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Locke & Key Clockworks #1

Written by Martin John on Sunday, July 24 2011 and posted in Reviews

Buy this book. One of the best series I have ever read.

Comic Review Cover

Credits & Solicit Info:

Joe Hill (w) • Gabriel Rodriguez (a & c)

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 16-year-old smith 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.

FC • $3.99 • 32 Pages


Locke & Key is one of the best comic series I have ever read. Gabriel Rodriguez is an artistic revelation and Joe Hill pens marvellous character- and plot-driven stories. You should be reading this series because it is that good, and it continues to be that good in Locke & Key: Clockworks #1.

One of the wonderful things about Locke & Key is that IDW knows it has a gem in its hands, so they treat it with respect and love. The design of the hardcovers is amazing, but the single issues are equally beautiful with wonderful cover stock, great paper, and a solid magazine design that puts the majority of comics to shame. Pick up a copy to see what I'm talking about.

Clockworks deals with the origin of the keys, jumping back into the Revolutionary War to explore the disturbing story of a band of minutemen discovering a supernatural horror. In one issue, Joe Hill manages to bring multiple characters to life while explaining the backbone of the Locke & Key story. There has been no guessing on Hill's part when it came to scripting Locke & Key. This book was thoroughly thought out ahead of time and it shows: mysteries that were planted in the first installment are laid bare in this issue, and Hill makes it look effortless.

Equally impressive Rodriguez's impeccable artwork; his character acting and backgrounds are astounding. Young artists take note, this is how you make a comic that sings to its audience: the panel layout is clear and concise, each character is singular and unique, no panel is of lesser quality than the one before it, and the design of the environments the story inhabits would make most artists insane.

Lets not forget Jay Fotos, one of the best colorists working today. Though this is a dark story, Jay manages to avoid muddy colors, adding depth and gravitas to Gabriel's art. I would buy these solely comics for Jay's color art, he is that good. Robbie Robbins deserves credit for his clear, precise and uncluttered lettering. The letters are easily read, adding to the story without getting in the way of reading pleasure.

This comic needs more readers, so tell everyone not in the know to pick it up. There is nothing like this comic on the stands today in terms of quality from all those involved. I cannot recommend this comic enough.

Review by: Martin John

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