LOCKE & KEY, VOL. 2 by Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez — a Review

I seem to be on a kick of reading things I should have read years ago, but didn’t (for absolutely no good reason whatsoever). The latest read is LOCKE & KEY, VOL. 2: HEAD GAMES, written by Joe Hill (Twitter) and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez.

Just like volume 1, I loved this volume of Locke & Key. The Locke kids are getting a bit more settled in their new home, their new school, and new town. But trouble is never far from them. In fact, it’s usually right under their roof. Not surprising for a volume called “Head Games,” the plot in this volume takes on a more psychological and emotional focus than physical. Although there is a bit of violence in this one, it’s less than in volume 1. Head Games is more about people dealing with that violence and memories of their past.

Joe Hill has written a wonderfully creepy tale. Head Games creates feelings of dread, suspense, and foreboding among readers. Although you hope for the best, you can’t help but suspect that they are in for a world of hurt as the story progresses. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Joe Hill writes with love, humor, and heart as well. Of course, this only serves to make you more sympathetic towards his characters, which means you hurt more when they get hurt.

Additionally, Rodriguez’s art is superb. I wanted to keep turning the pages to find out what happens next, but Rodriguez forced me to slow down. I couldn’t help but appreciate his artwork. Rodriguez has a real ability to create the perfect, beautiful details. Cartoony images for young characters. Rounded curves during emotional scenes. Harsh angles during moments of horror.

Head Games matches the first volume’s excellence. I can’t recommend this enough. And I look forward to Volume 3. I can’t wait to see what Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez have in store for me and the Locke kids.

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