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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

The Great Game #6


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: 03 January 2018

Sherlock and John have solved the mystery of the Bruce Partington plans. Together they confronted the brother of Andrew West’s fiancée, and he confessed to accidentally killing West and stealing the missile plans. However, Sherlock has no intention of handing the plans over to his brother Mycroft. The detective finally gets to meet the game master – but will he be able to save Moriarty’s final hostage…?

The final episode of The Great Game is a particularly satisfying adaptation. Well, apart from a great big dollop of frustration at the very end, but then that is entirely deliberate!

Moriarty makes his dramatic entrance in this issue, and the boyish features of Andrew Scott (the actor who played him on screen) lend themselves remarkably well to the manga style. His dark eyes make for an unnerving appearance, with artist Jay. giving the villain totally black pupils.

During the confrontation between Sherlock and his nemesis, there are several panels that lack dialogue, conveying the tense pauses in the television original.

On the downside, with the artwork in black and white, it’s not immediately obvious that a sniper’s laser sight has been trained on his intended victim – though this soon becomes clear, when the rifle is mentioned in dialogue.

There is also an uncomfortable reference to the children’s television programme Jim’ll Fix It, with Sherlock sardonically quoting the catch phrase, “Dear Jim, please will you fix it for me…” The screen version of The Great Game was originally transmitted a year before Jimmy Saville’s death, after which time the truth about his abuses began to emerge.

In spite of the momentary awkwardness, the story’s nail-biting climax remains every bit as “Aargh!” as it was on screen. As a closing caption and a full-page ad at the back of the comic inform us, the Sherlock saga will be continued in A Scandal in Belgravia, coming to Titan Comics later in the year…


Richard McGinlay

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