Locke & Key - Alpha

by mahargen on December 18, 2013

Writer - Joe Hill

Art - Gabriel Rodriguez, Jay Fotos

A beautiful journey has come to a close.  Joe Hill's epic Locke and Key series has been a mainstay of my pull list for close to six years.  There have been ups, downs, victories and delays, but the consistency of the work rarely faltered.  I'll be reviewing Alpha issues 1 and 2 as a single story, as it should have been released.  Neither volume stands without the other.

The art of the endgame is rarely seen in comics.  With a majority of stories and characters relying on the perpetuity of their brand to continue, there really isn't much of a place for the endgame.  We get small conclusions here and there, but nothing akin to what Hill and Rodriguez are attempting with Alpha.  The natural conclusion can be a beautiful, heartbreaking thing.  I've come to care for the Locke family and their supporting cast over the years, so the conclusion of their tale is a two-edged sword.  I want them to find peace, but I also want their story to continue.

Alpha does its best to wrap up the questions stories that come along with its history.  While everything may not be wrapped up in a nice bow, the story does well.  We get the same ups and downs we've experienced before.  People live, people die, decisions are made.  Where Hill succeeds here is not reminding the reader of what the cast had won, but what they've lost.  The whole bloody affair has ended and, cliche as it may be, no one will be the same.  

Gabriel Rodriguez and the rest of the art team demand our respect.  This whole ordeal kicked off six years ago, and their consistency has been remarkable.  The Locke children have aged and the arty team had kept up.  We've seen Tyler grow slowly into his father's son, never reassembling Rendell more than in this conclusion.  Kinsey's stylistic approach mirrored her internal character struggles, eventually planning out asking with her personality.  Bode, our eyes through many of the stories, remained largely unchanged.  His wonder was constant, right up until the end.

I'd much rather have had this pair of issues released together as a prestige format book.  The window between their releases was too large, and may have affected my enjoyment of the concluding issue, had I not saved the first to read along with the last.  However, that is a minor gripe against a story that more than makes up for the delays.

The Verdict...


Locke and Key is easily in my Top Five series of all time.  It is something I consistently suggest to people looking for something new to discover.  The ending was as near as perfect as you can get.  


Our Score:


A Look Inside