Horror descends upon the Locke children not only with a key this time but with a crown in Volume 3 of the Locke and Key series by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. Ty, Kinsey, and Bode are in serious trouble when Zack unleashes a shadow army inside the Keyhouse Mansion to find the key to the black door. The shadows take the shape of everything you were afraid of that went bump in the night. I was impressed at the artwork of the shadows, I had no idea you could create such imagery out of the color black and more black. Not only do the shadows materialize as frightful creatues but they also are endowed with mass and the subsequent ability to inflict pain *yikes*
This time around I was really concerned for little Bode – the way Kinsey takes care of him, the way Bode clings to her for support and protection just made my heart ache. Now in hindsight, I am bummed that Ellie and Rufus (mostly Rufus) did not make an appearance in Volume 3 especially after that surprise ending to Head Games. The epilogue of Crown of Shadows was particularly depressing – titled ‘Beyond Repair’ Mrs. Locke continues to spiral downward in a haze of alcoholism and depression as she is unable to cope with the horrors of the past two volumes. Her children don’t know how to help her and I fear she hasn’t hit rock bottom quite yet 😦
I’m half way done with the series and it is one of my favorites since beginning my adventures in comic booking. It is really taking all my willpower to space out the remaining issues (not because I want to prolong the story but because at $20/volume my wallet requires it). The story is so creative and I find myself flipping back to previous issues to reexamine scenes or look at the detail of the artwork. I have no idea where the remaining half of the story will go but I know it can only get more intense. I am eager to learn how Zach came to be the ‘person’ he is presently – and WTF with that creature attached to his ghost/soul??? The story isn’t over with Sam Lesser yet either – I know all these characters have an important role to play in the next volumes and I CAN’T WAIT!
Side note: this latest trip to the comic book store also yielded issues #2 and #3 of Wytches and the first volume of The Wicked and The Divine.