Locke & Key
|Lock & Key|
Cover of Locke & Key: Welcome To Lovecraft 1 (February 2008). Art by Gabriel Rodriguez.
|Created by||Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez|
|Title(s)||Welcome to Lovecraft
Crown of Shadows
Keys to the Kingdom
|Formats||Original material for the series has been published as a set of limited series.|
|Publication date||Welcome to Lovecraft
Crown of Shadows
November 2009 – April 2010
Keys to the Kingdom
August 2010 – March 2011
June 2011 – April 2012
November 2012 – present
|Number of issues||6 per miniseries (but 7 in Omega), plus two one-shots "The Guide to Known Keys" and Grindhouse|
|Creator(s)||Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez|
|Welcome to Lovecraft||ISBN 978-1-60010-237-0|
|Head Games||ISBN 9781600104831|
|Crown of Shadows||ISBN 9781600106958|
- 1 Plot summary
- 2 Publication history
- 3 Story arcs
- 4 Collected editions
- 5 Awards and nominations
- 6 Adaptations
- 7 Notes
- 8 References
- 9 External links
This plot is presented in chronological order. During the American Revolution, a group of Rebels, hiding beneath the future Keyhouse, discover a portal to another dimension, the Plains of Leng filled with demons which can mesmerize and possess any who see or touch them. However, when the demons attempt to enter the real world, they collapse into lumps of "whispering iron", which young Benjamin Locke forges into a variety of magical keys, including the Omega Key, which seals the entrance to the dimension. The magic of the Keyhouse gradually evolves over the years, including a spell which causes occupants to forget about the keys and the magic of the house when they pass their 18th birthday. In 1988, a group of teenagers, having used the keys extensively in their high school years to their great delight, decide to open the black door with the Omega Key, hoping to trick a demon into entering the real world in order to provide more metal with which to make more keys. However, Rendell Locke's younger brother follows the group and is mesmerized by the door. Attempting to walk through it, he is stopped by Dodge, who accidentally puts his hand through the door, becoming possessed. After plotting to kill his friends and enslave the others at the behest of the Child of Leng possessing him, Rendell kills Dodge, trapping his possessed soul in the well.
Many years later, Dodge's spirit reaches out to a young abused prodigy, Sam Lesser, and convinces him to attack the Lockes and kill Rendell, looking for the key to the Black Door, as well as a key to free Dodge from the well. After the gruesome murder of their father, the Locke kids, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode move with their mother Nina across the country to Keyhouse and begin discovering its secrets. Sam escapes prison and follows the Lockes, recovering the Anywhere Key which allows Dodge to escape the well. Dodge then kills Sam and returns to Lovecraft in the same body as he had thirty years before.
Dodge re-enters high school under the guise of a new student, intimidating his way into the home of one of Kinsey's teachers and Dodge's former friends. Over the next year, Dodge secretly tries to recover the various keys - in particular the Omega Key - from the children, collecting many though hindered by Tyler and Kinsey. Dodge is eventually discovered but manages to switch bodies and possess Bode before they can kill him. Now free to explore the house as Bode, Dodge finally finds the Omega Key and plans his takeover after-prom party in the caves. Releasing several demons, many of the students are killed. Dodge is ultimately undone by Tyler and Dodge's spirit is forced back into the well, though Bode's empty body is cremated before Bode's soul has a chance to return to it. In the epilogue, Tyler returns to the well to finally free Dodge's spirit from the demon, having used a sliver of whispering iron inherited from his father to forge an "Alpha Key" capable of undoing possession. Tyler is able speak with his father one last time, and restore Bode's physical form.
The narrative of Locke & Key is structured in three acts, with each act consisting of two six-issue storylines. Act One's first story arc, Welcome to Lovecraft, was a six-issue limited series published by IDW Publishing. The first issue of Welcome to Lovecraft was released on February 20, 2008 and sold out in a single day, requiring a second printing to be done immediately. The second arc of Act One, entitled Head Games, commenced with the release of the first issue on January 22, 2009. The actual Head Games story was printed in four issues, with a standalone prologue ("Intermission" or "The Joe Ridgeway Story") and a standalone conclusion ("Army Of One").
