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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

The Blind Banker #4


Writer: Steve Thompson
Co-creators: Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss
Artist: Jay.
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £3.30, US $4.99
Age: 12+
40 pages
Publication Date: 12 April 2017

The race is on to stop a murderer. Sherlock and John have learned that the strange symbols are numbers and that the victims were most probably smugglers. Holmes believes that they were murdered because they stole something. Soo Lin Yao, a Chinese pottery expert at the National Antiquities Museum, is also involved. However, when they get to the Museum, they find the deadly symbol, but no sign of Soo Lin…

This part of the story meant more to me as I returned to it in comic-book form than it did when I first watched it on television. During the course of their investigations at the start of the issue, Sherlock and John visit the Southbank Skatepark – a place I was unfamiliar with back in 2010 but have passed by on numerous occasions in more recent years (while researching in the BFI’s Reuben Library, if you must know). As a result, I experienced a pleasing moment of “I know that place,” while reading this issue.

Here we also see a good example of the series confronting the conveniences of the modern world – which can be inconveniences when a storyteller is trying to build up dramatic tension by placing obstacles in the path of the hero. When vital evidence is painted over just minutes after John discovered it, Sherlock is concerned that his companion won’t be able to recall every single detail about it. “I need you to concentrate,” the detective tells his friend, grasping his head and spinning him around, “I need you to maximise your visual memory… Because the average human memory on visual matters is only 62% accurate.” Artist Jay. captures the urgency of the scene with 100% accuracy, with big close-ups and shouty speech balloons. Sherlock need not have worried, however, for John had simply taken a photo with his phone. This leaves Holmes speechless for a change! Sometimes the most straightforward solution to a problem is the right one.

Later on, writer Steve Thompson repeats himself by having Sherlock twice make a quip about not wanting to damage a precious ancient artefact (a centuries-old teapot and an early human skull), but for the most part this issue greatly advances the narrative, as Holmes and Watson finally meet Soo Lin Yao and hear her side of the story…


Richard McGinlay

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