Just two weeks ago I found myself enjoying a Sherlock Holmes comic book. I know, I’m perplexed as you, but somehow the mystery mixed with the “insider” POV of Watson made the whole thing gel nicely. I take a look at issue #2 to make sure it keeps things up to snuff. Is it good?
Sherlock: The Seven Per-Cent Solution #2 (IDW Publishing)
This miniseries is narrated by Watson as he remembers the final story of the famous Sherlock Holmes. He’s long dead now, and so is another mysterious figure, which is precisely why we’re learning of the story here. You see, he was sworn to secrecy until Sherlock and the unnamed man died. Now very old, Watson narrates this story to a note taker as we learn the truth and end of Sherlock Holmes.
I love how gloriously fat Sherlock’s brother is!
Writers Scott and David Tipton have another script with interesting developments and further character moments. Watson and Sherlock’s brother are the main characters here, but Sherlock gets much more time on page than he did in the last issue. The plot has taken an interesting turn as Sherlock’s ultimate nemesis Moriarty is actually a professor who has never caused Sherlock harm, ever. In fact Sherlock only believes he’s pure evil and his ultimate foil because of, presumably, his cocaine addiction. This series is titled the “Seven Per-Cent Solution” because that is how much cocaine Sherlock partakes in. So far Watson is trying to get Sherlock help by a famous doctor—who is revealed on the last page&madsh;but as with any mystery, something seems to be afoot.
I can’t say this issue sheds a lot of light on said mystery though. I’m still curious if there is more to this plot than Watson simply taking Sherlock to a doctor for his addiction, but who knows, maybe that’s all the story has to offer. The Tiptons have clearly convinced me that Moriarty is no threat at all, but maybe that’s a big ruse. The fact that I’m confused at all means this mystery is playing out well.
Sherlock isn’t looking so good.
Unfortunately it’s playing out way too slowly. The first issue was good in that it introduced many elements and cast a dark shadow over certain proceedings, but this issue focuses mostly on getting Sherlock and Watson from point A to point B. Watching Sherlock’s outlandish behavior is interesting, but it’s not enough to make this a necessary read. On top of that, the cliffhanger is actually spoiled in the opening pages. To make matters worse the story doesn’t appropriately set up the mysterious person who will be sharing page time with Sherlock so it doesn’t matter much to the reader.
The art continues to be good, with lots of shadows and thick ink work by Ron Joseph. This look is fantastic in making the reader question everything and it suits the story. I also love Joseph’s work on the bulbus Sherlock brother. He’s grossly fat but still dignified. He also does a nice Sherlock in costume and I in fact could not tell it was Sherlock. It was dramatic and over the top and exactly what Sherlock wanted. A “touch of the dramatic” which helps solidify the eccentric nature of Mr. Holmes.
If that is Moriarty that is one sad super-villain.
Is It Good?
Overall the story is sound and the characters good. Unfortunately the plot is not progressing fast enough and the cliffhanger wasn’t much of one because we already saw it coming.