Title: Locke & Key: …In Pale Battalions Go… #1 (of 2)
Words: Joe Hill
Art: Gabriel Rodriguez
Colors: Jay Fotos
Published: August 26, 2020
Publisher’s Summary: “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.”
In this short take in the popular long running series Locke & Key we get the story or an idealistic young man yearning to make his mark on the world. Too young to enlist, Jonathan Locke still wants to make a difference and join the Great War. He believes that the special artifacts of his birthright will do much to save lives, but his father will have none of it and refuses to get involved. The boy schemes all the same, and with deception, manipulation and illusion moves closer to his goal, but he may have already gone too far.
In Locke & Key: …In Pale Battalions Go …, Joe Hill crafts a tale more about the legacy of the keys themselves than the person wielding them. Still, his Jonathan is a smartly devious protagonist who is perfectly suited for this adventure, in sharp contrast to his father, an all too restrained and close-minded patriarch in control of powerful magics. In this first installment of a two-parter we are shown how even the compulsion to do good can be a very bad thing indeed.
The artwork of Gabriel Rodriguez is fantastically detailed and evocative, setting mood and tone throughout.
The Bottom Line
The first part of Locke & Key: …In Pale Battalions Go… introduces Jonathan Locke’s entry into the First World War and promises a thoughtful and introspective, though short, adventure.