Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Major Holmes and Captain Watson

 Back in the eighties, when I was first getting into Sherlock Holmes, it seemed like any non-Sherlock, Sherlock-related folk in books or comics were all trying to be Sherlock clones. Irene Adler would grab up a Watson of her own. Solar Pons just flat-out copied everything. More and more since the Cumberbatch wave hit, I'm seeing writers create some marvelous original characters who exist in Holmes's universe and bloodline without being dreadful mimics of the master detective.

One such delightful new character is Captain Sheffield Holmes, the nephew of Sherlock and the start of Cloudwrangler Comics series Major Holmes and Captain Watson. I've had some real disappointment in Sherlock-related comics lately, so many just trading on the name, and I'm very happy to find the Major Holmes & Captain Watson does not fit that category at all.

Another successful Kickstarter that hit every single funding goal it went after, the book is a lovely thing and writer Jeff Rider and artist Ismael Canales put their talents to make it a rip-snortin' wartime tale that captures the magic of comics that many a Sherlock-ish comic doesn't, which makes it a very special beast. The book doesn't waste any time in setting Sheffield apart from Sherlock, the blond, tossle-maned nephew getting pulled from bed with a boyfriend on the very first page. His "Watson" arrives and quickly sets herself in place as an able partner . . . though one that might have been more contrived to be just that than a random relative of Dr. Watson who just happened to be handy. And who would contrive such a thing?

Well, that would be telling. The ride that Major Holmes & Captain Watson gives a reader is the kind you don't want spoiled, and I was very glad to get the book with a completely blank slate to place my first impression on. (I'd forgotten the preview pages, as I backed the project so long ago.) I'm saving the second issue to read when the time is best suited, but since I backed it at "The Special Dossier" level, and received the file of extras, one of the intelligence photos did give away a secret I hadn't read yet.

That particular secret was still a grand treat, as I had already developed my theories on the subject -- which immediately proved wrong, even though I should have seen it. (Aren't those the best twists, the ones you kick yourself for not seeing sooner?)

You can find copies of the comic at CloudwranglerComics.com as well as some other items of interest, and, being a comics fan as well as a Sherlockian, I've already ordered a couple of Jeff Rider's other comics.  And I'm definitely looking forward to this series going forward.

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