SHERLOCK: Holmes Comics To Stimulate Your Mind Palace

January the 1st came and went, and with it, the SHERLOCK Christmas special. It was a strong entry in the series, and we saw how Moriarty ‘survived’ a bullet to the head. It was full of twists and turns, and it had a lot of great references for fans of the books. But now it’s gone, like an ethereal hound into the night, and we are left, waiting until 2017. What is there to do? How can we fill this void? Why, Sherlock Holmes comics of course!

Holmes has been in the public domain for quite a number of years, and many writers and creators have taken to him, creating their own version of the greatest fictional sleuth of this (or any other) century. Holmes has graced the comics scene for many years. Below I look at three particular comics series that, inadvertently, tie into the TV series based on their themes, and may keep your mind palace open for business. So go on, have a look, it’s elementary!

1) MORIARTY by Daniel Corey and Anthony Diecidue, published by Image

SHERLOCK: Holmes Comics To Stimulate Your Mind Palace

What is the fascination with Professor James Moriarty? After all, he was merely in one Holmes short story, “The Final Problem”, as a way for Sherlock to be killed off. But his popularity endures, and he is hailed as one of the greatest fictional villains of all time. The reason I’ve selected this particular book is that it shows everything from Moriarty’s perspective. It’s been twenty years since the final confrontation at the Reichenbach Falls. Moriarty has survived but is continually haunted by the specter of Holmes, he who once gave him a reason to live. Holmes presented him with a challenge, and now, the fire which drove him is slowly extinguishing. He has lost his criminal empire. He is making do on the streets of London, but overnight, the flame within starts to flourish again. Daniel Corey does not go out to try and re-invent Moriarty too much, he is a criminal mastermind, willing to kill and blackmail to stay alive, but you also get to see a rounded individual, who is capable of much good (for all the wrong reasons) and much bad (for all the right reasons). While the story is steeped in the supernatural, it is also a fascinating portrayal of a man who does not want to live under the shadow of his greatest nemesis. Anthony Diecidue’s inks are full of fury and a raw scratchy energy that adds to Moriarty’s fiery intellect. Some pages feel like they are on fire with Moriarty’s steely rage and determination. The hardback I read consisted of 9 issues, containing two story arcs. Did you miss him? If so, why not delve into this comic and find out what makes him tick.

Daniel Corey does not go out to try and re-invent Moriarty too much. He is a criminal mastermind, willing to kill and blackmail to stay alive, but you also get to see a rounded individual, who is capable of much good (for all the wrong reasons) and much bad (for all the right reasons). While the story is steeped in the supernatural, it is also a fascinating portrayal of a man who does not want to live under the shadow of his greatest nemesis. Anthony Diecidue’s inks are full of fury and a raw scratchy energy that adds to Moriarty’s fiery intellect. Some pages feel like they are on fire with Moriarty’s steely rage and determination. The hardback I read consisted of 9 issues containing two story arcs. Did you miss him? If so, why not delve into this comic and find out what makes him tick.

LISTEN: BEFORE BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH BECOMES THE SORCERER SUPREME, CATCH UP WITH OUR DR. STRANGE PODCAST!

2) THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION adapted by David and Scott Tipton with Ron Joseph, published by IDW SHERLOCK: Holmes Comics To Stimulate Your Mind PalaceBased on the novel by Nicholas Meyers, THE SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION deals with Holmes’ other, more deadly enemy…Cocaine. While it was freely available in the 19th century and at first praised as a wonder drug,  its deadly addictive effects were slowly brought to light. Holmes’ use of cocaine in the books is not referenced in the TV series until the Christmas special, and it had alarming effects. In the SEVEN-PER-CENT SOLUTION, its effect is even more concerning. Watson, at the beginning of the story, admits that Holmes’ fateful fight against Moriarty and his resurrection 3 years later were a mere fabrication, and that Holmes was battling something far more dangerous in that time frame.

Holmes is still the bright genius detective we all know and love, but it is disheartening watching him succumb to his addiction. In his drugged-out state, he creates Moriarty as a foe to battle, while Watson looks on wondering what to do. In the end, he is sent on a ‘case’ to Vienna, where he meets up with Sigmund Freud. The Tiptons’ script is wordy, and Joseph’s art takes a slight getting used to, but it helps build a world that you could imagine Holmes would live in. It has all the hallmarks of a Conan Doyle adventure, and for those who liked the Victorian setting of the Christmas special, this is a strong successor.

READ: WHAT WERE DARK HORSE’S TOP FIVE COMICS OF 2015? FIND OUT HERE!

3) WATSON AND HOLMES by Karl Bollers and Rick Leonardi, published by New Paradigm Studios SHERLOCK: Holmes Comics To Stimulate Your Mind Palace While Steven Moffatt and Mark Gattis decided to update Holmes to modern London, Bollers and Leonardi went even further, providing a unique and relevant spin by re-envisioning Holmes and Watson as African Americans living in Harlem, New York. Holmes is a P.I. while Watson is a medical intern, meeting each other under the strangest of circumstances. This is no mere retelling of the Conan Doyle canon, but a brand new tale with familiar characters. Holmes is still Holmes, but more action-orientated, with a nice streak of humor, while Watson is the serious one, querying and questioning.

The relocation really does lift the mood of the source material, set in a city that is alive with possibilities (and lots of crime). Bollers starts the story with the death of  a child and a kidnapping that really rushes by at breakneck speed while Leonardi sets the mood almost instantly. While this is the city that never sleeps, bad things happen in dark corners. The change of race does add an interesting dynamic, and it’s the first time I’ve seen Sherlock Holmes with dreadlocks, but it is a breath of fresh air in a world almost saturated with adaptations that rarely add a unique take on the characters. Plus, it’s a lot of fun.

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So there you have it. Sherlock Holmes comics that should keep you from going into SHERLOCK withdrawal. Have you got any favorite Holmes comics? Or any suggestions on what else I could read? Leave a comment in the comments section below or tweet us at @ComicsVerse.

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