The Comic: Locke & Key, written by Joe Hill, with art by Gabriel Rodriguez.
What’s it about: Rendell Locke, patriarch of the Locke family, is brutally murdered by one of his students. He always told his wife Nina, if anything ever happened to him, she should grab their three kids, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode, and take them to his family home in Massachusetts, Keyhouse. On their first day in the house, Bode discovers something weird: a door that when unlocked with an ominous key, can turn anyone who walks through it into a ghost. In fact, the house is full of strange doors and magical keys. But there’s something living in the well behind the house, and it may be connected to Rendell’s murder and a conspiracy that goes all the way back to the Revolutionary War.
Why you should read it: Locke and Key perfectly captures one of the great American sub-genres: a group of children who are the only ones who can put a stop to a supernatural menace. Every single character is great, the mystery of Keyhouse is endlessly intriguing and the magical premise opens the story up to almost endless possibilities. I cannot recommend this book enough. It would have been enough if this comic took the reader on a wild journey until cancellation but instead this is a series with a beginning, middle and an excellent ending, a rarity in the world of comics.
Also, did you know: Shortly after this comic started being published, it was revealed to the world that Joe Hill’s name wasn’t really Joe Hill. His real name is Joseph Hillstrom King, and his father is Stephen King. He wanted to publish a few works without any association with his famous dad.