Locke & key

WELCOME TO EARTH-4

A Column by J. Torrey McClain

I just finished reading all six trade paperbacks for the main story of Locke & Key. (I will get to the side stories as soon as I finish Brightest Day and catch up on The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, if other comics on my wish list don’t distract me first.)  It is fabulous in its creativity and has a few chilling scares.  One thing stuck in my mind though, and as readers know, that’s what causes my keyboard to clack and click.  In this case, the question I pose to myself is, “At what age do we lose our innocence?”

Per Locke & Key and many forms of government all over the United States and abroad, the age that innocence ends is 18, or in other words, around the time a person graduates high school.  In Locke & Key, the junior members of the Locke family host a party at the end of high school for the people that know about the keys because the knowledge will fade as adulthood surges into the body and possesses it.  I don’t quibble with Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez on their selection of this age or time in our lives, I just wonder what makes 18 the magic age at which we become adults.  Not only is 18 generally when people graduate high school, it’s when they are given the right to vote, it’s the age when they can own a gun in California and the last thing that comes to my mind is that it’s when they can enlist in the armed forces to fight and possibly die for their country.  I suppose any of those things could convey a degree in adulthood or at least a grown-up GED certificate.

Bode Locke

However, you can’t drink alcohol legally until you’re 21.  You can drive a two-ton vehicle capable of killing people at the age of 16.  You graduate college sometime around the age of 22.  You graduate law school at around the age of 25 if you start right out of undergraduate school.  Medical school is even longer.  If you are still in school, can you be an adult?  What if you are paying every one of your bills?  What if you’re not?

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