Sandman Universe/Locke & Key #0 Review

by Nick Devonald on December 09, 2020

Writer: Joe Hill
Artist: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colours: Jay Fotos
Letters: Robbie Robins

Sandman #1 Excerpt

Writer: Neil Gaiman
Artist: Sam Keith & Mike Drinbenberg
Colours: Daniel Vozzo
Letters: Todd Klein

Billing itself as Sandman Universe: Locke & Key #0, this special prelude issue consists of two stories, the first is a Locke & Key story, Open The Moon, with the second being an excerpt from the very first issue of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, introducing us to both Dream and Roderick Burgess, both of whom will have important roles in the upcoming crossover. Readers are also treated to a summary of all the known keys, important to both new readers and to reacquaint readers who haven’t read Locke & Key in sometime. This issue is designed more to whet readers appetites and introduce readers to both universes in case they aren’t familiar with one or other.

The first story, Open The Moon, is a brand new adventure set in the early 1900s. It follows Chamberlin Locke and his son, Ian, who is very sick. It instantly sets itself up as one of the best Locke & Key stories there is, it manages to be both heart-breaking and beautiful. A completely self contained story it serves an important role in introducing the magic keys to new readers, but will also delight seasoned readers as well. Joe Hill weaves a deft tale that dives deep into magic, and truth, and love. There are some incredible concepts on display here and to say any more would ruin the story for readers. Whether you’ve read every issue of Locke & Key or haven’t been fortunate enough yet to dive into this world this story will appeal to all readers and needs to be read.

It wouldn’t be Locke & Key without Gabriel Rodriguez stunning art, and Joe Hill gives him plenty to work with in this story. There aren’t many readers who won’t find a tear welling up as they view the final panel. Rodriguez’ art is always top notch and he brings the Locke family to life brilliantly. There is such a strong family resemblance throughout the different generations which is brilliant to see. And of course Jay Fotos’ colours are the final piece of magic that makes it a Locke & Key story.

The Sandman Excerpt will be familiar to anyone who’s read Neil Gaiman’s masterpiece, but it also serves as a good reminder of where the saga began and a good introduction for new readers. Filled with magic and mystery, anything written by the talented Neil Gaiman is always a delight to read.

The Locke & Key story, Open The Moon, is reason enough to buy this comic. One of the best stand alone stories, not just in the Locke & Key saga, but in the entire medium of comics. Beautiful and heart wrenching at the same time, even the coldest hearts will find themselves emotionally invested in this story. The excerpt from The Sandman serves as a reminder of how the saga began, and a good introduction for new readers. This comic isn’t just for fans of the upcoming crossover, comic book fans in general owe it to themselves to pick this issue up.

Our Score:


A Look Inside