If there was a way to unlock your mind, to remove all the bad memories and add in all the knowledge from all the textbooks in the world would you do it? This is the situation the Locke children face in Locke & Key Volume 2: Head Games by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez.
In Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft, the Locke children – Bode, Kinsey, and Tyler – are relocated across the country after their father is brutally murdered by one of his students, Sam. The young serial killer pursues the kids to Lovecraft Island in search of a magic key. Once the kids and mother move into the family mansion, Keyhouse, things start to get supernaturally weird. Bode finds a key and a corresponding door – when he walks through the open door, he appears to die and his ghost roams the grounds…
On the heels of finding the Ghost Key, Bode finds the Head Key in Volume 2. After trying all the keyholes in Keyhouse, Bode determines the key fits in the back of his head allowing the literal removal of the top half of his skull where he can poke around inside. Tyler and Kinsey are horrified but jump at the chance to unlock their own heads. The scenes in which the Head Key is inserted at the base of someone’s skull and opened up is the best artwork of the book, hands down. Each scene is a 2 page spread, so detailed in encompassing happy memories, sad/scary memories, the works (I was going to include an example, but I don’t want to ruin the experience for any future readers!).
I was also excited to learn about Ellie’s past and how she knows Luke/Zack – more clues as to how this all began. And her son! Rufus was solidified as one of my favorite characters in this volume. Rufus is a young teenage boy who has trouble communicating without the use of military action figures. I did not see that ending coming at all! The only storyline I was not a fan of was Duncan’s. Uncle Duncan left Lovecraft after the Locke’s settled in to resume his teaching position in nearby Provincetown and to return to his boyfriend Brian. His boyfriend kind of sucked and the 2 homophobic redneck women seemed exaggerated and I became disinterested. Luckily these scenes weren’t too long and rest of the comic was phenomenal. I can’t wait to get my hands on Volume 3 – hopefully this weekend I can hit up the comic book store!