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Locke & Key: Master Edition Volume One

(Locke & Key #1-2)

4.57  ·  Rating details ·  544 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Named a "modern masterpiece" by The A.V. Club, the crticially-acclaimed series Locke & Key takes on new life in a reformatted hardcover collection. The Locke & Key Master Edition Volume 1 features the first two story arcs, "Welcome to Lovecraft" and "Headgames," with all-new cover art and design by co-creator Gabriel Rodriguez.
Hardcover, Master Edition, 328 pages
Published June 2nd 2015 by IDW Publishing
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4.57  · 
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 ·  544 ratings  ·  77 reviews

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Johann (jobis89)
Nov 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Kids always think they're coming into a story at the beginning, when usually they're coming in at the end."

Following a tragic home invasion and the death of their father, Rendell, the Locke children along with their mother, relocate to Keystone house in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. They begin to adjust to their new life with the aid of Rendell's brother, Duncan. The youngest child, Bode, soon discovers a number of magical keys that each have a different function and ultimately attract the attentio
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
One of my biggest critiques about most comic books is the tendency to rush things. Many times it feels like the creators are rushing to fill their story into a finite number of pages. A love when you can tell that a story is moving towards a true ending, but telling it with the right pace. Joe Hill's Locke & Key series is refreshing in that it feels like it's taking it's time to flesh out the story the way it should be. It also doesn't pander to the reader or treat them with kid gloves.

Rory Wilding
Sep 03, 2016 rated it liked it
As someone who loves watching horror, it’s hard to get scared when it comes to reading horror, let alone horror comics. At the very least, literature can get under your skin and/or squirm by the bloodiness of whatever story. In the case of Horns author Joe Hill – son of the horror maestro Stephen King – his IDW comic Locke & Key is all about unlocking your fears.

After the tragic murder of patriarch Rendell, Nina Locke and her three children, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode move into Keyhouse, based
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastically written horror with great characters and imagination to make King jealous.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wish I had something original to say about this beautiful book. Part horror, part meditation on teenage grief, it did all kinds of things to me.

After a murder of their father, three children move with their mother to their uncle house in gloomy Massachusetts. Their mother is still there with them but like in most stories about children, she is not really there, disappearing into her own world, oblivious to the danger her children are putting themselves in. A deranged killer is still after them
Cameron Chaney
I've read a few duds lately so I wanted to go back and read something I already love (and to prepare to read volume 2). What can I say, this stuff is good, man. Seriously good. I enjoyed this even more the second time around. I noticed things I didn't notice before and I connected with it in a whole new way. Grief is a big theme here, which I didn't notice so much the first time around. I definitely noticed it this time. If you haven't read this comic, please just invest in the whole series and ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I was very surprised by how much this engrossed me into both the characters and the mystery. I was reluctant to read this because of my distaste for horror/slasher movies, but I'm certainly glad I did. For some reason the kids feel real to me, the way they talk and the way they react and try to cope with what has happened to them. Then there are these mysterious keys to this strange house (which is completely mapped out in the back of this volume) plus an unknown history behind some of the peopl ...more
Michelle {Book Hangovers}
Nov 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It’s every bit of greatness I knew it would be!!!! I need more ASAP!!!!
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm not a horror fan. But, this book won a lot of accolades and I've heard good things from people about it. Now that I've read the first two acts (included in this volume) I can attest that these accolades are well deserved. The writing is dark (this isn't for kids) as you begin with a bloody murder of the father of the three children who are main characters but compelling. There are some fantasy elements but the story is very much grounded in the modern world. If I had more of the story I woul ...more
Maksym Karpovets
It was the very first time when my interest has been swayed from a feeling of disgust to a complete blessing while I was reading the series. At the beginning, I could not get jumped to either simple (not true) and childish (true) drawing, or one-dimensional and stupid characters (sooo wrong), and especially all that shit that was happening to them during the first arc. My gosh, how much I hated Sam Hesser, the main antagonist! However, when I realized how foolish and manipulated he was, I felt a ...more
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
The art is top notch and the story keeps getting better.
This was a very nice surprise, I did not expect this at all.
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Top notch story and art. This is now among my top 10 favourite graphic novel stories of all time. The Master Editions are a great way to collect this story and would be best read back to back. For those interested, there are subsequent small one-shot stories that were done later and tie in with the world Joe Hill created here.
Oct 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I wish my house was as cool as the Keyhouse.
Jan 23, 2018 rated it liked it
This is one of the first, if not THE first, graphic novels I've read. I've never really been able to get into comics, and I assumed the same issues I had with comics would apply here as well. But, I love Joe Hill's writing (and am no stranger to Lovecraft-ian style work), so I wanted to give it a shot. The drawings were wonderful, though I struggled to tell some of the characters apart. The story was compelling, but jumped around a lot in time and within each story, so I had trouble following it ...more
Rumi Vd
Aug 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantastic ! I love Joe Hill's books, but i waited a long time to check this graphic novel out. What a sucker i am ! Great horror story with alot of Lovecraftian things in it, also ghosts, portals, scary killers, a super rich back story, and kick ass snappy dialogue to boot. The art takes some getting used to, but ended up loving it, its very original, almost manga like, with the big eyes and everything. Also like to mention that this edition, the master edition, is stunning ! beautifull details, ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing

I found my favorite comic.


