Locke & Key 2: Head Games

locke and key volume 2 head games cover trade paperback tpb
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 5/10

Good characters

Not a fan of the art

Comic Info

Comic Name:  Locke & Key:  Head Games

Publisher:  IDW

Writer:  Joe Hill

Artist:  Gabriel Rodriguez

# of Issues:  6

Release Date:  2010


Locke & Key: Head Games #2

Reprints Locke & Key:  Head Games #1-6 (January 2009-June 2009).  The mysteries of Keyhouse continue when Bode discovers a key that unlock heads.  With Luke Caravaggio back from the dead and living as Zack Wells, Zack is seeking the secrets of Keyhouse and using the Locke children to find them.  Desperate to keep his secret safe, Luke goes down a dangerous path to protect his secrets and plan his revenge.

Written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez, Locke & Key Volume 2:  Head Games collects the second limited series of Joe Hill’s horror mystery comic published by IDW.  Following Locke & Key Volume 1:  Welcome to Lovecraft, the series continued to receive critical acclaim.

Joe Hill shot to fame after his book Heart-Shaped Box became a best-seller and it was revealed he was really Joe King, the son of famed horror writer Stephen King.  Though he could have picked the easy way and just gone by Joe King, I do respect Hill’s decision to make his own way.  I do find it however to compare Hill’s writing to his father’s writing to see what he adopted from his father’s style.


Locke & Key: Head Games #3

What both Hill and his father have are strong characterizations and Locke & Key is a good example of this.  I feel that the series is getting a pretty good handle on the kids and creating rounded characters.  The unfortunate thing about this volume is that there isn’t much of a focal point on a certain character…it isn’t about Luke, Ellie, the Locke kids, or their uncle Duncan though all of them have a big role.  The previous volume focused primarily on Tyler and that helped give the series direction…it would have been nice for a focal character like Luke, Ellie, or Duncan to be the center of this story with the rest of the story developing from them.

I still have a real problem with the art for this series.  I don’t like Gabriel Rodriguez’s style and it makes the story harder to feel accessible.  His designs are too similar, and it is hard to distinguish the characters between each other.  It is a bit of a disservice to the writing and just does not reel me in.

The weird-factor of the series is a lot of fun and does provide a lot of mystery.  Locke and Key feels like a lot of soap opera-esque horror shows and does have a very television series feel.  There was a pilot shot for the comic but the plans fell through, but now a film trilogy has been tossed around.  Locke & Key 2:  Head Games is followed by Locke & Key 3:  Crown of Shadows.

Related Links:

Locke & Key 1:  Welcome to Lovecraft

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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