Titan Comics 2016
Story by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Written by Raymond Obstfeld
Illustrated by Joshua Cassara
Coloured by Luis Guerrero
Lettered by Simon Bowland
1874. Queen Victoria herself, or rather, herself and her doppleganger, have kidnapped Mycroft Holmes! The world is in grave danger. Even as Holmes is taken to view the collection of terrible invention replicas, another attack occurs! He must find the working blueprints or more will surely follow... and in order to find the blueprints, he must travel to America!
I must admit that while I do enjoy Sherlock’s adventures they seem to pale a bit in comparison with this one. I mean this one has a weapon that’s purely steampunk inspired and then this issue we see modified version of deep diving suits and ray guns that seem so desperately out of place and yet completely compelling. It’s like the mashing up of genres has made this something more than a mere Holmes adventure. Of course it doesn’t hurt either that Mycroft who is much adept at dealing with people chooses to act the way he does, the petulant child routine bored by all except of his choosing. This kind of characterisation is what sets him apart from his brother.
If there’s one thing that drives me nuts it’s when a new character is introduced and not once throughout the entire issue is her name mentioned. While I doubt this is Annie Oakley she does cut a mean figure in those britches and armed to the teeth as she is. That she knows of Mycroft and his ways suggests a past but one that seems tenable at best. Still she’s proving to be quite an extraordinary character and I cannot wait to find out who she truly is and why she’s there to help him out.
I love the interiors here i’m a huge fan of the attention to detail throughout and the extraordinary use of backgrounds to really tell the full story. So important that we see as much as we do to really relay where the characters are at that point in time and that so much care is put into them gladdens my heart. The use of page layouts with the angles and perspective really control the flow of the story beautifully. The way we see the night scenes and the use of colour to demonstrate the weaponry really stand out.
I find myself wrapped up in the many layered mysteries that are happening here. Our mysterious woman, the bad guy who is introduced as Mr. Mason and his unknown but nefarious plan. Then add in a colourful train robber from the Old West whose own renown is legend and well how they all tie together is going to be extra crispy fun to see. I do like the way the characterisation and the story seem to showcase everything Mycroft is about and yet still leaves so much wide open for us to still explore.
Of course it would take the Queen and a weapon of immense power to finally draw him onto the world stage and get a taste for what that kind of power is like. I can see this being the beginning of his life where he craves the subterfuge and danger of the man he’ll eventually become.