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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

The Great Game #5


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

The latest puzzle set by Sherlock’s nemesis involves a body that has been washed ashore near Waterloo Bridge. The detective deduces that the man uncovered a grave secret about a prized painting, which led to his assassination by a notorious hitman nicknamed the Golem. John discovers that the victim had a passion for astronomy, and he and Sherlock follow a trail to a planetarium. However, Sherlock is ambushed…

At the end of the previous issue, we left Sherlock being grabbed by the Golem (ooh, that sounds painful). Only now, however, does this manga adaptation show us the sheer size of the formidable assassin. Previously the Golem (real name Oskar Dzundza) had been seen some way in the distance or just as a shadowy figure, but now artist Jay. shows him side by side with Sherlock and John, towering over both of them.

Talking of shadowy figures, as The Great Game nears its conclusion, the name Moriarty gets a pivotal mention. Of course, any Sherlockian worth their salt will know to expect him, whether or not you’ve seen the television episode, but this is the first time that a character within the story has directly connected him to the puzzles being set by the mysterious bomber. Following that mention, there is a rather inexplicable one-and-a-third page throw-forward to the swimming pool stand-off that we’ll see during the next, climactic issue. Even as someone who knows where this tale is heading, I found that a strange inclusion.

The second half of the comic is much more straightforward, being lifted pretty much wholesale from the short story The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans. By the end of the issue, that case appears to be closed – but nothing is ever so simple in the world of Sherlock Holmes…


Richard McGinlay

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