Based on a 1974 novel by Nicholas Meyer, we begin in 1939, with a very old Watson relating one last Holmes story. Ostensibly, it’s the story of The Final Problem, wherein Holmes meets and ultimately destroys his nemesis, Professor Moriarty. Only something is different. Rather than the sharp-witted detective we’ve come to know and love, Holmes’ mind is addled by cocaine. He’s paranoid and even delusional, which makes both Watson and the audience wonder: Is there really a Professor Moriarty running London’s entire criminal underground, or is it all just a product of Holmes’ drug-fueled imagination?
I admittedly haven’t read the novel on which this comic is based, but I am at least peripherally familiar with it, as there was a copy on my family’s bookshelf for years. I always meant to read it, but somehow never got around to it. Now that I’ve finally begun the story, I’m hooked.
I just wrote another review about how delicate the process is of writing a story featuring someone else’s characters. Though there are plenty of Sherlock Holmes stories out there now, by a myriad of authors, not all of them are good, worthwhile, or worthy of the name Holmes. This one is, at least so far. If you’re a fan of Sherlock Holmes, this is a comic not to be missed. Can’t wait to see how things play out from here . . .