Irene Adler Gets a Comic

Adler #1 Victorian homage cover

Irene Adler, the only woman to outwit Sherlock Holmes, appeared in one 1891 story, “A Scandal in Bohemia”. She’s been a favorite ever since, particularly with people who want to pair Holmes up romantically in a traditional fashion. Now, Titan Comics is taking a different direction with the character.

Adler will be a five-issue miniseries starting in February 2020 in which she’s an action hero, teaming up with “famous Victorian heroines from science, history, and literature… such as Jane Eyre, Lady Havisham, Marie Curie, Carmilla, and Ayesha” to defeat Moriarty.

(Lady Havisham is from Great Expectations, the crazy spinster in her wedding dress in a ruined mansion. Carmilla is a vampire who appeared 26 years before Dracula. Ayesha is the She written by H. Rider Haggard. If you need me to explain Jane Eyre or Marie Curie to you, you are clearly not the audience for this story.)

It remains to be seen whether this is, as writer Lavie Tidhar puts it, “an entertaining action romp with some degree of political relevance” or just a generic thriller dressed up with a recognizable character name. I’m hoping for the former, obviously, although the preview pages below, with art by Paul McCaffrey, don’t really give us yet enough to be sure.

Adler can be ordered now from your local comic shop with the following Diamond codes:

  • Cover by Butch Guice – DEC19 1887
  • Cover by Paul McCaffrey – DEC19 1888
  • Cover by Butch Guice – DEC19 1889
  • Cover by Butch Guice – DEC19 1890

Cover price for all is $3.99 each. (Sherlockian in-joke: Holmes first appeared in 1887, which makes these order codes particularly apropos.)


  • Joan

    I’m not for or against the comic for this reason, but Miss Havisham is only a lady, not a Lady. She’s rich, but that’s because her father was in trade. She certainly didn’t marry a title, and being ennobled for doing a great service to them Empire wasn’t really a thing for Victorian women.

    Also, it seems a little off-kilter to have Mme. Curie there with all the fictional women. Maybe it’ll work better in context?

  • I admire what they’re trying to do, given that there are few distinctive female characters in that era, so I’m not surprised they brought in Curie and maybe jazzed up Havisham. I’d like to see Mina, but Alan Moore kind of scooped her already. Carmilla is an intriguing choice for that kind of role.

  • J. Bencomo

    It’s a little awkward to see Carmilla in a ‘heroic’ role since she was a serial murderer preying after very young girls, but hopefully she’ll get the proper treatment of Token Evil Teammate instead of being whitewashed.

  • Well, that’s any vampire of that era, right? I’m wondering how much they’re going to play up or down the lesbianism. There’s a lot in this comic that needs to be handled carefully.

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