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Locke & Key, Vol. 2: Head Games

(Locke & Key #2)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  39,340 ratings  ·  2,486 reviews
Following a shocking death that dredges up memories of their father's murder, Kinsey and Tyler Locke are thrown into choppy emotional waters, and turn to their new friend, Zack Wells, for support, little suspecting Zack's dark secret.

Meanwhile, six-year-old Bode Locke tries to puzzle out the secret of the head key, and Uncle Duncan is jarred into the past by a disturbingl
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published February 2015 by IDW Publishing (first published September 1st 2009)
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Average rating 4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  39,340 ratings  ·  2,486 reviews

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Start your review of Locke & Key, Vol. 2: Head Games
I've read this multiple times now and I keep thinking that this time I won't like it as much.
Not so.
This is such an awesome title that I would honestly recommend it even if you're not traditionally a fan of horror or the graphic medium. Really. It's just storytelling at its best.


Volume 2 is about the Head Key. As far as the Key goes, I thought it was less scary and more sci-fi. I'm sure a lot of you would disagree with me, but it just didn't seem creepy to unlock your head. Weird, strange, and s
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
This book starts with someone dying and then goes on to find another key.
The head key.

You stick the key in the back of your neck and viola! your skull pops open. You can even look into your own head.
You see what all's in there. You can put stuff in and take some things that bother you out.

You know that's not going to end well. Unless you are like some of us and there isn't much there to begin with.

This volume does have quiet a bit of back story so be ready for that if you are reading it.
Kayla Dawn
Sep 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
These are really really good?!

Thank you Kindle Unlimited, without you I would've never started this series lol.
Wil Wheaton
Jul 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just like the great second chapters in epic series (like Empire Strikes Back or The Two Towers) this ends on a very dark, down, disturbing note. Things just keep getting worse for the Locke family, and I'm really glad that I'm so late to the party on Locke & Key, because I can go right into Volume 3 without letting the despair of Volume 2 linger too long. ...more
Sean Gibson
May 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
It’s disconcerting watching someone open up their head and rummage around amongst their memories. Like, literally open up their head and physically manipulate memories.

That said, I enjoyed this a great deal, moreso than volume 1, and am looking forward to more...
¸¸.•*¨*•♫ Mrs. Buttercup •*¨*•♫♪

Okay, I'll admit it: you guys were right when you kept recommending this series to me for ever and I was wrong thinking this was another over-hyped comic that I'll end up hating! I absolutely love this! This second volume was even more interesting than the first, and the story was so compelling that at some point the fact I don't really like the artwork and colouring stopped bothering me completely. Or maybe I just started liking it. I just couldn't put this down!
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014, comics

Their father was murdered.
They don’t know one of their closest friends is really their enemy...
And he’ll stop at nothing to get the key to the black door.
The other keys have the power to save them.
This is where they’ll make their stand.


“They” are the Locke kids from the title of the series: Tyler, Kinsey and Bode. In the first volume, they must overcome personal tragedy and survive the terror of being hunted by a psychopat. Now they find out that there is more to discover behind the murder of
Will M.
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Review of the first volume: Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft

I immediately went ahead and read the second volume of the Locke and Key series. The first volume was very satisfactory, providing a good introduction to the series. The second volume didn't disappoint either, as the novel developed even further.

The first volume was pure introduction to the world and characters, but it didn't focus much on the keys. I'm very glad that the second one focused on one particular key, and the secret
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novels, z2017
Dark, creepy, awesome. These comics are so freaking cool! I love them! The story is cool and so is the artwork. Can't wait to read more. ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

It’s time for another visit to Keyhouse : )

