Images © Joe Hill and IDW.
This series is about keys, but not just the ones the characters use to create all kinds of magic. It has keys to a successful horror comics series. Some of them are: great characters, each with a fully realized and worked out life story; imagination, writer Joe Hill has plenty of it, unveiling new aspects to his story with each issue, taking some familiar horror elements from the works of H.P. Lovecraft and doing something completely new with them; terrific art, supplied by Gabriel Rodriguez, who continues to get better and better with each story, adding tons of detail, carefully working out the world and settings, bringing the characters to life with great acting and storytelling.
In this issue we’re introduced to the Time key, which allows us and some of the current characters to access the past. First the distant past of the American Revolution, when the British have commandeered Key House not knowing the eldritch horrors that lie beneath it. Then the more recent past, the childhood of the current household’s father. As the story goes deeper into that generation’s triumphs and tragedies, more of the connections are made to the present, only adding to the horror of some past events. Secrets are revealed about the keys themselves, and how they came to be made. Joe Hill continues to expand his story through time, adding richness and building suspense. One more volume to go, apparently, and I can’t wait to read it!
Here’s a sample page, great in every way, despite the fact that there’s little movement. Wonderful storytelling, shot selection, layout, detail and emotional subtlety.
Very highly recommended!