Act Two of the Locke & Key story consists of two limited, six-issue miniseries; the first storyline of Act Two, Crown of Shadows, began in late 2009. The second storyline, Keys to the Kingdom, began in August 2010.
The original publication plan for the issues comprising the second, third, fourth, and fifth story arcs to be released monthly, with the final storyline being produced as an original graphic novel, but these plans have been altered.
"Welcome to Lovecraft"
|#1||February 20, 2008||After the murder of their father, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode Locke relocate with their mother to the family estate of Keyhouse, located in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. Sam Lesser, one of the teens who murdered Mr. Locke, is in a juvenile detention center and, by gazing in water, communicates with a supernatural force that promises to free him. Bode Locke, the youngest of the family, uncovers The Ghost Door, which separates his spirit from his body.|
|#2||March 26, 2008||Bode continues to experiment with The Ghost Door and, in his incorporeal form, spies on his brother, sister, and mother. During his journeys, Bode discovers a well that houses a creature who appears as a girl, the supernatural force previously communicating with Sam Lesser.|
|#3||April 30, 2008||Sam Lesser uses the tools the girl gave him to escape from the detention center.|
|#4||May 28, 2008||Sam Lesser travels across America, making his way towards Keyhouse. His cross-country journey is mirrored by a series of flashbacks into his memories.|
|#5||June 25, 2008||The Locke family is taken hostage by Sam Lesser who is seeking the Anywhere Key for his Master, the girl in the well.|
|#6||July 30, 2008||Bode uncovers the Anywhere Key and trades it with the girl in the well for a promise that she'll stop Sam Lesser. Freed from her prison, she keeps her promise by throwing Sam through the Ghost Door with no chance to return.|
|#1||January 28, 2009||Intermission ||Professor Joe Ridgeway recognizes Zack Wells as Lucas Caravaggio, a teenager who disappeared over twenty years before, along with several other students, and who has long been presumed dead. Joe soon sets out to dig up the truth on Wells, but Zack proves ruthless in his desire for secrecy.|
|#2||February 25, 2009||Chapter One||A shocking death throws Kinsey and Tyler Locke into choppy emotional waters. They turn to Zack Wells for support, not knowing him to be the murderer. Meanwhile, six-year-old Bode Locke tries to puzzle out the secret of the head key, and Uncle Duncan is jarred into the past by a disturbingly familiar face.|
|#3||March 4, 2009||Chapter Two||Kinsey, Tyler, and Bode discover the head key allows them to open up people's minds and play with their memories.|
|#4||April 8, 2009||Chapter Three||Duncan Locke finds himself faced with a dizzying, impossible revelation; Tyler makes the ill-considered decision to share with others the unlikely powers of the head key; and Kinsey opts to remove troubling emotions from her mind.|
|#5||May 20, 2009||Chapter Four||Dodge uses the head key on Duncan Locke, sparing his life but inadvertently leading to the injury of Locke's live-in-boyfriend.|
|#6||July 1, 2009||Army of One ||We learn how Dodge maintains control of Ellie even without the use of a head key in a flashback sequence.|
"Crown of Shadows"
|#1||November 11, 2009||The Haunting of Keyhouse ||Sam Lesser may be dead and gone, but Dodge still has uses for him, and in the first chill days of October, will make contact with him again. The dead know things the living may not, and Sam's restless spirit has had time to discover the thing Dodge wants to know most of all... where to find the key to the black door.|
|#2||December 16, 2009||In the Cave||Far below Keyhouse lies the Drowning Cave, a place where shadows obscure ancient secrets, and the stones are stained with ancient blood. Kinsey Locke descends into the cavern, looking for answers to her family's troubled past, only to discover that it's easier to get in than it is to get out...|
|#3||February 17, 2010||Last Light ||Dodge takes possession of the crown of shadows, and darkness falls upon Keyhouse... with a vengeance.|
