Mycroft Holmes #1
Writers: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Raymond Obstfeld
Artist: Joshua Cassara
Cover A: Joshua Cassara & Luis Guerrero
Cover B: Rod Reis
Cover C: Typographic Variant
Cover D: Paul McCaffrey
Cover E: Blank Sketch Variant
Publisher: Titan Comics
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: August 3, 2016
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. He’s one of the greatest basketball players the NBA has ever seen. He’s a 19-time NBA All-Star. He’s a six-time NBA MVP. He is, as they say, a living legend. His influence, undoubtedly, spreads far and wide. He used that influence to make an impassioned speech for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention in Philly last week. But only one week prior, he graced the stage at another convention — San Diego Comic-Con, where he was promoting Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook, his new comic book miniseries from Titan Comics set in the universe of his 2015 novel Mycroft Holmes.
That’s right. Novel. Comic book. Mycroft Holmes, as in the older brother to the world’s greatest fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is on it.
Anything Sherlock Holmes related will attract my attention, but seeing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar credited on this comic book series definitely compelled me to open my review copy the second I received it.
Co-written by Raymond Obstfeld with art by Joshua Cassara, Mycroft #1, which set in 1874 in Victorian-era England, opens with a tragedy at the British Museum in London before moving on to young Mycroft Holmes. Arguably smarter than his more famous younger brother, the young man is also less stringent and disciplined. Here, he’s a student at the prestigious Cambridge University where he shows little regard for his Philosophy class. He’s witty and clever, yet antagonistic, especially to his professor, who wants him gone. Even though he’s on the verge of expulsion, Mycroft is carefree, choosing to spend his time in bed with an attractive married women. That is, until young Sherlock shows up.
But this story isn’t about Sherlock. In this first issue, he plays just a small role as skeptic to his brother’s shenanigans, and we get to see a little bit of their relationship (which includes some juvenile name-calling). Instead, it’s Mycroft who shows off his powers of deduction, which will likely come in handy after he gets drafted into the Queen’s service to save the world!
The Mycroft we’re introduced to doesn’t seemed disciplined enough to take on this new mission, but perhaps he’ll just have to do some growing up real quick, considering what he’s up again.
Mycroft #1 is a real treat. With intrigue around every corner, Abdul-Jabbar and Obstfeld’s story keeps you captivated and second-guessing all the way through and offers up interesting, intellectual dialogue housed in panels that aren’t cluttered up by the many necessary word bubbles. The cover and credit pages tease a steampunk tale, but this first issue is mostly grounded in Victorian England, with only the attack on the British Museum in the beginning hinting at an advanced technology that will rock the world. The artwork in the opening pages sets the tone for events that are inconceivable for the late 1800s, and settles in smoothly with a gaslamp setting for the remainder of the issue. Artist Joshua Cassara is able to draw a destructive action sequence clearly where the reader can easily follow what’s happening, which is refreshing, especially since visual clues are important in this story.
Titan Comics has a winner on its hands with this new Mycroft miniseries, which is an honorable addition to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes universe. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next with the scandalous Mycroft and wonder if his petulant little brother will return, perhaps to learn a thing or two.
Basketball legend, novelist, and superstar polymath Kareem Abdul-Jabbar brings his take on Sherlock Holmes’ older brother to comics at last! An all-new adventure set in the world of the bestselling Mycroft novel, The Apocalypse Handbook sees the diffident, brilliant Mycroft pulled into a globe-spanning adventure at the behest of Queen Victoria and a secret organization at the heart of the British government. A madman is on the loose with civilization-destroying weapons, each two hundred years in advance of the status quo. Can the smartest man in England set aside his idle, womanizing ways for long enough to track down the foe that may be his match?
Follow me on Twitter and Instagram