Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Review of "Cases of Sherlock Holmes, First Collector’s Issue: The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet ,"comic version by Renegade Press

Review of

Cases of Sherlock Holmes, First Collector’s Issue: The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet comic version by Renegade Press

Five out of five stars

 There are many famous fictional detectives that have delighted and entertained people for almost two centuries. The first such detective was C. Auguste Dupin, first introduced by Edgar Allan Poe in 1841, but the most famous is Sherlock Holmes, created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Holmes first appeared in 1887 and was so popular that there was a public backlash when Doyle tried to kill off Holmes. He remains the most popular fictional detective of all time, with many high quality stories and other productions continuing the character. I have read the complete collection of the original Doyle stories as well as many in isolation.

 This Doyle story in comic form keeps within the genre of the Holmes character. It is set in crowded and dirty London of the late nineteenth century and is completely within the lane of the stratified, class conscious British society. A wealthy financier rushes to Holmes’ residence with a problem. He granted a loan to a wealthy and very public man, accepting as collateral a national treasure that would be described as priceless. While that item was not entirely missing, most of it is present after some kind of robbery attempt and part of it is gone.

 Holmes of course listens to a complete description of the events and investigates, tracking down the criminals as well as removing the suspicions of the innocent. It is a story told using both text and images, which are in black and white. There are no dialogue balloons. Perhaps the most interesting image is on page 5, which is an extremely accurate rendition of Prince Charles, currently first in line to the British throne.

 Although it is short, this story has a natural flow and has a specific conclusion. The last four pages contain the beginning of a biography of Arthur Conan Doyle. Any doubts that the great Holmes can properly appear in a comic book were dispelled by this gem.

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