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Comic Book Review

Book Cover

A Scandal in Belgravia #3


Writer/co-creator: Steven Moffat
Co-creator: Mark Gatiss
Artist: Jay.
Publisher: Titan Comics
RRP: UK £4.50, US $4.99
Age: 12+
44 pages
Publication Date: 05 February 2020

Sherlock’s contemptuous brother Mycroft has pulled him and John from the middle of an investigation in order to put them on a mission for the royal family. The task: to recover scandalous photographs from the dominatrix Irene Adler. As he comes face to face with the mysterious and beautiful woman, has Sherlock finally met his match…?

There hasn’t been a new episode of Sherlock on British television since January 2017. The programme’s co-creators have stated that, owing to the conflicting schedules of the much-in-demand stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman, a potential fifth series is still very much up in the air. In a way, this is a good thing, as it gives artist / adapter Jay. a chance to catch up with this manga series! The episode being adapted here was originally transmitted in January 2012, at the start of Series 2, making this comic book long awaited and highly anticipated.

To the original Sherlock Holmes, Irene Adler was always “the woman”. To me, though, this is the issue of A Scandal in Belgravia that I had been waiting for. Yes, as a pervy male, I had been greatly looking forward to seeing Adler’s nude scene once again! Jay. stays true to the television version of this notorious sequence, keeping the nudity largely implied, though we do see Adler’s bare bottom a couple of times. Within the narrative, of course, her nakedness puts the men rather than the woman at a disadvantage, as it amusingly discombobulates both Sherlock and John, and denies the former any opportunity to detect clues from her clothing.

The most recent couple of issues have been relatively talky and low in incident, aside from some gun-based menace towards the end of this instalment. Sherlock and Irene discuss but do not yet explain the death of the hiker from #1, and a new mystery is set up: the question of how the woman manages to communicate the code for her safe to the great detective. This third chapter concludes on not much of a cliffhanger (saving the final line of dialogue until next time would have helped).

All in all, it might be better to wait for A Scandal in Belgravia to come out as a graphic novel rather than to try and follow the story on a monthly drip feed.


Richard McGinlay

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