Watson And Holmes #1-6
Created by Brandon Perlow & Paul Mendoza
Written by Karl Bollers
Art by Rick Leonardi, Larry Stroman
Colors by Paul Mendoza, GuruEFX, Archie Van Buren, Jay David Ramos
Letters by Taylor Esposito, Dave Lanphear, Nicole McDonnell, Wilson Ramos Jr.
New Paradigm Studios
Cover Price: $2.99 each
Is it just me or does it seem like everything is getting a makeover or a reboot these days? I know the winds of change are always blowing but sometimes it feels like everything is the same, though perhaps just slightly different. Take the legendary Sherlock Holmes, for instance. New movies, a couple of ongoing television programs, and several different comics. Some are modern, some are not. Every one of them is ever so slightly different in the concept, few are spectacular. None of them, however, are as far off the beaten path as Watson And Holmes.
This particular incarnation features two men, both African-American, with a distinct sense of civic duty. We still have Holmes as a private investigator with uncanny deduction skills but this time he’s a bit more action oriented. His well-known and steadfast companion is still in the medical field but this time he’s an intern and far more athletic than in versions past. The setting is very urban, gang activity is a way of life and death is commonplace. A place where the innocent and the guilt live side by side and the line between them is blurred. And even though the status quo is so disheartening, the locals are terrified of what might happen were they to become involved in anything.
The first five issues deal with a rash of babies being left in dumpsters. But deeper than that lies a story of kidnapping, organized crime and betrayal. It also seems that the supposed chance meeting between our two heroes might be more fated than either of them might have realized. Watson, it seems, has some prior knowledge of the people involved and even an idea of how to find the one person they have sought in connection with all the strange goings on in the city. And while I realize I am being vague, this story has to be read to be understood. Several twists and not a few surprises await anyone who decides to read this gem of a story. One thing I can tell you is that by the end of this first run, our protagonists have decided to combine forces at 221B Baker Street. The sixth issue is the setup for the next case, a bit of murder and intrigue that the duo must tear apart to get to the facts. Because as you know, no one wants to be responsible for a death…even when they are.
The stories are superbly written, aiming to show more of the underbelly of society as opposed to the world that we all see every day. From the secondary characters themselves to the slang used by all parties involved, the series has a very distinctive flavor that feels more real than many of these other modern takes we have seen of late. The artwork is also far better than most small presses. The facial features of the characters have so much expression, even those in the background. Action and movement are portrayed perfectly, without the overuse of exaggerated motion lines. In summation, it’s an excellent combination of words and pictures. It is everything you want a comic to be.
I’m tremendously excited to be the one to show this off to you. I didn’t realize it when I first took the assignment but I had read the first two issues on Comixology when they first released. I was impressed then and nothing has changed my mind after reading four more issues. This is a great way to enjoy a classic character with a more action oriented vibe. You’ll find yourself emotionally invested in this one from time to time. I certainly hope the team keeps producing solid work like this, it’s a real treat that you shouldn’t deny yourself. They are only a couple of bucks each, grab them before you miss out!