How Netflix’s Locke & Key Adaptation Compares to the Comics

The final season of the Netflix adaptation of lock & key Premiered August 10, 2022. By the end of the show, the Lockes had overcome threats from the demons Dodge (Laysla de Oliveira) and Frederick Gideon (Kevin Durand) by using the family’s magical keys and came to a positive conclusion. During showrunner Carlton Cuse and Meredith Avrill Staying fairly faithful to the source material, there were some key differences that took place in their adaptation, particularly in the show’s third season. While none of these changes came without the creators’ approval, the show departed from the comic series through various creative liberties in its overall story, title keys, and the Locke family. This is nothing new in the industry, but it only seems fair to take a look back at the big differences in how the Netflix narrative compares to the original series.


Shift in tone and development

The Netflix program is based on the best-selling series of the same name written by Joe Hill and illustrated by Gabriel Rodriguez. his introductory tape, Welcome to Lovecraftwas published by IDW-Verlag on February 20, 2008 and ended in 2013 with its finale Alpha Omega Books. Similar to the television series, the story follows the Lockes as they adjust to life after their father, Rendell Locke, is murdered during a home invasion as they move into their family’s Keyhouse estate in Lovecraft, Massachussetts. Shortly after arriving, the children find magical keys and encounter Dodge, a sinister demon who is attempting to steal the keys for their own purposes.

In comparison, the graphic novels have a more mature, darker tone. This is most notable with Nina Locke. Coming to terms with the tragic loss of her husband and surviving the brutal onslaught on her family by secondary antagonists, Sam Lesser and Al Grubb, she is emotionally neglectful and abusive to her children and lives with alcoholism for most of the series. Her knowledge of magic is very limited and foggy due to the Riffle Rule (which causes adults entering Keyhouse to forget that magic exists.). However, she manages to save Tyler from fatal injury using what she was able to remember about the repair key’s magic and was able to see past Dodge’s ruse as Bode through her intuition as the boy’s mother. Although the television series is mostly faithful to the character, Netflix is ​​Nina (Darby Stanchfield) reveals that she stays sober more often, has a strong compassion for others despite her past, and develops a shaky friendship with Ellie over the course of the show. This character redemption is furthered by her becoming fully aware of magic and the keys, and delivering the killing blow to Gideon in the final battle of the series.

The remainder of the immediate Locke family’s television translation was mostly faithful to the original, save for a few minor edits and Kinsey’s use of the head key. In the original narrative, she removes her fear and her tears to brave Sam and Dodge’s constant attacks on her family and avoid grieving for her father. While Netflix’s interpretation is simplified to just allay her fear, the decision results in the visual depiction of a twisted form of Kinsey wreaking havoc on Matheson, which is more intense than the comics’ tiny depictions of being trapped in a bottle.

The keys of the castles to the kingdom

Ultimately, there is a total unknown set of keys and 46 known keys in the comic universe. Since translating so many into the television format coherently can be a challenge, and some of their magical abilities can be reckless, it is understandable that Cuse and Averill limited the number of tones to 24 at their discretion and merged similar tones together, which we succeeded in doing is the identity key from the skin and gender key. Of course, originality often comes with customization, so they’ve also treated fans to new keys like the Mirror and Match Keys, which trap the user’s enemies in a prison dimension and set fire to anything they touch.

When it came to the keys left over from the comics, the show made good use of them. It was exciting to see Dodge use the Shadow Crown to expand his menacing presence and create monsters in person. Some have been portrayed even better, like the Chain Key – a semi-sentient lock and key combo that spews chains at intruders, which has been replaced with a hand weapon that binds anyone the user aims at with retractable chains. — and the Head Key, which retains its abstract nature on the show but was presented as an entrance into a person’s mind instead of the original ‘open-cranium’ illustrated format. It’s unlikely to ever materialize, but the success of these onscreen choices captures fans’ imaginations about how fun it would be to see the magic of one of the wacky keys, like the Squirrel Key (giving its user control over you guessed it – squirrels!) used in a live-action format.

Dodge was a bigger villain in the comic

The main protagonist, Dodge, can best be understood as an interdimensional demon. His obsession with our world and desire to rule it through the magic of the keys generally stayed the same, but one of the show’s biggest omissions in the character is her deeper, Lovecraftian background and origins. Originally, Dodge is one of the Children of Leng, and while they’re demons, they’re rather parasitic in nature — a trait the show touched on only briefly in its second season. In their base form, they are formless, liquid metal creatures with various yellow eyes that require jars to survive once they enter our realm, and otherwise perish in Whispering Iron. They possess their hosts by clinging to their souls and rewiring them to think that all their actions are good, despite how evil they may be.

Dodge is an exceptionally violent and sinister villain in the comics. As the story progresses, it fluidly switches between the forms of Well Lady, Lucas Carvaggio, and Zack Wells as needed. It is also generally open and prone to murder and manipulation, either for sport or to get what it wants, as is the case when Dodge kills Ellie after taking advantage of her. When it came to the Lockes, Dodge infiltrated the family by getting close to Tyler and hitting Kinsey as Zack to get closer to the keys. This is similar to what happens when Dodge becomes “Gabe” on the show, which was a fun twist the writers made to keep fans of the comics on their toes. Dodge would later own Bode until his defeat in the final fight with the Lockes.

Although Dodge’s ambition to wield the keys remains the same on the show, he will avoid killing whenever possible. This is illustrated when Dodge switches identities with Ellie and uses her to trick the Lockes into believing they returned the demon to the dimension beyond the Black Door. Rather than cause her death, Ellie is trapped there until she is freed and eventually resumes her life at the end of the series. The vicious collision that led to Dodge’s downfall is told as well in the series as it was in the comics – Netflix’s Tyler stabs Dodge from behind with the Alpha Key before being crushed by the wreckage of their battle at the Cliff Mansion. In the comics, the fight takes place primarily in the Drowning Caves and ends with Rufus exorcising Dodge from Bode by taking him to the Well House, resulting in the simultaneous death of the youngest Locke. Tyler later returns to the Well House to summon Dodge’s Echo, eventually using the Alpha Key to free Lucas from the demon’s grasp.

Unique from the comic

The strongest points where the Netflix show differed were Frederick Gideon’s introduction and most of the third season. Although the comics trace the Lockes and their keys back to colonial times, Gideon and his soldiers are specific to the show and the modern family has never fought anyone from that era. Therefore, in season two, the main story ends after Dodge is defeated. While the final season has its merits, referencing items and events from the original source such as Dodge’s possession of Bode and the Timeshift key, its deviation is fairly obvious and a little faint. Moments from the past such as Dodge teaming up with the Lockes to defeat Gideon fall short and don’t fit with the rest of the narrative, and the family’s decision to throw away the magic keys instead of using them during the final episode of the series protect negates almost everything that has been said up to this point.

Overall, the Netflix adaptation of lock & key stayed true to the spirit of the original. While Season 3 may be the exception, Seasons 1 and 2 successfully televised the Lockes story. Of course changes will occur in the process and this series is no different. With the conclusion of the last season, the Lockes story ends here, but fans of graphic novels know there is more to tell about generations past. However, since no one has a timeshift key, we’ll have to wait and see if this part of their family history ever gets televised. How Netflix’s Locke & Key Adaptation Compares to the Comics

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