Commercial Photography

Head Games is the second volume in the Locke and Key series. While I’m still holding firm to the hope that this will end up being a 5 Star collection, this particular volume only earns 4 . . . Which is still good, so lay off! After a gut-wrenching and action packed debut, Volume II settles down a bit in order to go over some much needed, but not as exciting, backstory. In order to move fo
mark monday
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
oooooo..... more eerie adventures on that strange island in that creepy Key House with that poor, haunted family. wonderful! this volume is as strong as the first. while the first book was focused on slowly bringing the family and the reader into this fascinating world - introducing a handful of magical keys, throwing out a few hints of the incredible backstory, setting up a confrontation between the family and both a dreadful psycho & a creepy spirit villain - the second book zooms in one parti ...more
Dave Schaafsma
Feb 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gn-horror
Brian Vaughn writes the intro to this second volume, which made me consider how Joe Hill is beginning to match up with the contemporary horror/sci-fi/fantasy comics greats such as Neil Gaiman, Joss Whedon or Vaughn himself. In short, he's not yet at that level. Surely Gaiman is technically better, deeper, more philosophical, more serious writing horror in all respects, but Hill is still good: witty, scary, imaginative, good writer of dialogue. And the core of this is like a lot of good horror, p ...more

2015 re-read. Magical, wondrous, crazy series continues to feel magical, wondrous and crazy. Like Warren Ellis in his introduction to this volume, I too want to find a key that opens up Joe Hill's head and steal from within all the "clever bits" -- because Mr. Hill is just too clever for his own damn good. Can this series possibly end as Herculean strong as it's begun? Also, a resounding standing ovation for the artwork of Gabriel Rodriguez.

2012 review:
If you've yet to begin on the wondrous and
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I don't read graphic novels nearly enough but I will say I do really enjoy this series. It's hard for me to rate it though. I really like it, but also I'm so lost and I cant make much sense out of it. I still cant wait to read more! All in all this is so far a good series that makes you question a lot. ...more
Jun 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Once again, my original review has spoilers. I don't recommend you reading past the 2014 numbers.

HEAD GAMES was an excellent second part to this story. I sometimes wish I had more to say when I love a book other than “holy shit, this is amazing…” However, I normally don’t.

I still very much suggest trying this series out if you haven't yet. It just gets better in this second volume. If I remember correctly, the head key is my favorite. It's a fascinating idea.

6/8 - 6/9 2014
Locke & Key Volume
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
The second Locke & Key graphic novel volume follows directly on from the first as we find the three Locke children in deadly danger from a visitor from the past. This volume wasn’t as tension filled or action packed as the last, relying more on plot and character development to drive it forward instead of action. As such, I found the pace a lot slower, with the enemy moving forward with their mysterious plans unknown by the children, but nothing really happening in terms of questions being answe ...more
Tan Markovic
Apr 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excited to go to sleep so I can wake up and read the next one....... That level of love for this series right now!
Aug 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing

There are so many crazy, wacky elements of this story to go along with the horror side. It's a fantastic mix of the two. The whole idea of the head key and the visuals when looking into one's own head is just bonkers and I love it. Especially seeing each person peek over the top into their own head. We really see how evil and manipulative Zack / Luke / Dodge is in this.

Rodriguez's art continues to impress. I love how he uses heavy inks to outline and weight the important elements of each panel.
Montzalee Wittmann
What an amazing imagination!

Locke&Key Vol 2: Head Games by Joe Hill continues this wild and crazy story! In this book, Bode finds out what the next key does and it freaks out everyone but his mom, ( she is in shock). What this does will leave you with a creepy feeling, at least it did me! The thing in the well house is a big player for Team Evil and has a large role.
The graphics are super tremendous! I loved just looking at the illustrations! Pick up this graphic book series but start with book
Pantelis Andreou
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This stuff is really great! I wonder what will happen next!
Feb 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this 2nd volume of the series we get the Head Key. The Head Key opens what you'd expect: people's heads. You get to see their memories and can put knowledge in there or take something out.
Kinsey and Tyler have made friends with a boy that looks an awful lot like one who has been at their school one generation earlier - a friend of Kinsey's and Tyler's dad to be exact. For those, who have seen the show, the mystery is no mystery and I must say that it was almost painfully obvious in the comic
J.G. Keely
Feb 09, 2011 rated it it was ok
Well, I was hoping that if I kept on with the series, I'd get used to the art, but unfortunately not. Giant chins and tiny, lipless mouths everywhere. And everyone looks like a pallid corpse thanks to the questionable choice of shading all fleshtones with an unsaturated grey. It's just not pretty.

