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Locke & Key Books In Order

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Publication Order of Locke & Key Graphic Novels

Welcome to Lovecraft (2008)Description / Buy at Amazon
Head Games (2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Crown of Shadows (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
Keys to the Kingdom (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Clockworks (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Alpha & Omega (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Small World (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Heaven and Earth (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Golden Age (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Locke & Key: ...In Pale Battalions Go… Books

Locke & Key: ...In Pale Battalions Go… #1 (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Locke & Key: ...In Pale Battalions Go… #2 (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Locke & Key: ...In Pale Battalions Go… #3 (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone Books

Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone #0 (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone #1 (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Locke & Key/Sandman: Hell & Gone #2 (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Locke & Key: One-Shots Books

Locke & Key: Dog Days (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Locke & Key series by Joe Hill
Author Joe Hill writes the “Locke and Key” series of graphic novels, while Gabriel Rodriguez illustrates them. The books are from the contemporary fantasy and horror genres and are a brand new story of wonder and dark fantasy.

The series has won an Eisner Award for Best Writer (in 2011), a British Fantasy Award for Best Graphic Novel (in 2012), and a Ghastly Award for Best One Shot Comic (Locke & Key Golden Age #1 “Small World”, in 2016). The series has been nominated for many more.

The narrative of “Locke & Key” has a three-act structure, with each act covering two story arcs. The first issue of “Welcome to Lovecraft”, the six-issue limited series published by IDW, was released on February 20, 2008 and it sold out the first day, and required a second printing be done immediately.

It centers around the Locke family, comprised of Kinsey, Tyler, and Bode, who are the children of Nina and Rendell. After Rendell is murdered, the mother and three kids relocate to Keyhouse Manor, which is located in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. Tyler, along with his ancestor Benjamin Locke, use the whispering iron to forge keys when needed. He is the first to forge with the whispering iron since Hans Riffel.

Hans Riffel is the one that created the key to the front door of Keyhouse that implements the Riffel Rule, where nobody that enters the front door of the house during adulthood is able to directly see the keys’ power. People that age into adulthood are also going to start to lose their conscious memories of the keys along with their magic.

The house is an unlikely New England mansion that has some fantastic doors which transform all that dare walk through them. It is also the home of a hate-filled and relentless creature that refuses to rest until it can force open the most horrible door of all.

The three kids use the keys and learn the good and bad of each one. Bode especially, who experiments with being a Ghost as well as playing with some of the other Keys he locates.

Underneath this house was once a portal to another dimension that is filled with demons able to mesmerize anybody that sees them and possess them through touching them. It was found by some Rebels that hid beneath the future Keyhouse during the American Revolution. But when these demons attempt entering into the real world, they get transformed into “whispering” iron which a young smith named Benjamin Locke forged into all kinds of magical keys, which includes the Omega Key, which is able to seal off the entrance to the dimension.

The magic of Keyhouse evolves through the years. There is a spell that causes its occupants to forget about the keys and the house’s magic when they pass their eighteenth birthday.

In the year 1988, a group of teens, who used the keys rather extensively during their years in high school to much delight, choose to open up the black door using the Omega Key. They do so in hopes of tricking a demon into entering the real world so they can have more metal to make keys with.

Rendell’s little brother follows the group of kids and is mesmerized by the door and when he tries to step through, gets stopped by Dodge who, by accident, lays a hand through the door, getting possessed by some demonic being. After he plots and tries killing his friends and enslaving others at the Child of Leng that possesses him’s behest, Dodge is killed by Rendell.

Some years later, Dodge’s spirit is able to reenter the physical world through the well located on the Keyhouse property, due to actions that Dodge took before his death. While trapped in the well, he reaches out to Sam Lesser (an abused young prodigy) and convinces him to attack the Locke family in an effort to locate the Omega Key and the Anywhere Key, which would be able to free Dodge from the well.

In this universe, there are all kinds of keys that are created from whispering iron which have different magical properties. Some get extensively featured in the series, while some of the others get featured rather briefly. Keys like the Head Key, Alpha and Omega Keys, the Ghost Key, the Mending Key, the Keyhouse Key, and the Gender Key.

The Keyhouse Key is able to reconstruct Keyhouse after it is destroyed, while the Gender Key unlocks a half-sized door between two rooms that changes the sex of a person that enters it. The Ghost Key separates the soul from the body of whoever travels through the door. The Mending Key opens a magical cabinet in Keyhouse where you can place a broken object and can repair it, and can even heal severely wounded people, except it cannot bring back people from the dead. The Anywhere Key is able to open a door to anyplace that the user can visualize in their mind.

The Alpha Key can remove demons from possessed people’s souls when it gets inserted into their chests. Since it turns a demon into whispering iron instantly, it is fatal to the host if the demon is still inside them.

The Key most likely used the most in the books is the Head Key, which allows you to see inside somebody’s mind when you insert the key into the base of somebody’s head. With this key, mental concepts (including sanity) and memories are represented as small beings. Memories can be removed, and even swapped between different people. Books that are inserted into a head with this key transfer their full contents to the bearer of this key, however the knowledge of the text is accurate, albeit a superficial one.

It was adapted into a television series that premiered on Netflix in the year 2020 which starred Connor Jessup, Emilia Jones, Jackson Robert Scott, and Darby Stanchfield as the Locke family.

Joe has also penned spinoffs set in the universe, which includes “World War Key”. There is also a crossover series with Neil Gaiman’s “The Sandman” series.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Locke & Key

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