Locke & Key’s Mary Locke stepped out of the real world and into a literal nightmare, where Sandman’s scariest villain was waiting for her.
WARNING: The following contains the main spoilers for The Sandman Universe / Locke & Key: Hell & Gone # 1 by Joe Hill, Gabriel Rodríguez, Jay Fotos and Shawn Lee, now on sale.
The crossover event between Locke and key Y The Sandman Universe has made an incredible impact on these two fan favorite franchises. Not only is the intrigue building in the real world, but Mary Locke has just entered Dreaming to discover a whole new dimension of mystery and terror.
While Mary has faced more than a few monsters and demons in her time on Earth, she has just encountered a different kind of horror in one of the most evil villains on Earth. The Sandman universe, the Corinthian.
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This series takes place 12 years after Jonathan Locke and his mother Fiona died during the events of Locke & Key: In Pale Battalions Go! By this time, Jonathan’s father Chamberlin has become depressed and dejected over the loss of his loved ones and the macabre versions of them that he continues to visit at Well House. Mary cannot bear to see her father in such a state, so she takes the Anywhere Key to visit the English occultist Roderick Burgess, who happens to have Morpheus imprisoned in his basement. Although the defiant Morpheus refuses to utter a word while in Burgess’s presence, he leaves a silent clue for Mary that leads her from the real world to Morpheus’ own realm: The Dream.
Unfortunately, Dreaming has turned into a much more nightmare than usual in Morpheus’s absence. Mary runs for her life from all manner of hideous demons before finally arriving at Morpheus Castle, seemingly free of any monsters that may haunt her. There she is greeted by a man who seems quite normal at first, but for a long time. Sandman Fans will easily recognize him as one of the series’ brutal villains.
The Corinthian first appeared in 1989 The Sandman # 10 by Neil Gaiman, Mike Dringenberg and Malcolm Jones III. A nightmare created by Morpheus himself, the Corinthian is an especially well-dressed individual who hides two toothy smiles where his eyes should be behind sunglasses. Although he does not suffer any vision loss from a lack of eyeballs, consuming those of his victims gives him a unique insight into his own memories. The first time the Corinthian was introduced to readers was at a convention for serial killers, where Morpheus unceremoniously destroyed it for stepping out of his designated post. The second incarnation of the Corinthian went on to slaughter a supernatural wolf with his bare hands before defeating the Norse god Loki in combat.
With the timeline of this crossover set long before the Corinthian’s first appearance in the eons spanning Sandman story, there is mp that tells what the living nightmare could be doing. He’s clearly intrigued by Mary’s possession of Morpheus’ Helm and Dream Ruby, leaving little doubt that he would want these for himself. Mary Locke doesn’t know yet, but she just fell into a dangerous trap. Hopefully, he will make it out alive without leaving too much behind for Corinthian to misuse him.
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