PART 1, the Phantom Menace (?)
|1· Welcome To Lovecraft||2· Head Games||3· Crown Of Shadows|
|4· Keys To The Kingdom||5· Clockworks||6· Alpha & Omega|
Part 2, World War Key
The Golden Age
|Small World||Open The Moon||Grindhouse|
|In The Can||Nailed It||Locke & Keys|
The narrative of Locke & Key is structured in three acts, with each act consisting of two six-issue storylines. Act One’s first story arc, Welcome to Lovecraft, was a six-issue limited series published by IDW Publishing. The first issue of Welcome to Lovecraft was released on February 20, 2008 and sold out in a single day, requiring a second printing to be done immediately. The second arc of Act One, entitled Head Games, commenced with the release of the first issue on January 22, 2009. The actual Head Games story was printed in four issues, with a standalone prologue (“Intermission” or “The Joe Ridgeway Story”) and a standalone conclusion (“Army Of One”).
Act Two of the Locke & Key story consists of two limited, six-issue miniseries; the first storyline of Act Two, Crown of Shadows, began in late 2009. The second storyline, Keys to the Kingdom, began in August 2010.
The first storyline of Act Three was initially announced as Time & Tide, but is now titled Clockworks. The second storyline is called Alpha & Omega.
The original publication plan for the issues comprising the second, third, fourth, and fifth story arcs to be released monthly, with the final storyline being produced as an original graphic novel, but these plans have been altered.
Plot (possible spoilers):
This plot is presented in non-chronological order. During the American Revolution, a group of Rebels, hiding beneath the future Keyhouse, discover a portal to another dimension, the plains of Leng filled with demons which can mesmerize any who see them and possess through touch. However, when the demons attempt to enter the real world, they collapse into lumps of “whispering iron”, which young smith Benjamin Locke forges into a variety of magical keys, including the Omega Key, which seals the entrance to the dimension. The magic of the Keyhouse gradually evolves over the years, including a spell which causes occupants to forget about the keys and the magic of the house when they pass their 18th birthday. In 1988, a group of teenagers, having used the keys extensively in their high school years to their great delight, decide to open the black door with the Omega Key, hoping to trick a demon into entering the real world in order to provide more metal with which to make more keys. However, Rendell Locke’s younger brother follows the group and is mesmerized by the door. Attempting to walk through it, he is stopped by Dodge, who accidentally puts his hand through the door, becoming possessed. After plotting to kill his friends and enslave the others at the behest of the Child of Leng possessing him, Rendell kills Dodge, trapping his possessed soul in the well.
Many years later, Dodge’s spirit reaches out to a young abused prodigy, Sam Lesser, and convinces him to attack the Lockes and kill Rendell, looking for the Omega Key, as well as the Anywhere Key, which is capable of freeing Dodge from the well. After the gruesome murder of their father, the Locke kids, Tyler, Kinsey and Bode move with their mother Nina across the country to Keyhouse and begin discovering its secrets. Sam escapes prison and follows the Lockes to Massachusetts. He attacks the family again at Keyhouse, at which time Dodge tricks Bode into bringing him the Anywhere Key. Dodge escapes from the well, kills Sam and returns to Lovecraft in the same body as he had thirty years before.
Dodge re-enters high school under the guise of a new student, intimidating his way into the home of one of Kinsey’s teachers and Dodge’s former friends. Over the next year, Dodge secretly tries to recover the various keys – in particular the Omega Key – from the children, collecting many though hindered by Tyler and Kinsey. Dodge is eventually discovered but manages to switch bodies and possess Bode before they can kill him. Now free to explore the house as Bode, Dodge finally finds the Omega Key and plans his takeover after-prom party in the caves. Releasing several demons, many of the students are killed. Dodge is ultimately undone by Tyler and Dodge’s spirit is forced back into the well, though Bode’s empty body is cremated before Bode’s soul has a chance to return to it. In the epilogue, Tyler returns to the well to finally free Dodge’s spirit from the demon, having used a sliver of whispering iron inherited from his father to forge an “Alpha Key” capable of undoing possession. Tyler is able to speak with his father one last time, and restore Bode’s physical form.