Such a creative story and so well executed.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It had been on my "to read" list for quite a long time, and now I regret it sooo much. It is simply awesome, I should have read it ages ago.
Jul 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow!! An awesome book that I had little to no idea about other than it's a 'must read'.

The story is a tad intense so this is definitely not for the squeamish. It's not grotesque like say... Ennis' stuff but the content is a bit heavy (not your average super hero book). The writing and production is excellent. There is a scene in the book in which one of the characters is searching for something and it's located in almost each panel. The misdirection (or me just blanking) had me going back and s
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn't expect a comic to grip me this much so early on, if it's good at one thing it's being thrilling and making you care what happens next. The art is great with how expressive it is, and the shots and paneling too. This one fight scene where there were no panel borders was really effective. The pacing is basically perfect taking its time to make you care for the characters while also having great climaxes. The writing is very well done, both in terms of how the dialogue feels natural yet di ...more
Sohan Surag
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you're a horror fan and if you haven't read Locke & Key you're missing out on some major good stuff. Written by Joe Hill aka Stephen King's son and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez, Locke & Key is one of the best horror comics ever made. A well thought out plot, superbly written leads, an astoundingly smart plot device and a despicable antagonist makes Locke & Key a must read. Its more adventure and fantasy than all out horror. Although I had read Joe Hill's HORNS, I was never a f ...more
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brad McKenna
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, horror
The concept of magical keys isn’t a new one but that doesn’t weaken the strength of Mr. Hill’s story. The characters are tragically great. Bode gives me the unfettered optimism of a child, Ty, the angst of a teenager after trauma. The artwork but Mr. Rodriguez is terrific. Since it’s a horror story he seems to have fun with some shockingly grotesque images. One of which is what happens when the Locke (hence the title) kids find the Head Key. He really brought the creative idea to life in a can’t ...more
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I found this to be a very gripping read, and hard to put down. That said, I don't think it's for me; there's entirely too much horror of a human nature in it. Sure, there are supernatural elements, and things going bump in the night, and tantalizing secrets yet to be unveiled, but the parts I found distasteful were mostly just people being terrible. I felt torn between yelling the equivalent of "DON'T GO IN THERE," and throwing the thing at a wall. The last thing I need is to feel worse about hu ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Volume 1: 5 stars
Volume 2: 4 stars. The story got really weird in the second volume. The head key felt little unrealistic which is the reason for deducting 1 Star. The first volume was scarier.

We still have no idea what the villain is trying to achieve or who he is. Sometimes I wonder why he doesn’t kill everyone, instead of taking elaborate steps to hide his identity. After all, he is a ghost and what does he have to fear for?

Love how scary and spooky this series is! Perfect read for Hallowee
Jul 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-horror
AMAZING..!!! This is my absolute favorite graphic novel that I've read this year. Another masterpiece by Joe Hill. I liked the characters especially Bode (he is clever, adventourus and too cute!), and the most amazing thing is the mystery! I loved the idea of a magic keys and the keyhouse. I come across this book in a book bazaar and I can't believe my luck!! Such a bargain for such an awesome book. Now, I need another luck to score the other 2 books in the series..!!
Jun 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. The story is captivating, the characters are detailed and interesting, and the art just adds SO much to the story. There are so many details in every panel, and I find myself paying a lot of attention to them to make sure I don't miss anything. Also, the Master Edition is just gorgeous.

I can't wait to see where the story goes next!
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Very interesting story! It has a different idea than anything I've ever read. I'm not sure where the story is going, but I like that it is not predictable. I'm not sure if it has captured my curiosity enough to have me continue reading additional volumes. I love the illustrations and this Master Edition is a gorgeous book.
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Hard to classify this one other than incredible. Both the story and the artwork are amazing. Worth a read for anyone who likes really mind-bending fiction with a horror twist. Can't wait to read the next volume.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my dad's volumes that I read half of a year ago, and couldn't stop thinking about, so when I visited him again, I had to continue it! Such an excellent series and example of storytelling, character transformation, causality, and so on... I loved it so much!
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Joe Hill's debut, Heart-Shaped Box, won the Bram Stoker Award for Best First Novel. His second, Horns, was made into a film freakfest starring Daniel Radcliffe. His other novels include NOS4A2, and his #1 New York Times Best-Seller, The Fireman... which was also the winner of a 2016 Goodreads Choice Award for Best Horror Novel.

He writes short stories too. Some of them were gathered together in

Other books in the series

Locke & Key (6 books)
  • Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key, #1)
  • Head Games (Locke & Key, #2)
  • Crown of Shadows (Locke & Key, #3)
  • Keys to the Kingdom (Locke & Key, #4)
  • Clockworks (Locke & Key, #5)
  • Alpha & Omega (Locke & Key, #6)