|#4||March 17, 2010||Shadow Play ||Kinsey and Bode find themselves in a desperate, seemingly unwinnable battle against a rising army of living shadows, while Tyler faces down Dodge in a terrifying duel of wits and wills.|
|#5||April 28, 2010||Light of Day ||Four words: "Giants hitting each other." Don't miss the most smash-tastic fight issue of the year!|
|#6||July 14, 2010||Beyond Repair ||In a terrible night of grief and rage, Nina Locke discovers a new key, one which opens a cabinet capable of mending smashed objects; but some things, she will learn, are beyond repair...|
"Keys to the Kingdom"
|#1||August 11, 2010||Sparrow ||As the new arc begins, Bode Locke discovers a key that unlocks the world of tooth, fang, claw, and feather, in a story that leaves hundreds dead! Hundreds of birds, that is.|
|#2||October 20, 2010 ||White ||On a bitter winter day, Kinsey Locke encounters a madwoman who just might be able to unlock the darkest secrets of Keyhouse. But forcing the truth out of her won't be easy, and besides... Dodge has no intention of ever giving Erin Voss a chance to tell what she knows.|
|#3||November 24, 2010||February||28 spell-binding and skin-crawling issues of Locke & Key — crammed into one.|
|#4||January 26, 2011 ||Casualties||When Squadron Strange accept a mission from a ghost, they find themselves on their most perilous raid ever... straight into the heart of a haunted mansion. Sgt. Rufus Whedon and Corporal Bode Locke have a terrifying lesson to learn: if you're dealing with a dead man, you better think fast and fight hard, if you don't want to wind up one yourself.|
|#5||March 2, 2011 ||Detectives, Part 1||Tyler Locke begins, finally, to consider what he knows about the terrifying but mysterious enemy that has harrowed the Locke family for months—only to find that all the evidence points to a single suspect: Zack Wells.|
|#6||April 27, 2011||Detectives, Part 2||'Keys to the Kingdom' comes to a close as Dodge and Tyler Locke confront one another at last. Tyler came armed with the truth; Dodge prefers sharper instruments, and shows his willingness to use them.|
|#1||July 20, 2011||The Locksmith's Son||Colonel Adam Crais's minutemen are literally trapped between a rock and a hard place; in the first days of the Revolutionary War, they find themselves hiding beneath 120 feet of New England stone, with a full regiment of redcoats waiting for them in the daylight... and a door into hell in the cavern below.
The black door is open, and it's up to a 16-year-old smith named Ben Locke to find a way to close it. The biggest mysteries of the Locke & Key series are resolved as Clockworks opens, not with a bang, but with the thunderous crash of English cannons.
|#2||August 31, 2011||SMASH!||Terror runs wild, and the Locke family comes to grief in the smash-ingest story of the series yet!|
|#3||December 14, 2011||The Tamers of the Tempest||The Omega Key to The Black Door has been found by the one, who calls himself The Legion.|
|#4||February 1, 2012||The Whispering Iron||The tamers of The Tempest—Rendell Locke, Dodge Caravaggio, and their friends—descend into the Drowning Cave to open the Black Door, hoping to get their hands on some of the fabled whispering iron, the material from which all of the keys are forged. And everything goes according to plan! Not.|
|#5||March 14, 2012||Grown-Ups||Lucas "Dodge" Caravaggio returns from the Drowning Cave, infected by a parasite of the soul; the good and loving friend has been left behind, and replaced by something free of all human feeling. Searching for a way to control him, the Keepers of the Keys make a dreadful choice... and set off a chain of events that will end in an unimaginable slaughter.|
|#6||May 16, 2012||Curtain||As a storm thunders up the coast to Lovecraft, Massachusetts, the Keepers of the Keys face Dodge a final time, under three hundred feet of stone, in the darkness before the Black Door. Here, water will mix with blood and The Drowning Cave will become a colossal grave, in the final issue of the CLOCKWORKS storyline.|
"Alpha & Omega"
The final hardcover is titled Locke & Key: Alpha & Omega, and collects "Omega" 1 – 5, and "Alpha" 1 and 2.
