10 Best Comics & Books To Read If You Like Locke & Key – Screen Rant

As fans of Locke & Key wait for the next season on Netflix, what are the best comics and books to read that are similar?
Locke & Key is a Netflix series based on the comic of the same name written by novelist Joe Hill and drawn by Gabriel Rodriguez. Fans of the streaming series may want to explore other comics like this supernatural title about a house with endless magical doors, and there are many current and classic comics that fit the vibe.
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Both the Netflix series and the original comic book feature a unique intersection of horror and magic, with lots of strange worlds packed with detail. A number of comic books also explore these strange frontiers, with a few of them even featuring magical houses on their own. Some readers may have heard of these similar comics, but others might be new to them.
Fans of Locke & Key may be curious what else is available from author Joe Hill. A good place to start is Horns, his second novel, which also became a 2013 film featuring Daniel Radcliffe and one of Alexander Aja’s best horror movies. The story is suitably strange, with a young man accused of murder who wakes up one morning with horns growing out of his head. Though the narrative doesn’t feature the infinite possibility of the Keyhouse, it does feature Joe Hill’s trademark dark humor and mystical sensibility, both of which are perfect for fans of Locke & Key.
Locke & Key is all about hidden passages and realms, and a fantastic novel and BBC television series by Neil Gaiman is likely to appeal to fans of the series. Neverwhere is a 1996 novel about a man who discovers London Below, a secret underground realm below the ancient city full of magical elements and strange characters like Door, a girl on the run. The story is full of endless discoveries and unexpected turns, like Locke And Key, and either the novel or the later radio play, which features an outstanding cast including Benedict Cumberbatch and James McAvoy.
Fables is an early 2000s DC Comics series written by Bill Willingham that also includes a secret world. In this case, it’s Fabletown, a secret enclave of fairy tale characters like Snow White, Cinderella, and others who are in exile in the real world thanks to their realm being overrun by the Adversary. The series is full of themes of magic and good vs. evil.
The story also features a lot of great twists – none of the characters are particularly what they seem, with Cinderella reimagined as a spy – making it a lot of fun and a good diversion as fans wait for the next season of Locke & Key. With a colorful cast of characters and a fantastical setting, Fables is a Vertigo comic that needs to be adapted into a TV show.
The Umbrella Academy is a comic book series by writer Gerard Way and artist Gabriel Bá with a similarly off-kilter vibe to Locke & Key. With time travel, hidden secrets, and a complex backstory for its many characters, the comic book and now the Netflix streaming series of the same name offers a lot for fans.
Both series focus on younger characters with amazing powers, like The Umbrella Academy‘s super-strong Luther, who are challenged by overwhelming magical scenarios and have to work together to find their way through and to make it back home in some cases.
Stillwater is an ongoing horror comic about a young man named Thomas confronting the mystical horror of his hometown, Stillwater. Written by Chip Zdarsky with art by Ramón K. Perez, the comic is a disturbing investigation into a hidden town where no one really dies. As with Locke & Key, endless power and possibility aren’t exactly what they might seem like.
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No one ages in the story, and no one dies, leaving the town and its people frozen in time. The character of Dodge, and his endless quest through the centuries to possess the Omega Key, has some similarity to the unending lives of Stillwater’s people.
Another Joe Hill novel fans of Locke & Key might be interested in is Heart-Shaped Box. Like the series, it has an element of magic invested in physical objects. In this case, it’s a suit. The 2007 novel follows a rock star looking to prolong his career. In doing so, he discovers an old suit that is possessed by the ghost of the man who had worn it. The rock star buys the suit and like Locke & Key, the question of what is and isn’t real, and questions of identity, come into play as the ghost doesn’t simply go away. In this novel, readers can detect the same themes (reality vs. fantasy, childhood trauma) that would later populate both the graphic novel and television versions of Locke & Key.
There are a number of differences between the Lovecraft Country novel by Matt Ruff and the recently canceled HBO series, but the novel contains a lot of elements fans of Locke & Key might enjoy. The story follows Atticus Freeman on a journey through the American South in the 1950s that peels back to reveal ancient cosmic entities, bodily possession, and houses with many, many secrets. Like Locke & Key, paths to other dimensions become a big factor in Lovecraft Country, and the series contrasts the limitless with the harsh constrictions of the reality of the past.
A classic comic book with perhaps the most to offer for fans of the Keyhouse is House Of Mystery. The long-running DC Comics horror anthology was set in the titular house, which has a shifting interior and exterior. Rooms change places, doors open to unexpected places, and the House itself is a sentient being, with thoughts and feelings.
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The House in most modern incarnations is cared for by Cain, a character who would go on to appear in issues of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, along with his brother Abel. The comic series, which ran from 1951 to 1983, possesses a plethora of stories about black magic, haunted houses, and portals to other dimensions that are similar to what fans have seen on the Netflix show.
Fans looking for more strange houses, the occult, and demons will find a lot to enjoy in The Sandman comic book series, written by Neil Gaiman with art by a cavalcade of great illustrators like P. Craig Russell and Sam Keith. Morpheus, or Dream of The Endless, is able to pass back and forth between infinite dimensions and magical planes, often interacting with normal people in a similar fashion to what occurs in the Keyhouse.
Some of the best issues of The Sandman feature similar elements to Locke & Key, like mystical rites and alternate dimensions. While more esoteric than the Netflix show, Sandman still contains the same charm and haunting atmosphere that made Locke & Key so popular with readers and viewers.
Gaiman’s blend of magic and horror is such a good fit for fans of the series that The Sandman recently crossed over with Locke & Key in the comics. Hell and Gone is a limited series that features Mary Locke trying to free the soul of her brother, John, from the dimension of Hell. To do so, she captures a number of powerful artifacts, including the Key To Hell, which otherwise was in the possession of Dream.
Hill and Rodriguez re-team for the story, making it essential for fans of the original comic and also readers of Sandman. The two universes meld together in exciting ways, possibly hinting at a live-action crossover now that Sandman is coming to Netflix as well.
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DARBY HARN is the author of the novels Ever The Hero, The Judgment Of Valene, and A Country Of Eternal Light. His short fiction appears in Strange Horizons, Interzone, Shimmer, and other venues.