Interesting. Hill completely surprising this issue at every turn. The opening’s a little disjointed, however, as it presents a more genial “hang out” night at the Locke house than Hill’s ever suggested before.
He also starts making Zack a mildly sympathetic character. Maybe mildly is too strong a word. Hill makes sure to show Zack not doing entirely abhorrent things this issue. And the end is a complete surprise.
While it’s a good issue (it really does contain the most unexpected work Hill’s done on Locke & Key so far), the pacing is off. Not much happens. There’s a bunch of exposition at the front and then the ending, which is awesomely unexpected, requires Kinsey to be a moron.
And mom Nina has vanished for the last couple issues.
Rodriguez’s cover plays towards the homoerotic; Hill works directly against it with the soft cliffhanger.
Hill enjoys playing with the reader expectations.