Tag Archives: joe hill

Preview: Locke & Key: In Pale Battalions Go #2 (of 2)

Locke & Key: In Pale Battalions Go #2 (of 2)

(W) Joe Hill (A/CA) Gabriel Rodriguez
In Shops: Oct 07, 2020
SRP: $3.99

The impossible, reality-bending keys of Keyhouse have always been weapons of war. In the spring of 1915, Chamberlin Locke’s oldest son, John, is desperate to be a part of the greatest war of all… and never mind that he’s too young to enlist. He means to use the power of the keys to turn the tide, and will tell any lie, and try any manipulation, to have his way. Prepare to open a door onto one of the grimmest battlefields of the 20th century, whose darkness might even strike fear into an army of supernatural shadows.

Locke & Key: In Pale Battalions Go #1 (of 2)

Preview: Locke & Key: In Pale Battalions Go #1 (of 2)

Locke & Key: In Pale Battalions Go #1 (of 2)

(W) Joe Hill (A/CA) Gabriel Rodriguez
In Shops: Aug 26, 2020
SRP: $3.99

The impossible, reality-bending keys of Keyhouse have always been weapons of war. In the spring of 1915, Chamberlin Locke’s oldest son, John, is desperate to be a part of the greatest war of all… and never mind that he’s too young to enlist. He means to use the power of the keys to turn the tide, and will tell any lie, and try any manipulation, to have his way. Prepare to open a door onto one of the grimmest battlefields of the 20th century, whose darkness might even strike fear into an army of supernatural shadows.

Locke & Key: In Pale Battalions Go #1 (of 2)

Review: Plunge #6

Plunge #6

Plunge #6 might be the perfect example of a horror story fumbling the finale. I’ve loved this series up to this point. But, that love has also floundered a bit as it became clear the series was rushing to a Cthulhu-like ending. It’s a great concept and amazing ideas looking for a great story to carry them through.

Written by Joe Hill, Plunge #6 feels like a monster movie where they’ve built up to the monster, got to the point, and then said, “let’s blow the budget.” It’s an ending that’s predictable and anti-climactic in so many ways.

For those who’ve gotten to this point in the series, the giant portal has been opened and the intelligent space worms have skittered back through freeing what’s within. That, not surprisingly is yet another Lovecraft inspired being here to destroy reality. Little is explained and we’re just expected to roll with it as our rag-tag group has to figure out how to destroy it and save everything.

The comic feels like Hill had a limited number of issues, ran out of ideas, and needed a way to wrap things up. Where the series leading up to this has been relatively creative and creepy, the finale just delivers things we’ve seen time and time again. The creative of the previous five issues is out the window for a cookie cutter ending.

Hill also leaves so much hanging and unanswered. This being can eat reality, so isn’t the reality of where it came from destroyed then? Why do the worms want to go back? What are they other than other-dimensional beings? There’s just volumes of interesting material to mine and the series feels like it’s hampered by its six-issue run. It needed to wrap up and this was the easiest way to do it.

The art is the usual fantastic. Stuart Immonen delivers sites that truly feel epic and the lookers on do come off as they are witnessing something grand. That’s helped by Dave Stewart‘s colors and Deron Bennett‘s lettering. As a Cthulhu-inspired spectacle, the comic does rock. There’s some inspiring visuals and interesting spins to concepts in the art. But, it also emphasizes this is something we’ve generally seen so many times before. The creep factor of the previous five issues is gone and we’re delivered over the top monsters.

Plunge #6 doesn’t stick the landing. It crashes hard. The series was one full of mystery and such interesting concepts and ideas. The package just doesn’t come together and jettisons all of them for a standard ending that’s been done before so many times. I wanted to see how this series ended but when I got to the end, it actually lessens what comes before spotlighting that it was great ideas with nowhere to go.

Story: Joe Hill Art: Stuart Immonen
Color: Dave Stewart Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 6.75 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics

IDW Delivers its Future Plans for Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez’s Locke & Key

To satisfy demand in the interim before  Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez‘s Locke & Key’s second season Neftlix debut, IDW Publishing has announced the next wave of published offerings in the Locke & Key franchise. There’s no better time for fans to experience the full breadth of the comic series.

