Rating: 3.5/5 – Solid story of Holmes’ greatest nemesis.
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.
Set after Homes & Moriarty’s final encounter at Reichenbach Falls in Switzerland, this story presumes that Moriarty survived and is in the process of working his way home from Switzerland as this series occurs. I didn’t read the 1st issue of the series but was able to pick up and follow along with the story here quite easily which is a great credit to writer David Liss.
Picking up on story elements and narration from Moriarty, we quickly get the status quo that Moriarty ran afoul of a local crime boss named Bombastus von Hohenheim (what a GREAT name) who killed a local woman and Moriarty ended up with her son Udo in his care, and is now on the run with von Hohenheim’s men on the lookout for him.
As Sherlock Holmes’ “opposite number”, Moriarty is shown to possess similar skills of deduction coupled with a similar sense of superiority albeit with an evil tinge to it. Somewhat of a problem for me were the vast number of deductions that were being thrown around based on quick observations of people and situations. In Holmesian stories I’m generally more inclined to like it when the writer explains what little cues are being picked up on to justify the wildly insightful observations. Alas, in this story Liss just throws the observations around with no explanation whatsoever about what Moriarty is picking up on to lead to these conclusions. Perhaps there are supposed to be clues in Daniel Indro’s art to lead us to what Moriarty is observing, if there are, I wasn’t seeing them. That said, this is a minor quibble but it took me out of the story a bit on the occasions when Moriarty was throwing the wild deductive observations around.
Indro’s art suited the story nicely, he used variations on the standard 5-6 panel grid to keep the visual flow of the story interesting and put in enough background detail (skipped by so many artists) to firmly establish the place settings of the scenes in the issue.
The story itself is a good one as von Hohenheim is laid out as such a complete bastard that Moriarty is a fairly decent guy in comparison and I had no problem in rooting for his success. Moriarty taking Udo under his wing and setting his plans in motion against Von Hohenheim were played out in a nicely logical flow, as is appropriate given our protagonist. All in all, a very good issue, I’ll be looking out for #3 to see what happens next.
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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