Review – Sherlock: The Great Game #4 (Titan Comics)

Publisher: Titan Comics
Writer: Mark Gatiss
Artists: Jay, Amoona Saohin
Release Date: 8th November 2017

Ever since his debut in ‘A Study in Scarlet’ back in the 1800’s right through to the first dramatic adaptation by William Gillette in 1899, the world has been fascinated by Sherlock Holmes. Since then he has been adapted, updated, revamped, and recast literally hundreds of times. Whether it be Tom Baker bringing him to the Second World War era or Hugh Laurie giving him a diagnostic spin, we’ve seen many Holmes’ long before ol’ Benedict even glanced at a script. But when he did, it was a stellar performance which continues to set the world ablaze with excitement.

On a similar note to Doctor Who, the Sherlock series has gained an immense following the world over, especially the many devoted fandoms online who fill the large voids between series with any and every piece of fan fiction or art they can create. Which is honestly why I think this comic series was created in the first place – something for the fans to spark their memory of the show and add to the vast collection of Sherlock memorabilia and fan art that already exists out there.

It adds nothing to the original plot of the first season, but is more of an artistic adaptation in the manga style (fair warning, it took me a bit of time to get used to reading right-to-left). The story so far has seen Sherlock following the trail of an unknown mastermind who has been holding members of the public hostage and setting time limits to various deadly challenges for Holmes and Watson to decipher before he sets off the bomb and claims yet another victim. The challenge for this latest issue is to deduce why an international assassin was hired to kill a security guard for a London gallery, and to stop him before he strikes again.

The script has stayed the same as the show and Jay recreates everything scene-to-scene with almost photographic accuracy. I liked the Sherlock series because the setting of my former of home of London was so prevalent, and here it is again in artistic form just as clear as the show. The anime style is an interesting take, and while I’ve never been a huge fan it’s cool to give it a different spin and still clearly see the actors and hear them as you read it.

As you can tell I’m a bit of a Holmes fanboy (I say Holmes in terms of the character, Sherlock as a series is too up and down for me), and as I started reading this series I was expecting something new. So when it turned out to just be a straight adaptation, I couldn’t help but wonder what the actual point was? Why simply retell what has already been told so well? But then I read a few issues and the answer hit me. The way that it breaks the single episode up into different sections allows the reader to appreciate the complexity and depth of the story much more. The problem with our ‘binge watch’ culture is that we frequently don’t get the chance to break down the story of each episode as much, and these issues facilitate that, allowing the reader to really see how each scene is formed and just how much they managed to squeeze into 90 minutes.

It’s a weird feeling that I’ve never had before where I knew exactly what was going to happen but still found myself interested to see how Jay had interpreted it on the page. So while this series may not be for everyone, it’s definitely one for the fans to add to their collection, and, if you’ve somehow managed to dodge spoilers for the last ten years, it’s also a pretty good place to start with Sherlock in general.

Rating: 3.5/5.

[Click to Enlarge]

The writer of this piece was: Indiana “Indy” Marlow
Indy Tweets from @smokingpunkindy


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