IDW Publishing 2020
Written by Joe Hill
Illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez
Coloured by Jay Fotos
Lettered by Shawn Lee
The impossible, reality-bending keys of Keyhouse have always been weapons of war. In the spring of 1915, Chamberlin Locke's oldest son, John, is desperate to be a part of the greatest war of all... and never mind that he’s too young to enlist. He means to use the power of the keys to turn the tide, and will tell any lie, and try any manipulation, to have his way. Prepare to open a door onto one of the grimmest battlefields of the 20th century, whose darkness might even strike fear into an army of supernatural shadows.
What do they say “it’s a blessing and a curse” as the original creative team is back to tell another tale of the Locke family. Only it’s a two issue affair which makes the joy bittersweet. Still if this is any indication that the boys aren’t done with this family and their history then I will drop to my knees and shout Hallelu (Shangela style!). Regardless this is one of the most fun, interesting and revealing tales i’ve seen in a while and it’s just a reminder of how good this creative team and this franchise really is.
I am a huge fan of the way that this is being told. The story & plot development we see through how the sequence of events and how the reader learns information is presented impeccably. There is a way that this whole thing is so familiar and yet new at the same time and it just beautifully takes you to this place and time that you want to visit, live in and be a part of. The character development is utterly marvellous. How we see the behaviour of the characters and how they act and react to the situations and circumstances that surround them. The pacing is perfectly done and as it takes us through the pages revealing the story it showcases how well everything we see works together to create the story’s ebb & flow.
The way that we see this book structured is amazing. I am constantly in awe of these folks and the sheer fact that we see how much better this has become compared to the original run is impressive to say the least. I mean the growth is stunning and that they were already pretty damn talented to begin with well yeah.
I am in love with the interior artwork here. The linework here is exquisite and it’s got this completely amazing style to it that cannot be beat. How we see the varying weights being utilised to showcase the attention to detail is stunning to me. The way that Gabriel utilises the linework and techniques within the backgrounds we see really showcases such beautiful talent on his part as well as bringing us depth perception, a sense of scale and the overall sense of size and scope to the story. The utilisation of the page layouts and how we see the angles and perspective in the panels show a masterful eye for storytelling. The colour work is gorgeous as well. I love seeing how the various hues and tones within the colours are utilised to create the shading, highlights and shadow work. Also I love the various techniques from colour blocking to gradation that we see in use.
The imagination and creativity that is on display throughout is magnificent. The way that this is written and with the layering within the story is done really makes for some beautiful, tense and thought provoking reading. This franchise can survive and thrive through the television programme and through comics and each time we see something new it just makes us want to see more.