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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

The Great Game #2


Writer/co-creator: Mark Gatiss
Co-creator: Steven Moffat
Artist: Jay.
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £2.65, US $4.99
Age: 12+
48 pages
Publication Date: 06 September 2017

Someone is causing trouble for Sherlock Holmes and John Watson – and innocent victims are caught in the middle. A mysterious villain is setting a series of deadly puzzles for the crime-solving duo, with clues including a pair of trainers and a phone call from a crying woman. Failure to solve each riddle in the allotted time will prove lethal. Who is the villain and what is his link to Sherlock and John…?

In St Bartholomew’s Hospital at the beginning of this issue, an anxious John berates Sherlock for his lack of compassion over the fact that a woman’s life is at risk. In reply, Sherlock points out that, “This hospital is full of people dying, Doctor. Why don’t you go and cry by their bedsides and see what good it does them?” His cold logic is reminiscent of the Cybermen in Doctor Who (another show that Mark Gatiss has written for, of course), in particular Cyberleader Krail. In their debut story, The Tenth Planet, Krail argued that, “There are people dying all over your world, yet you do not care about them.” Unlike the Cybermen, Sherlock is not completely devoid of emotions, but he knows that getting overwrought won’t do any good. “You’re not going to be much use to her,” he says to John.

Later on, Sherlock manages to simulate emotion very effectively, turning on the waterworks in order to engineer an interview with the wife of a missing man. As in The Sign of the Four, the detective’s deliberately erroneous statements prompt the interviewee to provide him with the desired information. “People don’t like telling you things,” he explains to John, “They love to contradict you.”

Sherlock also tries to be kind to Molly, in his own way, but it’s a rather cruel way that infuriates John.

And what of Moriarty? Well, the villain makes his first appearance in this instalment of the great story, accurately rendered in manga style by artist Jay., though if you’re unfamiliar with the television episode, he might well slip under your radar…


Richard McGinlay

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