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Comic Book Review

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A Scandal in Belgravia #2


Writer/co-creator: Steven Moffat
Co-creator: Mark Gatiss
Artist: Jay.
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £4.50, US $4.99
Age: 12+
48 pages
Publication Date: 15 January 2020

Fresh from facing down Moriarty, the master detective was in need of a new and thrilling investigation, and had been put on the case of a man found dead in the boot of a car. Before that mystery can be solved, however, Sherlock and John are whisked away to Buckingham Palace – to assist the royal family with a very delicate matter…

Titan is making a big deal of how this manga adaptation of the television episode A Scandal in Belgravia introduces the iconic character of Irene Adler – though Sherlock meets her only at the very end of this issue, which marks the beginning of her infamous nude scene. That led to writer Steven Moffat being accused of sexism, though to be fair Sherlock is also disrobed during this instalment, when his brother Mycroft, irritated at his younger sibling’s lack of co-operation, steps on the bed sheet he is wearing (having refused to dress for their meeting at Buckingham Palace).

This story also heralds an innovation from a technical point of view. The pages of this manga series have always read from right to left, Japanese style, but prior to this point the digital editions had still arranged the pages to start at the beginning of the file, which resulted in double-page spreads being split into two. There are no such problems here, as each issue of A Scandal in Belgravia begins at the ‘end’ of the document, enabling us to see splash images such as the palace interior on the second and third pages as artist / adapter Jay. intended them to be seen.

The artist’s rendition of Irene Adler is instantly recognisable, providing a good likeness of Lara Pulver, the actress who played her on screen. Several sequences, such as the intercutting of Holmes and Adler selecting their ‘battledress’ and the distorted view of Sherlock’s face staring up into an intercom camera, vividly recapture the beats and the look of the television episode.

And if this adventure leaves you in the mood for more Adler action, Titan has just launched another take on the classic character, this time in a team-up with other famous female protagonists.


Richard McGinlay

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