Saturday, 17 January 2015

Locke & Key, Volume 2: Head Games Review (Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodriguez)

The Locke family kids, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode, are slowly recovering from their father’s brutal death and settling in to their Lovecraftian manse which is located in, funnily enough, Lovecraft, Massachusetts. But their new friend, Zack Wells (because he lived in a well, geddit?!) aka Lucas “Luke” Don Caravaggio (Worst. Character Name. Ever.) is killing people because he has a plan for the Locke kids that nobody knows anything about but it’s bound to be creepy. Also: more magic keys!

I have no idea what people see in this series.

Let’s talk about Zack/Luke – who or what is this character? He’s the baddie, sure, but in such a one-dimensional way. He can live forever because he’s spooky so he always looks like a teen - wooo! He begins knocking off anyone who recognises him because, while he has powers, he can’t change his appearance, which would solve all his problems in this book.

So why is he cosying up to the Locke kids – what’s his plan? Unsatisfyingly, we don’t find out. I guess that’s the “mystery” portion to this “horror” (which also isn’t very horrific – boring gun murders fill the book again) but I would’ve liked a glimpse into what’s going on otherwise why should I care? I’m supposed to just trust Joe Hill, a writer who hasn’t earned that yet? No dice.

Magic keys. There’s one in this book that can open up people’s heads – literally! When the key nears people’s heads, a keyhole appears in the base of their skull, the key goes in and the top half of their head – minus the brain and everything else – disappears. The person is conscious through all of this and even appears behind themselves to peer into their empty heads. And their memories – which, if you think about it, would be uncountable – are depicted as a dozen or so dancing about physically inside.

Think about that description. How utterly retarded does that sound?! It reminds me of Stephen King (Hill’s dad) and his novel Dreamcatcher – remember how memory was depicted in that trash? Like a stacks library where, when you retrieve a memory, you literally wander through the shelves and pull it out with the memory itself depicted as a file. The King family are a very literal, very unimaginative family.

Also, you can shove in books into your gaping head hole and you’ve “read” that book. So the object just disappears and your brain and everything else reappears but you retain the knowledge? Where does the physical object go?! Oh and Kinsey takes out her emotions?! “Sadness” and “Fear”, two mini-avatars bouncing around her head get plucked out and placed in a bottle – does this mean she can never be sad or fearful again? So when she loses another loved one, she’ll be chuckling or when she’s facing danger, she won’t bother saving herself? This comic is GARBAGE!

Zack/Luke goes around killing, even raping the woman he’s holding hostage in her own home, there’s some unpleasant homophobia where the Locke kids’ uncle Duncan gets glassed by asshole townies, followed by even more unpleasantness with child abuse when a developmentally challenged kid has lit cigarettes put out on him – what do people like about this trashy comic again!?

Gabriel Rodriguez’s art is ok I suppose – it’s his own style and, though the lines seem a bit too thick, the pages look fine. But that’s about the only real positive I can ascribe to Locke and Key Volume 2, a book as empty-headed as its characters.

Locke & Key, Volume 2: Head Games

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