More on The Locksmith.

Last week I started out describing Terrance Grace's four part comic as a police procedural. It wound up being way more than that!

Issues 3 and 4 start off by throwing you into Venice Italy 1631, The Paris Opera 1873, as well as The Australian Outback and Times Square New York in the present day. A light in the night sky called Brightstar is about to come crashing down to Earth. Doomsday is approaching.

Tying this all together is the themes of owning 'Keys' if you will, both literal and figuratively. In the first two issues there was the mysterious death of 'The Locksmith,' in his Bronx apartment. Keys were raining down from some other dimension there. Our hero Detective Mickey Fagan wanders through these dimensions, looking for answers to the riddles that existed in his life.

When he was a kid, Mickey discovered his mother committing suicide by sitting in her car, partly to escape the father Malachy's violent nature. He desperately tries to find the key to open the car to save her (the motor's running) but is too late. The family buries her with the keys and somehow they find their way back to him years later.

Then there's the missing Soviet space capsule: Soyuz 1 which ended the life of Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov. In The Locksmith Terrance Grace uses this as a jumping off point to tie the various loose threads together (we also visit the African Coast and a Future Africa).

But is this a comic book story?

Not so sure. Mickey Fagan had the potential to be a compelling character, a police man with something to root for, trying to solve the mystery. Instead we get a very, very convoluted tale that covers the globe and crosses space and time. True, this space/time crossing narrative does stay consistent enough to tie the various parts together. My problem is that there's just too much energy spent on depicting the ambitious scope at the cost of showing our hero's progress (or lack of) to complete his task: to understand the 'why' of it all.

Having it all.

I think that The Locksmith suffers from a common trait comic book writers fall victim to: a tendency to cast a wide net. Events must be world-wide, cataclysmic. Nations and governments get put on High Alert. The missiles launch, the armies deployed. Many writers feel compelled in other words to re-write the Book of Revelations.

I see some good passages of writing from Terrance Grace, and there's fairly adequate artwork to bolster his ambition. Ironically, it's this over reaching that for me puts The Locksmith right back into an already crowded genre of apocalyptic fiction. By trying to force this comic into being Earth Shattering it instead becomes... mediocre.

The Locksmith parts 1 - 4 can be ordered by visiting their website:

Next Tuesday:

Having reviewed Part 1, I will revisit Will Allred's Crossover Division parts 2 and 3!

Synopsis: What happens to the world where certain people can 'dream' into reality actual characters from classic fiction like Dracula or The Wizard of Oz?

Tim's Notebook

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