-This article was possible due to the gift of a review copy, QWERTY, and rolling natural 20s.
Guest Writer: Stonie Williams
Sherlock: The Great Game #3
Writer/Co-Creator: Mark Gatniss
Co-creator: Steven Moffat
Lettering: Amoona Saohin
Somewhere in the city is a man with explosives strapped to his chest. He’s a hostage, forced to communicate with Sherlock. The real villain is still unknown. He, or she, is toying with Sherlock. Pointing him at victims who’s deaths or disappearances were ruled natural or accidental when the reality is far more sinister. The game is simple. Solve the crime and the hostage is set free. Don’t solve the crime and… Boom! Another victim.
I have to start this review with a disclaimer. I don’t normally read Manga. I don’t have anything against it, mind you. It’s just really not my style. The right-to-left reading format threw me on the first page, but I’m a smart guy. The inside cover had an explanation of the format I missed at first, so that’s helpful. That being said, I’m now going to completely contradict my own tastes by saying this book was fantastic. I’ve loved Mark Gatniss in everything I’ve seen him act in and with everything he’s written. He does a superb job of capturing the voices from the T.V. show and bringing them to the page. Any fan of Sherlock will immediately hear the character’s voices in their head. It’s like an actual piece of an episode as Sherlock Holmes and John Watson solve crimes and save hostages! Or at least attempt to…
While Manga isn’t my usual style, I’m forced to admit that it really works in this case. Both covers are amazing and beautiful and far more in-line with what I’m use to. However, the interior really captures the feel of the show and the facial expressions of the actors. I’ve read other comic book adaptations that feel more like money-grabs than genuine attempts to tell the story in another medium. (I’m looking at you, CSI.) This one stays true to the source material and adapts seamlessly.
The plot itself is engaging and grabs you by the collar, dragging you along behind Sherlock who is, as one would expect, usually a step ahead of the narrative. Sherlock is tasked with figuring out how a television make-over show star met her untimely end. The suspects are few, their motives are clear, but is the obvious answer really the correct one? We get to see John take some initiative here, gathering his own clues and data. He’s even comes to his own hypothesis about ‘who dun it’ and how.
In conclusion, this is a great read for any Sherlock fan, any Manga fan, and any comic book fan. I’ll definitely be spreading the word about this one to all my fellow geeks.