The Five-Minute Recap: Locke & Key

Getting into a comic book mid-way through its run is hard! So we’ve made it easy for you: in just five short minutes (or less), we’ll get you caught up on a comic book you need to pick up tomorrow… Today! Oh, and in case it wasn’t clear: spoilers on.

There’s good news and bad news on this one, folks. Locke & Key is an incredibly intricate, twisty horror/mystery series that rewards readers with huge revelations, and great character pay-offs, particularly if you’ve been reading since the beginning. The good news is, though, that writer Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez’s award winning series – which will soon be a TV show on FOX – is written for the single issue, so you can easily pick up any issue and start there.

That said, this Wednesdays issue, Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom #5 is a little bit of an exception, in that it’s the pay-off of a number of storylines, as well as a rare Part 1 of 2 story. No worries though, broheim: the Five Minute Recap is here to help.

The Locke family, hoping to put the horrible murder of their patriarch behind them, traveled to Keyhouse in Lovecraft, Massachussts – which is pretty much the same as the Stabbed family moving into Knifehouse is DeathTown, USA – and soon discovered all was not as it seemed. The house was home to a malevolent spirit who wants something called The Omega Key, a vastly powerful artifact with the power to open something we’ll get to in a second. But first, our major characters!

Oh, actually, before that: Daddy Locke was part of something much bigger, we think, trying to prevent this evil being from getting its hands on the Omega Key. Throughout the house, there’s other keys with fantastic powers, some which aid the enemy, other that can be used to stop it. The Locke Kids are the ones who are engaged in this struggle.

Okay, okay, characters:

Tyler Locke:

The oldest, a high school student who has taken his father’s death the hardest. He constantly works to protect his siblings, often at his own expense.

Kinsey Locke:

Like many teenage girls, she took this as an opportunity to rebel, changing her honors student image into dyed hair, piercings, and ripped clothes. She also used something called the Head Key to remove both her fear, and her ability to cry. She hasn’t been the same since, and is only now learning that this may have been a mistake.

Bode Locke:

The youngest, Bode discovers the keys first, and is often, no pun intended, the key to defeating the enemy. He desperately wants to be included in his older siblings adventures, and with a good heart and creativity, often saves the day.

Sam Lesser:

The man who murdered Mr. Locke, under the influence of the evil presence in Keyhouse. He’s now a ghost, and working against the enemy – though the Lockes don’t know that.

The Girl in the Well/Zack Wells/Lucas Caravaggio/Dodge:

Able to change genders, and a contemporary of Dada Locke, Zack is possessed by some sort of hellish parasite that wants to take over the world. That is what may be behind the door held shut by the lost Omega Key, and that may be what he/she/it has been working for this entire time, with only the Locke’s to stand in the way. In order to work both angles, “Zack” has changed himself into a high school student, befriended the Lockes, and started dating Kinsey.

There are a few other important characters, including the Locke’s Mom, who is sort of an alcoholic, and barely holding it together. And Duncan Locke, an older brother whose live-in boyfriend was attacked by a group of bigots, but not before seeing Zack for who he really is. Oh, and he just woke up from his coma, and remembers everything.

So while Zack is gaining power, and very, very close to finding the Omega Key, the forces for good are mobilizing, too. Tyler is beginning to suspect something is wrong with Zack; Duncan’s boyfriend has told Duncan about Zack, as well; and Sam Lesser is “working” with a friend of Bode’s who can see him, hoping to get him to help take down Zack.

We’ve got two issues to go in this miniseries, and then just two short miniseries after this, so we’re just over halfway through. Go back and read the incredible first three volumes of the series, but with this recap, you should be able to jump right into the mix. Probably the most creative, original, terrifying, funny and well drawn comic books ever published, Locke & Key continues to surprise with every issue. Won’t you pick it up, and be surprised by the newest issue?

And that’s your Five Minute Recap!

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