Sherlock Holmes

Muppet Sherlock Holmes 4 (November 2010)

MuppetSherlock_04_rev_CVR.jpg
Storck wraps it all up, which is a little sad–a sequel does not seem to be in the offing.

He does tie it all together nicely here, though I’m not familiar enough with “The Musgrave Ritual” to know how close he sticks to it and the conclusion, from “The Final Problem,” is expectedly loose. Mebberson does a lovely job with this part of the story, with a great rendering of Reichenbach Falls.

This issue also wraps up the Kermit and Piggy arc, which seems to be in all the Boom! Muppet books, whether it’s primary or not. Storck’s been making Kermit’s LeStrade, especially this issue, a lot smarter than Gonzo’s Holmes, even though Gonzo manages to solve the cases.

For the most part, these themed Muppet titles have been outstanding and I probably have a new favorite with Sherlock Holmes.

Mebberson and Storck should be doing an ongoing series.

CREDITS

Musgrove Ritual?; writer, Patrick Storck; artist, Amy Mebberson; colorists, Mebberson and Braden Lamb; letterer, Deron Bennett; editor, Christopher Burns; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Muppet Sherlock Holmes 3 (October 2010)

214833_20101116202239_large.jpg
I can’t decide if this issue is the strongest or if it’s just the one where Gonzo solves the case….

The opening titles establish the cast–Kermit and Piggy are now permanent additions (Piggy’s Irene Adler now impersonating Mrs. Hudson, which is a great way to keep her around)–and it certainly seems like Muppet Sherlock Holmes could have some legs. A sequel series or two would probably be just as good as this series, since they’re adapting from the Conan Doyle’s.

This issue adapts “The Red-Headed League,” which is a memorable title and I remember some of the story’s setup, but I have no idea if it’s all about a bank heist. Here it’s all about a bank heist. Holmes–sorry, Gonzo–stops it in an amusing way.

Mebberson’s art for this series is so sharp and so thoughtful. The third act, with the heist sequence, looks fantastic.

CREDITS

The Red-Headed League; writer, Patrick Storck; artist, Amy Mebberson; colorists, Mebberson and Braden Lamb; letterer, Deron Bennett; editor, Christopher Burns; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Muppet Sherlock Holmes 2 (September 2010)

ge_1.jpg
The second issue is as nice as the first.

Storck doesn’t use “Muppet Show” standards (he did in the first issue for a great narrative device), but he does insert Kermit’s Inspector Lestrade–sorry, Inspector LeStrade–into the story. I don’t think Lestrade was in “A Scandal in Bohemia,” but he’s around here, a third wheel affixed to Holmes and Watson.

The plot pretty much follows the original with some Muppet flourishes. Storck and Mebberson come up with these great one or two panel gags–Gonzo, Fozzie and Kermit disguised as a post box, call box and bush having tea. But Storck also has more elaborate flourishes here–Miss Piggy plays Irene Adler and she has a dinner party the boys crash.

The dinner party antics are where Storck and Mebberson’s pacing skills really show. They’re able to fit a lot of events into a few pages.

It’s wonderful stuff.

CREDITS

A Scandal in Bohemia; writer, Patrick Storck; artist, Amy Mebberson; colorists, Mebberson and Braden Lamb; letterer, Deron Bennett; editor, Christopher Burns; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Muppet Sherlock Holmes 1 (August 2010)

211359_20100923151923_large.jpg
Now here’s a lovely comic.

Mebberson’s art alone makes Muppet Sherlock Holmes worth picking up–oh, she does the colors too. I was just going to say how great the colors work in the book. Her renditions of the Muppet characters, particularly the expressions, really bring them to life. It’s not something I think about a lot with comics, but with the Muppets, for some reason I do.

But then there’s Storck and his whole approach to turning Gonzo into Sherlock and Fozzie into Watson. They aren’t traditionally paired and it works out as this wonderful dumb and dumber situation. Gonzo’s obnoxious behavior works perfect for the role.

This issue is an adaptation of “The Speckled Band.” Each issue is, presumably, going to be a different story. It’s a great approach and one I wasn’t expecting.

The story resolves the same, but Storck adds some very Muppet details.

A delightful read.

CREDITS

Writer, Patrick Storck; artist and colorist, Amy Mebberson; letterer, Joe Macasocol; editors, Christopher Burns and Jason Long; publisher, Boom! Studios.

Victorian Undead 6 (June 2010)

vu6.jpg
Victorian Undead ends, unfortunately, with a set-up for a sequel. My problem isn’t with the prospect of another Holmes versus zombies series, it’s more to do with Edginton’s set-up itself. His grand reveals for the series are, for the most part, bad and he suggests any sequel will directly involve them.

This issue, with its action-packed conclusion, plays pretty quickly. There’s a hurried, confusing resolution to the conspiracy and a callback to the first issue, which is also hurried and confused, and then Edginton moves to the final sequence.

In some ways, it seems as though Edginton is setting up a Scarlet Traces like London for Holmes to jaunt around in–there’s futuristic (steampunk) technology here, without any explanation of its origins–and I guess it’s an interesting setting, but his Holmes and Watson are so boring… I’m rather indifferent.

I was hoping for a lot more.

CREDITS

Inferno; writer, Ian Edgington; artist, Davide Fabbri; colorist, Carrie Strachan; letterer, Saida Temofonte; editors, Kristy Quinn and Ben Abernathy; publisher, Wildstorm.

