Review: Sherlock Holmes The Liverpool Demon #1

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Sherlock Holmes is busy doing what he does best, solving a case of far-reaching international notoriety. It has landed him at the Port of Liverpool, a bustling hub of commerce both legitimate and illicit. As that chapter closes, ours begins. They head to Lime Street Station, to catch a fast steam locomotive home to London and Baker Street, when violent weather keeps The Great Detective and Watson in Britain’s second city a while longer. Long enough to encounter a monster, discover the Liverpool underworld, and to become embroiled in one of his strangest cases yet.

Sherlock Holmes: The Liverpool Demon is written by Leah Moore and John Reppion with art by Matt Triano. Brennan Wagner handles colors with Simon Bowland taking on letters. The Liverpool Demon is the introductory chapter in a five issue series that sees Sherlock going up against the mystical and the magical in Victorian England. The game is afoot, but should you take up the case of the Liverpool Demon?

sherlock coverThe story opens at the conclusion of Holmes and Watson’s latest case. Holmes has just stopped a dastardly duo of international notoriety from escaping the local constabulary. After closing that case, Watson and Holmes wait to take a train back to London. While the two make dinner plans as they wait, a trio of men approach. One man is an old colleague of Watson. The trio invites the legendary duo to dine with them at a local club. There is talk of a new train line coming to Liverpool, but the conversation veers to the mystical. Holmes of course doesn’t believe in any of it and uses his deductive reasoning to impress the men with his skills as a “medium.”  Then there is a commotion outside that catches Holmes attention. The game is then afoot again.

The story marks the return of Moore and Reppion to the character they helped establish at Dynamite. The duo crafts an interesting introduction, although the action is mainly at the very beginning and end. This reads very much like a story form Arthur Conan Doyle, so the lull between action is expected. The art fits well with the old style story. Triano captures the Victorian style well and does a great job of capturing emotion. One small quibble, sometimes in close-up panels when the rain is falling on a character it looks yellow and not very much like rainwater.

Bottom Line: Moore and Reppion return with an intriguing story for Holmes and Watson. While it plays out as a slow burn, it appears the action will kick off in the following chapter and take us headlong into the case. In a world of modern Sherlock stories, it is refreshing to see one that truly feels like Doyle himself penned it 3.5/5

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