Some series doesn’t require a reading order. It’s mostly the case with Locke and Key. I should say that it was mostly the case, because Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez recently produced a prequel story with the promise that there will be more soon.
I decided to start now, because why wait? I’ll update this reading order with each new addition to the series.
What is Locke and Key about?
Locke and Key is a comic book series written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodríguez. The main story is about the Locke family, present day. After the murder of their father, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode Locke move with their mother Nina to the family estate of Keyhouse, located in Lovecraft, Massachusetts. The young Bode soon uncovers The Ghost Door which separates his spirit from his body. With his brother and sister they begin discovering more secrets and the keys that open more than doors. Each key brings a lot of possibilities and problems, but the real danger is outside with those who want the keys for themselves.
The Locke and Key reading order
The best way to read Locke and Key for now is to start with the main series. The story is structured in three acts, with each act consisting of two six-issue storylines. After that, there’s one-shots and, hopefully, a lot more is coming. The world created by Hill and Rodriguez is massive and there are clearly many more stories to tell.
The Golden Age
The golden age is a collection of one-shots that bring us back in time. You can read them independently. It’s mostly about Chamberlain Locke and his children.
- Small World — For his daughters’ birthday, Chamberlain Locke gives them a new key to go with their dollhouse, but an unexpected monster transform the gift into a nightmare.
- Open the Moon (Guide to the Known Keys) — The expanded Guide to the Known Keys and to Failed Keys, and a story about Chamberlain Locke and the hard decision he has to make about his son, and the magical adventure that follows. (will be reprinted in August 2017)
- Grindhouse — In the glare of a Depression-era summer, three Canuck gangsters pull the heist of their dreams and take off for the perfect hiding spot– an isolated mansion on the tip of Lovecraft Island known locally as Keyhouse. What they found here was not what they expected.
The Main Series
- Welcome to Lovecraft — This is where the story began for the Locke family. After the death of their father, Tyler, Kinsey, and Bode Locke follow their mother Nina into a new house, Keyhouse. With a strange key, a door opens a lot of unexpected possibilities and a dangerous man want to gain access to it.
- Head Games — Kinsey and Tyler Locke are thrown into choppy emotional waters, and turn to their new friend, Zack Wells, for support, little suspecting Zack’s dark secret. Meanwhile, six-year-old Bode Locke tries to puzzle out the secret of the head key, and Uncle Duncan is jarred into the past by a disturbingly familiar face.
- Crown of Shadows — Dodge continues his relentless quest to find the key to the black door, and raises an army of shadows to wipe out anyone who might get in his way. Surrounded and outnumbered, the Locke children find themselves fighting a desperate battle, all alone, in a world where the night itself has become their enemy.
- Keys to the Kingdom — With more keys making themselves known, and the depths of the Locke’s family’s mysteries ever-expanding, Dodge’s desperation to end his shadowy quest drives the habitants of Keyhouse ever closer to a revealing conclusion.
- Clockworks — With unrestricted access to Keyhouse, Dodge’s ruthless quest to find the Omega Key and open the Black Door is almost complete. But Tyler and Kinsey have a dangerous key of their own — one that can unlock all the secrets of Keyhouse by opening a gateway to the past.
- Alpha & Omega — The end. Dodge finally got the key which will open The Black Door. He descends into the Drowning Cave to throw back the door and release the demons on the other side.
- IDW – 10-Year Anniversary Comic Book (2009) — If you are a completist, this anniversary issue contains a short story set in the world of Locke and Key with the Locke kids. It’s very optional.