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Sherlock Holmes: The Vanishing Man #1 Review

by Doug Warren on May 02, 2018

Written by Leah Moore & John Reppion
Illustrated by Julius Ohta
Colored by Ellie Wright
Lettered by Simon Bowland
Published by Dynamite Comics

Whenever you are told there is good news and bad news, which one do you want to hear first? Well, you have the opportunity to choose today. I’ll split this review into the two categories, and you can pick which one you want to see first. I will say, the bad news isn’t that bad. It’s just kind of meh.

THE GOOD
The plot and storytelling are setting this series up to be a great run.

We meet the vanishing man almost instantly. And it gives the readers enough of the story and clues to feel like they can solve the case along with Sherlock Holmes. And when it starts to look like the case might be banal, another case falls into Holmes’s lap—one he is actually excited about solving. And, these two cases might merge into one. At least that’s what it’s hinting at.

I also loved the coloring. It may seem simplistic in some frames, but, when it’s needed, there are also frames of great texture that bring the city of Victorian London to life.

THE BAD
A lot of it seemed pretty cliché. Granted, I wasn’t around in 19th Century London to hear how everyone really talked, but this feels overdone. And speaking of overdone, there is the issue of Holmes’s drug use. I know it happened in Conan Doyle’s original stories. Watson, even described it as Holmes’s one vice (which is weird, considering he was a chain smoker), but it’s the kind of thing that stoners who’ve never read the books latch on to and real Sherlock Holmes fans just see it as a footnote. Where as in this story, it’s one of the first things we learn about Holmes, and it turns into the driving force of one of the plots.

Also, it bugged me that they used the word smog. Sure, that’s what it was lurking around smoky, foggy London, but the word didn’t exist in the 19th Century, and the use of it really took me out of the story for a second.

THE VERDICT
Sherlock Holmes: The Vanishing Man is an entertaining and engaging story. Anyone looking for a layered mystery that they can solve along with the great detective should pick it up.
 

Our Score:

7/10

A Look Inside