing has ever changed my initial opinion of “WOW!”

First and foremost is Joe Hill, author extraordinaire. Brilliant and twisted are the first two words that come to mind when I think of him. Not in an over-the-top horrific way, but in a subtle, never-saw-it-coming kind of way. His characters are all so richly developed and so very damaged in one sense or another. Tragedy is commonplace and almost to be expected with the Locke family (the main protagonists of this series), they’ve seen so much of it and it never seems to let up. And just as in real life, the characters grow stronger and closer throughout most of it…really instilling the reader with the feeling that this family intends to endure and conquer whatever they come up against.

This issue finds everyone in some sort of trouble. The very first page shows Kinsey (one of the Locke children) in dire straits, her life literally hanging in the balance. We break away to find the oldest Locke son, Tyler, trying to fight off the shadow demons and unfortunately, getting shot in the process. All of this because their younger brother Bode has been possessed by Dodge, a being of immense power who has been tirelessly searching for a way to open the Black Door to release his demonic brethren into the world. The magical power he seeks is found to be in the keys that the Locke family has been protecting and guarding, though they didn’t always realize what was happening.

And unfortunately for the Locke family (and all of mankind), Dodge has almost brought it all to fruition by using the body of Bode to further his agenda right under their noses. Luckily, it’s not over yet, and the one person who can see the incorporeal Bode is making his way back to help stop this evil from manifesting. Utilizing the special rooms and powers of the Keyhouse, their mother is able to revive and heal Tyler from the wound he received. But as everyone races to try to avert this apocalypse, one person who has never tried to do the right thing finally takes the step forward and makes the ultimate sacrifice. A very touching move from one of my favorite supporting characters.

The beautiful use of darkness and shadows to convey the overwhelming dread that approaches is thanks to Gabriel Rodriguez and Jay Fotos. The straightforward line-work of Rodriguez is what gives us a crisp bit of detail while at the same time allowing Fotos to utilize the darker ends of the palette without losing the vision they are trying to create. The contrast between the well lit home and the near black cave where the Black Door is located helps to establish the anxiety the reader feels, knowing that something bad is lurking in the darkness…waiting. Which is pretty much how this issue leaves us. Waiting.

That said, I hate waiting. This chapter in the story of the Locke children is obviously the lead in for the final scene. Everyone is in their appointed places and all plots are set to converge. It is going to be one hell of a fight, too. IDW Publishing has themselves a solid winner with Locke & Key, no doubt about it. I hope for your sake you’ve been reading this comic, it’s one of the best ones out there. If you aren’t, then you do yourself a disservice, my friend. I’ll leave you with that, hopefully you heed my advice…it’s on your head if you don’t.

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