Locke & Key: Crown of Shadows

Crown of ShadowsBackground

Previously, on Locke & Key…

In the first issue, we met the Locke family as they returned to Key House after their father was brutally murdered. While there, they discover various keys that do various things, from allowing them to become ghosts to opening up their own brains. In the second issue, a new friend named Zack moves into their lives. What they don’t know is that Zack might be a demon and is definitely a cold-blooded murderer. With the demon in their midst, what is next for the Locke kids.


This third book in the series opens with Nina (the mom) explaining that Uncle Duncan’s boyfriend was hit by a car and is in serious condition. It is also clear by this point that Nina has become a serious alcoholic and has lost all sense of responsibility over her own children.

Zack has become a ghost and reaches out to the actual ghost of Sam, the kid who killed the Locke children’s dad. Zack really needs the Omega Key to accomplish his end goals and wants Sam to help him find where in the house that it is. It is here that Sam retaliates against Zack and there is now a wildcard in the story and the fight for the end game.

This is also the book where Kinsey develops a closer friendship with the loners Scot and Jamal. They head out to the Drowning Cave, which has something to do with that happened at the end of Kinsey’s dad’s relationship with Zack, when he was known as Dodge.

Detective Mutuku is still investigating the murders and Nina gives him the Echo Key, which he figures might be evidence in the case. Meanwhile, back at the mansion, the kids find another key – the Giant Key – but then all hell breaks loose. The end comes with the kids find the mysterious key that could mark the end of them all.

This set was not as good as the previous one, but was still a solid and exciting story being told. The lapse in judgment of their mom was horrific and the lack of all emotions from Kinsey was still annoying. Bode remains the best character in the story and it is obvious by this point that the keys will not only play a role in the story but in how the battle is fought in the end.

At the end of the day, it was great storytelling and magnificent artwork, but at the end, it was just a major set-up issue for what is coming next.

Next Week’s Preview

So, what is coming next? In Locke & Key: Keys to the Kingdom, the kids are in an all-out battle with a demon, without ever realizing that their enemy is right there alongside them. However, in this set, there are a number a standalone stories that helps develop the characters before the final battle gets underway.

As always, if you have any ideas for books you want to see reviewed in the Renegade Rack or you are an independent comic book creator with a book you would like considered, feel free to get in touch with me either in the comments or drop me an email.

Until next week, keep reading.

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