|Omega #1||November 14, 2012||Our Regrets||The beginning of the end starts here. Dodge has the Omega key, and nothing can stop him from using it...|
|Omega #2||December 19, 2012||The Soldier||A ghost haunts the long halls of Keyhouse—the spirit of Bode Locke, cast out of his body by the Demon named Dodge—and only one person can hear his voice: Bode's old playmate, Rufus Whedon.|
|Omega #3||February 20, 2013||Last Dance||As Kinsey Locke and the other students head to a dance at Lovecraft Academy, the demonic Dodge gathers shadowy forces of his own and enacts his evil endgame. The “Last Dance” begins here.|
|Omega #4||April 3, 2013||Human Sacrifices||The bottomless pit of the Drowning Cave threatens to become a mass grave, as Dodge springs a fatal trap on the senior class of Lovecraft Academy. Hope is as fragile as a candle-flame wavering in the night. . . and as easy to extinguish.|
|Omega #5||June 5, 2013||The Fall||In the Drowning Cave, the black door is open at last, and for the kids trapped down there, the choice is simple: resist and die, or pass through the door and be lost forever. In the hole beneath Keyhouse the stones run with blood, the living shadows run riot, and time runs out... as Locke & Key enters its final chapters.|
|Alpha #1||September 11, 2013||In the second-to-the-last issue of Locke & Key, the damned and the saved alike will make their final stand in the Drowning Cave, in a clash of blood and fire. The shadows have never been darker and the end has never been closer. Turn the key and open the last door; it's time to say goodbye.|
|Alpha #2||December 18, 2013||"The End." A door claps softly shut. A key scrapes in a last rusted lock. It ends here: the story of the Locke children and their desperate, tragic battle with the monster set on destroying them... the past. Join Gabriel Rodriguez and Joe Hill for the final chapter of Locke & Key.|
"The Golden Age"
|#1||November 23, 2011||Open the Moon (Guide to the Known Keys)||This special standalone issue features an expanded Guide to the Known Keys, an all-new Guide to Failed Keys, and a story of summer-night magic titled "Open the Moon", set in Keyhouse's unlikely past.|
|#2||August 29, 2012||Grindhouse||Set in the glare of a Depression-era summer, in which three Canuck gangsters carry out a heist and hide out at the Keyhouse. Locke & Key: Grindhouse includes an expanded 'Guide to Keyhouse,' which describes the mansion.|
|Vol. 1||October 8, 2008||Welcome to Lovecraft||Collects Welcome to Lovecraft #1–6||978-1600102370 (Hardcover)
|Vol. 2||September 30, 2009||Head Games||Collects Head Games #1–6||978-1600048311 (Hardcover)
|Vol. 3||July 29, 2010||Crown of Shadows||Collects Crown of Shadows #1–6||978-1600106958 (Hardcover)
|Vol. 4||July 19, 2011||Keys to the Kingdom||Collects Keys to the Kingdom #1–6||978-1600108860 (Hardcover)
|Vol. 5||July 24, 2012||Clockworks||Collects Clockworks #1–6||978-1613772270 (Hardcover)
|Vol. 6||February 4, 2014||Alpha & Omega||Will collect Omega #1–5 and Alpha #1–2||978-1613778531 (Hardcover)|
Signed limited editions
On November 11, 2007, Subterranean Press announced a pre-order for a hand-numbered, signed, limited edition of the six-issue run of Welcome To Lovecraft. This edition consisted of 250 numbered copies and 26 lettered copies, both of which sold out within 24 hours of being announced. This edition was a hardcover release in a specially designed and illustrated slipcase, and featured exclusive dust jacket art by Vincent Chong and reprinted all 250 pages of Joe Hill's script in addition to the actual comic work.
This was followed by the publication of Head Games, which was also limited to 250 hand-numbered and signed copies as well as 26 lettered copies. The third volume, Crown of Shadows, is available for preorder, and like the previous editions is signed and numbered with the same limitations and also comes with an illustrated slipcase. Cloth-bound trade editions limited to 1000 copies (unsigned, unnumbered, and without the slipcase) were also released. Trade editions for the first two volumes are sold out.
Awards and nominations
It won the 2011 Eisner Award for Best Writer (Joe Hill), and was nominated for Best Single Issue, Best Continuing Series, and Best Penciller.
Dimension Films acquired the film and television rights for Welcome to Lovecraft from IDW Publishing with the intent of developing the property as a feature with John Davis producing. In February 2010, it was announced that Dimension had lost the adaptation rights to Dreamworks with Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci signed on to develop and produce the project. In August 2010 Steven Spielberg also joined as a producer, and the production became a TV series rather than a movie adaptation, with Josh Friedman writing episodes for the show and acting as show-runner.
The TV series adaptation then landed at 20th Century Fox Television. The network greenlit a pilot, produced by Dreamworks TV and K/O Paper Products through the latter's deal with 20th Century Fox TV.
