Monday, October 4, 2021

The Complete Sheffield Holmes

 I've been saving this little review for time to immerse myself in the whole thing at once -- all four issues of Major Holmes and Captain Watson, and the two prose short stories that exist on them as well. Of course, first I had to put them in chronological order, being a Sherlockian chronology sort of eccentric. And, so, trying to keep this fairly spoiler-free, my read was:

July 1911
    The Adventure of the Errant Slipper: A Sheffield Holmes Mystery by Jeffery Ryder
    Then-Captain Sheffield Holmes goes on a tiger hunt and solves a murder at the same time, and along the way we learn how the son of Lord Sherrinford Holmes decided to take his uncle Sherlock as a role model, rather than his father or uncle Mycroft.

August 12, 1913
    The Case of the Emerald and the Elephants: An Imogen "Watson" Mystery by Jeffery Ryder
    Mycroft Holmes is tended to by a young woman from the Red Cross, and an all-female gang is dealt with. Seeds are sewn.

October 1913
    Major Holmes & Captain Watson issue two begins with a flashback revealing how Imogene Watson became involved with Sheffield Holmes. We then immediately return to the matters begun in issue one.

November 1913
    Major Holmes & Captain Watson issue three begins with a flashback introducing an interesting family member of Detective Inspector Brick of Scotland Yard. And then we return to matters left in issue two. (Which is good, because there was a major cliffhanger.)

January 1914
    Major Holmes & Captain Watson issue four begins with yet another flashback as Sheffield Holmes meets a very important person in his life, before returning to questions left in issue three.

April 1914
    Major Holmes & Captain Watson issue one begins, with Captain Watson gathers up Major Holmes to aid Detective Inspector Brick investigate a triple murder. They've been working together for six months at this time and make a good team. And a four-issue story follows.

    And that is the complete Sheffield Holmes, to date.

    When I reviewed the first two issues of Major Holmes & Captain Watson last year, I was quite taken with this new pairing, their new friends, and the great work in creating a Sherlock Holmes related comic book that actually worked as a comic book. It's a medium made for action, so it requires something a little more than straight Conan Doyle clonage, and Jeff Rider both found that sweet spot and recruited a good artist in Ismael Canales to make it work. After the first four-issue story arc with these characters, I can honestly say it's one of my favorite Holmes-related comic books ever, and that includes a full comic box of attempts to bring Holmes to the medium.

    While Major Holmes & Captain Watson does have certain names we see far too often in pastiches popping up, the comics do not stray from the original Holmes Canon, and also use one of those names in a quite original way. One has to wonder if anyone at Netflix has taken a look at this comic, or if they're over their Holmes moment, but it would definitely adapt into a nice little movie, or even an ongoing TV series.    

    I would certainly be glad to see it. In the meantime, you can find these folks at

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