Locke and Key: Head Games Volume 2 by Joe Hill with Art done by Gabriel Rodríguez is a graphic novel that will open minds literally. This is my second time through the series, now that I know the ending, it fun piecing it together knowing all the character’s pasts and knowing all the keys and where they are hidden. This series is super involved, I love Joe Hill and have read almost everything that he has written, the only thing that I have not are the off shoots of the Locke and Key series. This time I’m reading the books with my girlfriend, as I want to watch the new Netflix series called Locke and Key. Head Games is bloody, with a sense of dark humor, while dealing with complex issues like homosexuality, alcoholism, regret, and grief.

Plot of Locke and Key: Welcome to Lovecraft Volume 1 – The novel starts off with two teenagers showing up at the summer home in California with bloody weapons and bodies in the bed of a truck looking for Mr. Locke and whereabouts of keys. Mr and Mrs. Locke are home, with Mrs. Locke opening the door. They have three kids Tyler the oldest, Kinsey the middle, and Bode the youngest who are all at the neighbors lake, when the hear a gun shot in the direction of the house. The book jumps around from there showing the aftermath of the shooting and what happened after at the of funeral of one member of the Locke family. The novel shifts as the family what’s left of it move to Lovecraft, Massachusetts to live in the old family mansion called Keyhouse. The house is filled with rooms and secret keys that will open up doors that only the kids can use. Bode, the youngest, figures out the house and it’s many secrets, he tells the family but they just laugh him off. He is the key to the truth the family doesn’t see and he has found either an enemy of a friend who lives trapped in the well. The novel bounces back and forth showing how the rest of the family survived the first murder as they find the new secrets that connect the house to the incidents. The family finds out the threat has only just begun, as more mysteries arise.

The Plot of Locke and Key: Head Games Volume 2 – Bode finds a head key, that let’s you open your mind right up, so you and others can see what is inside of it. You can pick the parts out, you don’t want and even add knowledge, like books and information. The thoughts grow into living breathing manifestations that you can pick out of your Brain. Kinsey picked fear and sadness and placed them both in a bottle with a stopper, that sits on her vanity. We get to see the bad guy Dodge/Zach Wells/ The Woman in the Well’s manifestation and how dangerous it can be. the Manifestations can go into any mind as well and manipulate it. We find out that that is how the Woman in the Well got her powers back to reach the two killers in Washington. Zach kills an old teacher that remembered him from years back, and starts investigating Zach’s student file. Kinsey admits she has a crush on Tyler’s new best friend Zach, and he uses this to steal the mind key.

What I Liked: The mind key, it is such a cool idea. Where it makes a key hole that opens up to your brain, allowing the user to pull out manifestation of a complex emotion. I the manifestation, its self can cause trouble it can fight back and go into another hosts head. I loved Tyler using the head key to try to impress a girl and it totally backfiring. The clever way that Foreigner’s song “Head Game” was worked in. What happened to the Ellie’s Mom. Duncan’s boyfriend and his no intimidation for being who he is. Rufus the character you feel the most sorry for living in the house with Zach, and the grandmother from hell.

What I Disliked: The flow was a little disjointed, we get a random flashback from a teacher who’s interracial wife drowns, and then he gets murdered later with rarely a mention of the wife who died earlier.

Recommendations: Locke and Key is one heck of a series from the mind of Joe Hill who blends horror and tragedy so seamlessly. The art is beautiful, and telling, sometimes Hill will not use words and let the art give you the emotions you should feel. I didn’t love this Head Games as much as the first one, which is hard to top in my opinion, but it is still a great Chapter to an amazing series. I rated Locke and Key: Head Games Volume 2 by Joe Hill with Art done by Gabriel Rodríguez 4 out of 5 stars.

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