Miranda Otto played Nina Locke, Sarah Bolger was Kinsey Locke and Nick Stahl co-starred as Duncan Locke. Skylar Gaertner played 6-year old Bode, and Harrison Thomas played a teenager possessed by an evil spirit. Actor and singer Jesse McCartney appeared as Ty Locke, the series' male lead and Ksenia Solo was cast as Dodge.
Mark Romanek directed the pilot episode, which was filmed at the mansion in Hartwood Acres and in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, in February 2011. The pilot was also shot throughout Pittsburgh that same month. In May 2011, Fox announced that the project would not be picked up to the series. The studio attempted to sell the project to other networks but eventually ceased efforts due to rising costs. However, the show has been eyed by MTV, though no official talks have been had yet. The pilot was screened at the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con International, where it was well received.
In 2012, Cryptozoic Entertainment released a card game based on the series.
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- "Joe Hill talks Locke & Key: Head Games". Comic Book Resources. 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
- Hill, Joe (2009-06-01). "Be at Peace". Joe Hill Fiction. Retrieved 2009-06-01. "Sorta, not quite. HEAD GAMES is actually four-issues long, with a standalone prologue (”Intermission” or “The Joe Ridgeway Story”) and a standalone conclusion (”Army of One”)."
- Hill, Joe (2009-06-01). "Be at Peace". Joe Hill Fiction. Retrieved 2009-06-01. "I wasn’t asked, but I’ll say at this point the plan is for four more six-issue LOCKE & KEY stories, the next being CROWN OF SHADOWS in the fall/winter of this year."
- "LOCKE & KEY Comics Head to a Close, Door Opens for TV Series". Newsarama. 2010-09-24. Retrieved 2010-11-23.
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- Serwin, Andy (March 2009). "Up Close: Joe Hill (interview)". Wizard (Danbury, CT: Wizard Entertainment) 1 (209): 22. ISSN 1065-6499. "In a weird way, Welcome to Lovecraft was really the prologue. It was the two-hour pilot, and now the TV series is beginning for real. There's gonna be 24 issues. We're gonna go for two years, and then there's gonna be a break, and then there'll be a final graphic novel to wrap things up. If you look at it broadly, it has a bit of a three-act structure, so the first 12 issues are one act… something happens at the end of issue #12 which begins to change things. The next 12 issues are Act 2, and then that final graphic novel will be Act 3"
- Rodriguez, Gabriel (2008-07-29). "Re: What happens after #6?". The Joe Hill Message Board. Retrieved December 9, 2008. "[…]but starting this winter, you'll have 24 L&K issues MONTHLY, two years of uninterrupted series, and then a little pause before the grand finale graphic novel!"
- Hill, Joe (2009-06-01). "Be at Peace". Joe Hill Fiction. Retrieved 2009-06-01. "I had thought at one point we might go monthly, but now I think it might be wiser to do it in six-issue bites. […] Also, a plan to end the series with a standalone graphic novel has been scrapped. I’d rather go with individual issues: for me, crafting the story in discreet 22-page portions is the great pleasure of the thing, and I don’t want to abandon what’s working."
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- "British Fantasy Awards 2012". yes. British Fantasy Society. Retrieved 4 October 2012.
- Dimension Loses Rights to Joe Hill's Awesome 'Locke & Key' Comic!
- DreamWorks Keeping Newly Acquired Property Under Locke & Key
- Exclusive: Kurtzman & Orci To Produce Locke & Key
- Locke & Key Adaptation Becomes TV Series
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- http://www.cryptozoic.com/games/locke-key-game. Missing or empty
- Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft at the Grand Comics Database
- Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft at the Comic Book DB
- Locke & Key: Head Games at the Grand Comics Database
- Locke & Key: Head Games at the Comic Book DB
- Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows at the Grand Comics Database
- Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows at the Comic Book DB
- Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom at the Grand Comics Database
- Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom at the Comic Book DB
- Locke & Key section at Joe Hill's website
- Gabriel Rodriquez's online gallery at DeviantArt
- Locke & Key section at IDW Publishing's website
- Interview with Joe Hill about the series at Newsarama
- Writer Joe Hill Talks to TFAW.com About Locke & Key From IDW