Locke & Key: Small World Review

Storytelling by Gabriel Rodriguez (@GR_comics) and Joe Hill (@joe_hill)

Coloring by Jay Fotos

Lettering by Robbie Robbins (@IDWrobbie)

Locke & Key is a the critical and commercial success by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
that follows the Locke family’s adventures at Keyhouse. Their return to their father’s hometown turned into a supernatural ride that follows the family after the murder of their father and further trauma. It is a story filled with history so rich that the team has decided should be further explored. This is the territory that brings us
Locke & Key: Small World.

It’s a short story set in Keyhouse that follows a generation of the Locke family that begins with a birthday gift. It is a dollhouse replicant of Keyhouse given to the Mary Brigid Locke and Jean Thompson along with the “Small World Key” from Chamberlin Morse Walton Locke. When the Small World Key is placed in the front door, it can see anything and anyone inside the house. Keyhouse is then vulnerable to whoever is playing with the dollhouse as illustrated by Mary Locke putting a pencil inside. This appears as a huge pencil being battled by her brothers.

The adults of Keyhouse know about and use the various keys which is a different take from the original book. The keys that we’ve grown accustomed were used in small and inventive ways like telling bedtime stories or cleaning up the house. Then used in an action packed way against the big evil crawled into the Keyhouse as result of the Small World key.

The story turns into the Locke kids saving the adults of Keyhouse without the use of any keys. Each character tries to fight off the big evil without the use of keys. They instead choose to fight them head on and this provides some serious tension throughout a comic that’s fairly lighthearted.

The story is the “Golden Age” take of Locke & Key by the team and it has the feel of one. It’s a familiar place with a different family generation of characters a fan loves. This one-shot could also serve as a good platform for someone interested in picking up the original series.  It is parts horror, action, and family story with tones that blend organically which both startles and excites.


Buy! It’s a fun story set in the Locke & Key universe and it’s a story that lasts an issue. It really proves what Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez have been saying since Locke & Key’s end, the world deserves to be further explored. The comic has a little bit for anyone interested in horror. Well worth picking up!

I'm a journalism major at Rutgers University who loves reading comic books and writing fiction for fun.

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