Imagine shaking someone’s hand and suddenly the hand, as well as everything else connected, begins to melt like hot wax dripping from a candle. Well, Mycroft Holmes doesn’t have to imagine it whatsoever. He experiences this horrifying moment firsthand in the latest issue of The Apocalypse Handbook.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld begin issue three in this series with a startling, explosive encounter for the detective. Let’s first back up slightly, shall we? Previously on Mycroft, Holmes finds himself searching for stolen devices seemingly much more advanced for their time, 1870s England. Fast forward to this thrilling issue, and the reader finds our self-assured hero at some seaport in America. Needless to say, the problems start immediately.
Colorist Luis Guerrero fills the initial pages with a grayish-purple night sky and bright bluish-white flashes emanating from technologically advanced weaponry. The contrast in colors helps to highlight how powerful these weapons are, while the resulting gooey mess serves warning to Holmes, his associates, and the reader of the deadly ramifications of being on the wrong end of those blasts. Artist Joshua Cassara captures the devastation with ease, like a flamethrower to a candle.
On the brink of long-lasting torture, an unidentified woman saves the day with a barrage of perfectly fired shots. Holmes is somewhat unscathed, although his inability to say “thank you” perhaps comes from his attempt to save an injured woman’s life immediately thereafter. If Titan Comics’ fans are hoping for redeemable qualities to root for, they might come up short when dealing with the present. Later, his arrogance drips from the pages, while discussing their next move and playing poker. This particular scene echoes with the confidence he has in all things, not only games of chance.
This overbearing sentiment even includes his brother, Sherlock. One of the best moments in this comic book is a flashback to Mycroft’s younger days. There is a sense of compassion alongside his rational argument, while the younger brother attempts to dictate their course of action with his own logic. The sequence of past events helps identify who Mycroft used to be, and possibly what’s been lost as he’s gotten older.
Perhaps this simple memory will provide direction for the rest of the series. In the meantime, the creators have thrown Holmes into a world filled with danger. This comic book starts hazardously, and going by who he meets in the end, it doesn’t look like it will end any better.
Mycroft #3 is now available in both print and digital release.