And I don't think it's some deliberate attempt at disquieting horror art, either, because low-saturation isn't the way to make unsettlingly corpselike characters. There's a whole palette of greens, blu
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another great addition to the Locke & Key series!

Head Games starts after new high school friend, Zack Wells gets introduced to the Locke family. Kinsey and Tyler seem to really like Zack and they're both still trying to get over the murder of their father.

Uncle Duncan seems to be having issues remembering a face from the past and Bode Locke finds a new key in Keyhouse.

This key involves adding or subtracting something from your head.
Yeah, it might seem weird but it was super cool and a bit creepy
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Another great volume of Locke & Key! I love Joe Hill's bizarre, creepy writing style, and the illustrations in this graphic novel are just gorgeous. There's so much detail and intricacy, and you really want to look closely at every panel because sometimes, there are tiny little details hidden that are just so neat.

This volume introduces the Head Key, which is literally a key that, when inserted into the back of one's neck, opens their skull and allows them to see all the little goodies (and badd
Jun 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Okay, this one was much better. We're finally getting some more rules for the magic. Limitations always make for great stories. It also helps that I now wish I could get my hands on that key and straight dump all the books I've ever read into my noggin. And a lot more, of course. I wonder how the magic would rearrange me? Fascinating.

Back to the story. Dodge is rather interesting. He's building into something Lynch-like, and I like it.

All the over-the-top prejudice stuff feels like a page taken
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

This second installment was awesome! It was creepy, weird and I loved it. You will never guess where the other key goes!

I loved the graphics and the continuing storyline. I look forward to the next book in the wonderful world of Joe Hill!
Sam Quixote
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
The Locke family kids, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode, are slowly recovering from their father’s brutal death and settling in to their Lovecraftian manse which is located in, funnily enough, Lovecraft, Massachusetts. But their new friend, Zack Wells (because he lived in a well, geddit?!) aka Lucas “Luke” Don Caravaggio (Worst. Character Name. Ever.) is killing people because he has a plan for the Locke kids that nobody knows anything about but it’s bound to be creepy. Also: more magic keys!

I have no id
James DeSantis
Oct 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Locke and Key continues to be a extremely interesting series.

So the kids have gained the ability to open heads. Like they can open someone's head, reach in, and grab a memory or a creature of a memory, and tear it out and it's formed in real life. How nuts is that? Also we have the villain here being evil as fuck and scheming the hell out of this family. Also the uncle is going through some crazy shit once he leaves and it's only going to get worse.

Good: Some of this shit is the funniest comic
Wow, this series is good. I want to know more of what's happening. It feels like the antagonist Zac is winning and the main characters are totally losing at this point. They don't have a clue. I can't figure out how the story is going to go. That is a rare thing. I love the art and I think the story is new. It's doing some 'Inside Out' stuff. It really is about head games.

What joy to find something I can't figure out what is going to happen. I'm surprised and interested in everything. If you rea
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
See Locke & Key, Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega for my review of the entire series.
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Reads of a geek a...: Locke and Key Vol. 2 1 4 Feb 10, 2014 09:26AM  

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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)
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 3: Crown of Shadows
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 4: Keys to the Kingdom
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 5: Clockworks
  • Locke & Key, Vol. 6: Alpha & Omega

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“-one teebs? You mean tablespoon?"
"I don't know.”
“That's it? 'Damn, it smells like the fishsticks are burning and don't do that with your head, Bode?' What the fuck?” 3 likes
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