August through October will see the release of the three-part miniseries, Locke & Key: …In Pale Battalions Go…, serving as a lead-in to Hell & GoneLocke & Key’s hotly-anticipated crossover with DC’s The Sandman Universe slated for late fall. Set in the spring of 1915, the story follows John Locke, a patriot too young to enlist in the greatest war of all. He intends to use the impossible, reality-bending keys to turn the tide on the grimmest battlefield of the 20th century… a hellscape whose darkness might even strike fear into an army of shadows.

In October, the Locke & Key – The Sandman Universe: Hell & Gone #0 comic book officially kicks off the crossover fans have been waiting for with a special reintroduction of storylines and characters who populate the fall’s landmark event series. In the reprinted tale “Open the Moon” (originally presented in 2011’s Locke & Key: Guide to the Known Keys), Chamberlin Locke, patriarch of the Locke family, wields the Moon Key to reveal new secrets lurking in Keyhouse… and unlocks a strange new world leading directly into the events of the Hell & Gone series. Also, the #0 issue peels back the curtain on Dream of The Endless with a classic tale reprinted from The Sandman.

Locke & Key: Keyhouse Compendium (isbn 978-1-68405-776-4), scheduled for release in October, collects the original, sprawling tale of magic and family, in one massive 900-page hardcover edition complete with a dust jacket featuring all-new front- and back-cover artwork by series co-creator Gabriel Rodríguez. Marking the first time that the core Locke & Key six-volume series has all been collected into a single tome, the Keyhouse Compendium — much like the doors of Keyhouse itself — transforms all who open its pages. Witness the triumphs and tragedies of Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode Locke from their very first steps on the ancestral grounds of Massachusetts to the climactic final battle with the supernatural entity Dodge.

In November and January, the most talked-about crossover of 2020 will hit stores: Locke & Key – The Sandman Universe: Hell & Gone, a monumental two-part story that sees the destiny of the Locke family intertwine with the mythos of DC’s The Sandman Universe. In November, IDW will publish Locke & Key – The Sandman Universe: Hell & Gone #1, followed by DC’s The Sandman Universe – Locke & Key: Hell & Gone #1 in January. “If you think you can unlock the gates of Hell and just invite yourself in, you must be dreaming,” the tagline promises, for a tale crafted by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez, and overseen by Sandman writer and co-creator Neil Gaiman.

Finally, IDW welcomes the Locke & Key series into the company’s comprehensive in-house Spanish Language publishing initiative with the release of Locke & Key, Vol. 1: Bienvenidos a Lovecraft (isbn 978-1-68405-782-5) in February 2021. Collecting the six-issue “Welcome to Lovecraft” storyline that introduced the Locke kids and their nemesis Dodge, Bienvenidos a Lovecraft expands the accessibility of Hill and Rodríguez’s storytelling to Spanish-speaking communities throughout the United States, Mexico, and Canada.

Preview: Plunge #6 (of 6)

Plunge #6 (of 6)

(W) Joe Hill (A) Stuart Immonen (CA) Jeremy Wilson
In Shops: Aug 25, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Sixty fathoms below the ocean’s surface, a massive hatch waits to be opened…Something within wants to emerge; wants to be born; wants to rise; wants to feed. The child is coming, desperate to fill its belly-by devouring reality itself!

Plunge #6 (of 6)

Review: Plunge #5

Plunge #5

If you’re a sci-fi horror fan, Plunge is a series that’s a must for you. Plunge #5 delivers a lot more reveals as we get a better idea of what the alien worms want and is full of betrayal and grief. When we last left them, the crew were debating whether to give the worms what they want or if there were other options.

But what’s in the hatch and what do the worms want?

Written by Joe Hill, the issue is claustrophobic in a way as the ship’s crew is locked away debating what to do. With some intelligent moves they use the infected individual to learn more about the worms delivering a reveal to us. While the direction hinted at isn’t quite Earth-shattering and somewhat predictable, it’s a good direction to go in to. What’s lead up to this moment is gone over and it’s full of creepy goodness.

What Hill does that’s fantastic is keep the story focused on the characters. You get a sense of fear and desperation, most importantly anger. There’s anger at what must be done and the sacrifice that happens. Much of the comic has a feel of a condense play in that way with a focus on a small group in a tight location.

