Hot on the heels of the first issue of Titan Comics’ Sherlock: A Study in Pink, issue #2 is without…issue.
While Sherlock himself has the busiest mind of all, his corresponding comic is just so! Kicking off with John Watson getting his first dose of Sherlock genius, the first moments with issue #2 are eye opening. After all, there is no better way to begin issue 2 than unifying both Watsons and the readers awe to Sherlock’s intellect. His character is swiftly established, his capabilities, his feats. Quite simply, he knows what is seemingly unknowable. Secrets cannot be hidden from him and nothing, however minor, passes his notice. This is what translates marvellously into manga: the dialogue is cutting and the panels are quick to pinpoint detail. Artist Jay does not waste a single panel, and there is always a detail to catch. This is not a slow, leisurely read: but a thrill ride that readers will queue for again and again.
After Sherlock deduces much of what there is to Watson, the comic morphs from friendship forming to crime scene shenanigans. Again, issue #2 focuses squarely on the brilliance of Sherlock Holmes and his complex, singular relationship with the law. While on the face of this is quirky fun, there are complex questions rooted within the narrative that ask: what is a hero? Is Sherlock a Detective with the peoples interests at the forefront of his mind, or his own? This fragmented kind of character is chopped up into all the separate panels, and the reader will turn detective themselves to decipher the truth. For newcomers to Sherlock, there will certainly be a wandering sense of who to trust, and this aided strongly by the comic format. Titan Comics, like the TV episode, wrestles with the difficult questions of today, such as: can we trust the police?
The black and white art work is effortlessly effective. It can metaphorically play coy with character morality and exude the effect of looking into the past. Readers are of course doing this, with the comic adapting the 2010 episode of the same name. After all, this episode of modern Sherlock is now in history. Settings, characters and appearances are, as with issue 1, the same or similar to the television episode. Consequently, this works in favour of the comic: it is by no means a fresh take, but an artistic spin. Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock fits perfectly within the manga art style, as does Martin Freeman’s Watson’s frequent expressions of comical alarm and panic. While the comic does follow the same plot and dialogue, this isn’t at all a drawback. Moffat and Gatiss’ original plot is delivered through bite sized chunks that leave stellar cliffhangers.
In such a short space of time, A Study In Pink issue 2 from Titan Comics delivers barrels of information. Characters and artistry are the most successful aspects of the comic, and will keep readers itching for issue 3.
The Japanese SHERLOCK Manga continues in an all-new English edition, adapting the episodes of the smash-hit BBC America/Hartswood Films TV show! As Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and John (Martin Freeman) move in to 221B Baker Street and begin their tentative crime-solving partnership, the mystery of a citywide spate of ‘serial suicides’ remains – and Sherlock is dragged deeper into the depraved world of the killer!
Concept by: Steven Moffat & Mark Gatiss
Writer: Steven Moffat
Cover A: Jay
Cover B: Photo
Cover C: Claudia Iannicello
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