Graphic Novel Twofer: Saga Vol. 3 / Locke & Key Vol. 6: Alpha and Omega
Length: 144 pages
Started/Finished: 17 April 2014
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? New Saga! New Saga! The library finally got it for me.
Summary: Marko and Alanna, along with their new baby, Marko’s mother, and their ghostly babysitter, land their ship on Quietus, the home of their favorite author, D. Oswald Heist, who wrote the book that inspired them to imagine peace between their two races, but what they find is that he is not exactly what they expected. Meanwhile, the various people pursuing them, including the Robot Prince, and the team of The Will, Gwendolyn (Marko’s ex-girlfriend), and the rescued slave girl, all start to close in on Quietus as well.
Review: Saga just continues to be amazing. I was originally a little thrown by this volume – maybe it matters less in single issue, but there’s a jump backwards in time between the end of Volume 2 and the beginning of Volume 3, such that at least half of this one is explaining how things got to the state they’re at at the end of the previous one. As I said, this threw me off initially, but one I got my bearings, the story was great. But even better than the story is the characters. I love pretty much every character in this story; they’re all trying so hard to do what they think is right in a totally screwed-up world that you can’t help but root for them. And it’s equally impressive how Vaughan and Staples manage to make them so complex, and interesting, and believable, in such a short space. There’s one one-page scene in particular that grabbed me in this volume, between Lying Cat (who’s been a favorite since the beginning) and Sophie, the former slave girl, that really exemplified how much emotion they can pack in to five panels and a handful of dialogue. (There’s a great deconstruction of that particular page, way better than I could do, at PopMatters.) This story is so good, funny and touching and the artwork is just gorgeous, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next volume. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Don’t start anywhere but at the beginning, but Saga is definitely a series that I think anyone who likes fantasy/sci-fi comics should be reading. Highly recommended.
First Line: “I’m positive, they were a fuckin’ couple.”
Length: 192 pages
Started/Finished: 26 April 2014
Where did it come from? The library.
Why do I have it? About time I got around to finishing this series!
Summary: Dodge – currently inhabiting the body of six-year-old Bode Locke – has finally achieved what he’s been searching for his entire life – and more. He’s got the key that will open the Black Door, and let the demons on the other side enter our world. Tyler and Kinsey, along with their mother and uncle, have stood against Dodge, but now that he’s got control of the keys, he may be too powerful for them to stop. And when Lovecraft Academy’s biggest after-prom party is being held in the caves underneath Key House, it may be impossible for them to avert tragedy – or the end of the world.
Review: I was apprehensive, but this volume was everything that I wanted out of the end of such a great series. It was scary, it was suspenseful, it made me laugh, and man alive, it made me cry. (Or at least get extremely misty-eyed.) There were parts that were almost too brutal to read, they were so heartwrenching. Hill & Rodriguez have developed characters with huge emotional depth over the course of the series, and they don’t disappoint here. Their use of horror is also once-again spot-on; it’s a little gory in places, but it never seems gratuitously show, and personally, I found the results of the Shadow Crown to be some of the scariest parts of this book. They also wrap up a lot of smaller threads from earlier in the series in ways that feel organic and satisfying. There was only one element of the ending that I wasn’t crazy about, and I suspect that’s due in large part to the fact that it’s been a while since I read the first five volumes, and I’ve forgotten some of the details about how each of the keys work. But regardless, this series is amazingly good, and Hill & Rodriguez chose to end it while it was still at the top of its game. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Recommendation: Nothing will make sense if you don’t start at the beginning, but the series as a whole is well worth reading, even if horror isn’t typically your favorite genre. There’s a quote on the back cover calling Locke & Key “this generation’s Sandman“, and I have to say, I think I might agree. Highly recommended.
Other Reviews: Can’t find any. Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.
First Line: “Oh, Tyler. That was good. That was putting it… out of reach.”
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