IDW Publishing and DC Comics have made one of the biggest surprise comic announcements of the year, giving us the ultimate "chocolate in my peanut butter" situation in years. Two titans of fantasy comics will come together this October when the two companies co-publish Locke & Key: Hell & Gone - A Sandman Universe Crossover Event. Locke & Key creators Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodríguez will write and draw the new series which will tie the two Eisner Award winning comic series together, something that will no doubt lead to bizarre and interesting parallels. It's unclear how many issues the crossover will run or if any of the characters from the original Locke & Key, or Morpheus himself, will appear.
"A literal Dream comes true," Rodríguez tweeted with the announcement.
The official cover art for the crossover features none other than the key to Hell as seen in the pages of Sandman and one of the summoning circles from the series, the same type previously used to summon Dream at the very beginning of his comic series. Coupled with the cover art came a cryptic teaser from IDW that reads: "If you think you can unlock the gates of hell and just invite yourself in, you must be dreaming."
If you think you can unlock the gates of hell and just invite yourself in, you must be dreaming. Coming October 2020: @joe_hill and @GR_comics will debut LOCKE & KEY: HELL & GONE - A SANDMAN UNIVERSE Crossover Event, courtesy of @IDWPublishing and @DCComics. pic.twitter.com/b9I9e3Sa0h— IDW Publishing (@IDWPublishing) February 22, 2020
This seems to suggest that the key, as previously possessed by Lucifer in Sandman and which set up the spin-off series surrounding the character, is perhaps made up of the "whispering iron" from the Locke & Key universe. At the very least this is perhaps a duplicate key made of that material with the same powers, which someone seems to have used to open up a portal that they shouldn't have. It's difficult to tell if the version of Keyhouse seen on the cover is a modern one, or one from a bygone era, so we have no idea what characters will be included from either of the series in this event.
It is worth pointing out however that Locke & Key recently made its television debut on Netflix with the first season arriving earlier this month. The road toward an adaptation has been long for Locke & Key but it finally arrived on the streaming service, which happens to be where the long in the works adaptation of Sandman is now being developed. To make things even more interesting, Lucifer also calls Netflix home. Could we one day see this Hell & Gone crossover play out on television? Time will tell.