As I said, the revelation itself isn’t anything major. It’s somewhat predictable and where I thought the series was going. While I was hoping for something different, this direction in a way keeps the story simple focusing more on the characters instead of a crazy idea.

All of this is helped by the art which focuses so much on the body language and facial expressions. Stuart Immonen and Dave Stewart as usual knock it out of the park. The series keeps it all disturbing without making things gross. It’s just enough to unnerve some readers (like myself). Deron Bennett‘s lettering too is key when it comes to the possessed individuals and their speech. Again, like the art, it adds a bit of unease to everything.

While the reveal in Plunge #5 isn’t original, there is a lot that is in the story. We learn a bit more about the worms and how they’re described adds to the atmosphere of the comic. And that atmosphere is so much of it all. This is a horror story with sci-fi elements but at it’s heart this is about a group of individuals who are presented with a mystery and difficult choices. The series continues to entertain and has nailed it at every issue. For those who enjoy horror, it’s a must get.

Story: Joe Hill Art: Stuart Immonen
Color: Dave Stewart Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 8.15 Art: 8.5 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleZeus Comics

Preview: Plunge #5

Plunge #5

Written by: Joe Hill
Art by: Stuart Immonen, Dan McDaid

The crew of the Derleth have been generous hosts. They’ve given Moriah, Bill, Gage, and the rest of the MacReady’s crew several incredible gifts. They’ve solved problems humanity has grappled with for ages, shown us ways to power the entire world for generations. And they’re offering even more. All they want is one teensy-weensy little favor in return from the MacReady’s crew: open the hatch.

Plunge #5

Review: Plunge #4

Plunge #4

That was not what we were expecting. Plunge #4 delivers a lot of reveals and some teases as to what might be coming in this fantastic, and creepy, horror series. Is it a horror series? More sci-fi/horror series as revealed in this issue. Written by Joe Hill, Plunge takes place on a remote island with a salvage crew exploring what happened to a wrecked boat and its missing crew. That crew is alive decades later and full of secrets of the universe.

Plunge #4 is the big reveal issue giving us such a better idea as to what’s going on and what the mysterious worms are. It’s an issue that will make some reader’s stomachs churn with images that make you uneasy but at the same time it’s hard to look away. For me, it’s the right amount of disturbing.

It’s difficult to really review this issue without spoiling it. So, to keep it broad the reveals are really interesting and ominous. You know there’s more to it but not quite sure what that is. You also know that whatever the worms want, it’s probably not good.

And while Hill delivers all of that, he also delivers some fantastic dialogue. The issue has some shocking moments and those are enhanced by the lack of real action but it’s the dialogue that stands out. The reactions feel right in a movie sort of way. There are some smart-ass quips but generally, they’re perfect for the moment. The flow is fantastic making the issue a page-turner. That dialogue extends to the characters who do play stereotypes but each role enhances the overall story and enjoyment. None of those stereotypes are distracting at all and help drive the narrative.

The art by Stuart Immonen is fantastic. Along with colors by Dave Stewart and lettering by Deron Bennett, the art brings the perfect amount of unease. Some bugs get to me and issue delivers just enough of that for me without getting me to completely put the comic down. It shuddered a bit and my stomach churned a little but the visuals are never over the top. Stewart’s colors help with that delivering a sickly palette to Immonen’s designs. The comic feels cold and wet perfectly matching its setting.

Plunge #4 is another fantastic issue and the series as a whole is amazing. If you’re a fan of horror with a slight sci-fi tinge, it’s well worth picking up and getting. This is a comic that’s exciting to pick up and see where it’s going and what twists it has in store.

Story: Joe Hill Art: Stuart Immonen
Color: David Stewart Letterer: Deron Bennett
Story: 8.25 Art: 8.25 Overall: 8.25 Recommendation: Buy

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


Purchase: comiXologyKindleTFAWZeus Comics

Preview: Plunge #4 (of 6)

Plunge #4 (of 6)

(W) Joe Hill (A) Stuart Immonen (CA) Jeremy Wilson
In Shops: Jun 24, 2020
SRP: $3.99

Moriah, Bill, Russell, and the rest of the MacReady’s crew get an unexpectedly intimate tour inside the minds of their eyeless new friends. Meanwhile, Lacome does the math and comes to an alarming conclusion.

Plunge #4 (of 6)
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