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Comic Review: Sherlock Holmes: Moriarty Lives #1
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Sherlock Holmes: Moriarty Lives #1 cover by Francesco FrancavillaSherlock Holmes: Moriarty Lives #1
Written by David Liss
Illustrated by Daniel Indro
Colored by Josan Gonzalez
Lettered by Joshua Cozine
Cover by Francesco Francavilla
Dynamite Entertainment
Release Date: December 11, 2013
Cover Price: $3.99

David Liss does an amazing job of channeling the voice of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in Dynamite’s new Sherlock Holmes: Moriarty Lives #1.

The reader is thrust into Switzerland’s Reichenbach Falls just beyond the last pages of the legendary tale of the showdown between Sherlock Holmes and his nemesis, Professor James Moriarty. As the title of this release alludes, Moriarty survives the fall that was presumed to have killed him and decides to hide out in a nearby village until he can rebuild his criminal enterprise.

True to character, Professor Moriarty uses his cleverness to obtain a gentleman’s clothing and secure a meal at a local tavern. It strikes him as odd that streets that were full before sunset are completely deserted after nightfall, but he doesn’t let that deter him from his mission of trying to blend in with the locals.

While dining, he overhears the townspeople discussing an evil baron whom they all fear. The generous barmaid flirts with Moriarty and there is a hint that maybe there is the potential for more than just conversation in store for them. The scene is interrupted by a band of the baron’s thugs kicking in the tavern door in search of something thought to be in the barmaid’s possession.

After a bar fight reminiscent of a Guy Ritchie film, Moriarty appears to be the hero who has saved the damsel in distress. When the baron arrives to finish the job that his hired muscle couldn’t, we learn that the Professor is up against forces far more menacing than he’s ever faced before””something supernatural that even his cunning and powers of deception cannot help him defeat.

In true serial style, David Liss leaves us with one hefty cliffhanger. I won’t spoil it for you, let’s just say that Moriarty may need to learn a few new tricks if he intends to survive.

Daniel Indro’s classic style of imagery compliments the 19th century feel of the narrative and definitely serves to enhance the story. Muted colors, dynamic frames, and expressive dialog carry the reader through the tale with the same tone as if they’d just discovered hidden pages at the end of a classic volume of one of Holmes’ famous escapades.

Overall, Liss has worked some sort of necromancy with Doyle’s iconic characters and has taken one of literature’s most hated villains and managed to make him (shall I say it?) likeable.

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