This is the first of six miniseries about a house with keys that may lead to every imaginable place. That said, the first series is all about the set-up, there’s no exploration of strange worlds going on. A family father gets murdered, his family moves into the key-house where the brother of the dead man lives, and strange things begin to happen. While I like the general idea, I thought the first mini-series was a good indication of what the rest would be like. Which is something I’m really not into at all. This is all about the characters trying to cope with the death of their father or husband. Joe Hill made his entry with novels, and it definitely shows here. There’s a tendency to overwrite (however well it is done), to explore events through different characters, and it all screams novel-writing crammed into a comic. The result is a well-written but boring comic that seems to unpack its story at the pace of a glacier moving and with competent visuals that merely support all those words, instead of being an equal partner in the story-telling.
Also, there seems to be no indication that the main gimmick (key->doors->other worlds) is more than exactly that, a gimmick to explore characters instead of being the main objective. I prefer well-written characters that give depth to the fantasy, instead of mundane writing dragging down the fantastic elements to its level of boredom. The entire first mini feels like the first season of the typical TV-drama-series so common these days, where fantastic elements are used to differentiate it from the rest, but with no real understanding or care for those fantastic elements beyond mere texture.