After a horrific death in the family, the Locke family move to Lovecraft, Massachusetts, and into the grand old Keyhouse mansion. But the family will soon find out that Keyhouse is not just any old mansion, but one with special doors that can transform those who go through them, as long as you have the right key. But as they’ll soon find out, not all the doors are wonderful and that there is a force inside the house that’s pulling all the strings to open the most terrible door of all.
That’s the basis of Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez’s Locke & Key. This series, published by IDW Publishing, reinvents the haunted house concept to create a saga that’s full of suspense, mystery, and character-driven moments.
If you’re curious to check out the comics thanks to the Netflix series then you’ve come to the right place. This guide will point you in the right direction so you can begin reading this fantastically eerie comic book series.
Where Do I Start Reading?
The Locke & Key saga starts with the Welcome to Lovecraft miniseries. So the best place to start the comic book series with Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft #1 (of 6).
Check out the next section to find out the recommended reading order for Locke & Key.
Locke & Key Reading Order
If you want to read all of Locke & Key then you’ll want to read the following trade paperbacks (also available in hardcover) in order.
Locke & Key Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft
Collects: Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft #1-6
Locke & Key Volume 2: Head Games
Collects: Locke & Key: Head Games #1-6
Note: Volume 1 and 2 are also collected together in Locke & Key Master Edition Volume 1.
Locke & Key Volume 3: Crown of Shadows
Collects: Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows #1-6
Locke & Key Volume 4: Keys to the Kingdom
Collects: Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom #1-6
Note: Volume 3 and 4 are also collected together in Locke & Key Master Edition Volume 2.
Locke & Key Volume 5: Clockworks
Collects: Locke & Key: Clockworks #1-6
Locke & Key Volume 6: Alpha & Omega
Collects: Locke & Key: Omega #1-5, and Alpha #1-2
Note: If you are reading the contents of Alpha & Omega in single issues, read the Omega issues first then Alpha. Volume 5 and 6 are also collected together in Locke & Key Master Edition Volume 3.
All six volumes will be released in a single edition known as the Locke & Key: Keyhouse Compendium in October 2020.
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One-Shots – ‘The Golden Age’
There is also a batch of one-shot stories set in the past that don’t revolve around the main story. Each story, referred to as The Golden Age, explores a different key. These are:
- Locke & Key: Guide to the Known Keys
- Locke & Key: Grindhouse
- Locke & Key: Small World
- Locke & Key: Dog Days
Most of these stories are collected in a release called Locke & Key: Heaven & Earth.
There is also the two-part story called Locke & Key: …In Pale Battalions Go… Set in 1915, this explores Chamberlin Locke’s oldest son in World War I. These issues will be released in August and September 2020.
In the past, DC Comics and IDW Publishing have done stories that crossover their popular comics. In the past they have done Batman and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but this time around they are doing it with The Sandman and Locke & Key. This three part story (issues #0 to #2) will called Locke & Key – The Sandman Universe: Hell & Gone.
Issue #0 reprints the short story “Open the Moon” (originally printed in Locke & Key: Guide to the Known Keys) and material from The Sandman: Season of Mists as a way to contextualise the crossover.
In preparation for this crossover, DC Comics is reprinted The Sandman #23 for a dollar.