“The Detective knew he had to come back. That afternoon, a strange sensation had crept up his spine. It had a familiar feeling, but it was a feeling he hadn’t felt. For many years . . . and it terrified him. It wasn’t the Santeria altar for some deity the old man must have worshipped. Not even the missing head bothered him . . . He had seen plenty of oddities, in his twenty plus years, on the street. It was the lingering thought of that ONE THING he could have done, back when things like that really mattered.”
–The Locksmith #1
Detective Mick Fagan is having a bad day that’s about to get worse. Called out on the unnerving death of a building superintendent named Santiago, he and his belligerent brother find the crime scene anything but ordinary, when the dead man wakes up to deliver a cryptic message . . . just before his head explodes.
Santiago was no ordinary superintendent. He was in charge of an ancient doorway that led to another dimension, where all levels of time exist simultaneously. A doorway which must never be opened and is always protected by a man known as the Locksmith.
But, with the current Locksmith dead, things are beginning to go very wrong, and as people associated with the case begin to die in mysterious ways, Mick realizes he has to heed the strange messages reaching out to him before the force lurking behind the door is freed to wreak havoc upon the world and, ultimately, the whole universe.
Part sci-fi, part pulp noir, The Locksmith bristles with gritty drama, replete with hard-boiled cops, long-simmering sibling rivalry, and an ancient mystery swirling around a city that may not be the same when the sun rises the next morning,
Adapted from writer Terrance Grace’s original script and the result of a successful Kickstarter project, The Locksmith moves with a steady, solid, and sometimes disturbing momentum. At times feeling like a well-turned X-Files episode, the first issue lays out a number of delicious mysteries, while simultaneously managing to raise the stakes with every new development. When Grace says he approached the tale “as if Raymond Chandler had written 2001: A Space Odyssey,” you can see the influences of both styles, while Grace ably manages to make the hybrid style his own.
And, while noir is traditionally a genre of darkness, Grace manages to drag the dread out into the sunlight, and with the aid of Silvio DB’s deft artwork, still manages to make the open city in daytime still have an oppressive weight to it. Even daylight manages to exact a toll on the inhabitants of this tale.
VERDICT: FOUR Portentous Portals of Doom out of FIVE