Victorian Undead 5 (May 2010)

vu5.jpg
Umm, ok, I’m now confused and it’s all Fabbri’s fault. I can’t tell his living Doctor Moriarty from his living Colonel Moran… or whatever rank that character had reached.

And I’m upset because I was actually going to complement Fabbri for his Holmes this issue. A couple panels he took the time to age line Holmes’s face, so it didn’t look like Ashton Kutcher would be playing him in the movie adaptation.

Otherwise, the issue pretends to have some detecting but really just talks about it and moves along the zombie story. I think I’d be more partial to the comic if Holmes were less of an emphasis–if he were just a player in the story of zombies attacking late nineteenth century London instead of the ostensible principle.

There are some cool scenes with zombie attacks and so on; the conspiracy foreshadowing, however, is rather unnecessary.

But acceptable overall.

CREDITS

The Earth Shall Give Up Its Dead; writer, Ian Edgington; artist, Davide Fabbri; colorist, Carrie Strachan; letterer, Saida Temofonte; editors, Kristy Quinn and Ben Abernathy; publisher, Wildstorm.

Victorian Undead 4 (April 2010)

vu4.jpg
Now here’s a way to pad an issue… Tom Mandrake illustrates a flashback (with a far more traditional–read recognizable–Holmes). It’s Holmes and Moriarty at Reichenbach Falls with a different conclusion–Moriarty has zombie juice ready to save him after he… ahem… falls. It’s one heck of a way to waste pages. The artwork’s lovely and all but it’s not narratively important. In fact, it’d have been a lot more effective in the first issue without it being clear it was Moriarty.

The rest of the issue is just bridging material, presumably, to set up the climax of the series. There’s finally a big zombie battle in London, but we only get to see a little bit of it, with Moriarty (the zombie) showing it to his sidekick (and the reader) through a window.

Then tanks show up to save Holmes and Watson (and Mrs. Hudson) and it’s silly.

CREDITS

And Death Shall Have No Dominion; writer, Ian Edgington; penciller, Davide Fabbri; inker, Tom Mandrake; colorist, Carrie Strachan; letterer, Saida Temofonte; editors, Kristy Quinn and Ben Abernathy; publisher, Wildstorm.

Victorian Undead 3 (March 2010)

vu3.jpg
Half the issue is talking heads, the other half is zombie attacks on London. The zombie attacks work better. Fabbri’s not suited for talking heads, especially not with his characters boldly edged, standing out against the backgrounds. It makes it seem unreal and artificial, something a talking heads scene should never be.

The exposition–it’s Holmes, Watson and Mycroft sitting around and basically recapping what the reader already knows and what Holmes and Watson don’t yet–is a little tedious. The payoff comes with the zombie attacks, but even those are a little… restrained. There’s not the en masse zombie attack yet, only the hints of it.

The concept for the series–the tagline–is better than Edginton’s script, unfortunately. His Holmes is a pop culture figure, not really Conan Doyle’s consulting detective. He’s playing to zombie fans, not Holmes aficionados. In fact, he’s ignoring them, except for occasional callouts.

CREDITS

Written in Blood; writer, Ian Edgington; artist, Davide Fabbri; colorist, Carrie Strachan; letterer, Saida Temofonte; editors, Kristy Quinn and Ben Abernathy; publisher, Wildstorm.

Victorian Undead 2 (February 2010)

676298.jpgThe second issue brings things quite a bit more into the Sherlock Holmes popular mythology. Edginton uses so many familiar characters I wouldn’t be surprised if Irene Adler shows up at some point soon.

The issue nicely mixes action–zombie action no less–with a more traditional Holmes investigation (even if it is Holmes in the field instead of consulting) and it’s a fine read. My developing concerns are few and the issue only really bothered me when it came to some of Fabbri’s artistic choices.

For example, he draws Watson as a white-haired, mustached young man. Both he and Holmes are young and hip looking (as hip looking as possible) instead of being either faithfully portrayed (based on the Sidney Paget standard) or revisionist. It’s like Sherlock Holmes as a young adult novel series character. It’s a little goofy.

But he’s otherwise fine. A little too steampunk perhaps.

CREDITS

The Skull Beneath the Skin; writer, Ian Edgington; artist, Davide Fabbri; colorist, Carrie Strachan; letterer, Saida Temofonte; editors, Kristy Quinn and Ben Abernathy; publisher, Wildstorm.

Victorian Undead 1 (January 2010)

vu1.jpg

The cynic in me has to wonder if this series got the greenlight because of the recent Sherlock Holmes movie. It’s a fantastic concept, Sherlock Holmes vs. zombies (each cover features an reminder of it no less), but it doesn’t seem like a Wildstorm book… though I can never figure out their publishing mentality.

The art, from Davide Fabbri, is a lot cleaner than I was expecting. The covers suggest a certain Victorian icky zombie thing, but Fabbri’s artwork is, well, it’s Wildstorm clean. Holmes and Watson are so generically portrayed, I wouldn’t have been able to pick them out.

Luckily, Edginton’s script is strong in its portrayal of the two. I’m not sure about his overly complicated history of the zombies in Victorian London, which is only hinted at here, not even fully explained, and already I feel like he’s spent too much time on it.

But good stuff.

CREDITS

The Star of Ill-Omen; writer, Ian Edgington; artist, Davide Fabbri; colorist, Carrie Strachan; letterer, Saida Temofonte; editors, Kristy Quinn and Ben Abernathy; publisher, Wildstorm.

Scroll to Top