These comics and manga have lead characters who aren’t Sherlock Holmes or John Watson, but who are closely related. The list is arranged alphabetically.
Irene Adler leads a group of women adventurers in the steampunk-flavored Adler, written by Lavie Tidhar and illustrated by Paul McCaffrey (Titan Comics, 2021, a collection of the five-issue miniseries).
The Baker Street Peculiars (Boom! Studios, 2017) is a comedic take written by Roger Langridge, art by Andy Hirsch, in which three young people solve a magical case to help out Mrs. Hudson, who’s the real author of the Sherlock Holmes stories. I interviewed the creators when the comic was originally published.
IDW published in hardcover the first three Serena Blasco adaptations (originally published in French) of Nancy Springer’s YA novels.
These three were later reprinted (with different translation) as Enola Holmes: The Graphic Novels Book One (Andrews McMeel, 2022).
Enola Holmes: The Graphic Novels Book Two collects Serena Blasco’s adaptations of The Case of the Peculiar Pink Fan, The Case of the Cryptic Crinoline, and The Case of the Baker Street Station (formerly The Case of the Gypsy Goodbye). These stories advance Enola’s relationship with her famous brother, Sherlock Holmes, making them my favorites of the comics starring the Holmes sister.
Enola Holmes: Mycroft’s Dangerous Game (Legendary Comics, 2022) is “the official graphic novel sequel to the hit film”. Written by Mickey George, with story by Nancy Springer (creator of Enola Holmes), art by Giorgia Sposito, and cover by Cat Staggs, the comic uses the likenesses of the movie actors (Millie Bobby Brown as Enola, Henry Cavill as Sherlock, and Sam Claflin as Mycroft). They’re well-done, resembling the familiar appearances without being too static.
Mycroft Holmes has been kidnapped by anarchists, and a conflicted Enola (as her eldest brother keeps sending her to be educated as a proper young lady, which she does not want) sets out to find him and understand why he was taken. Various characters from the movie make appearances, including Viscount Tewkesbury, making this a comfortable, engaging read for those who liked the film and want more. It’s also got several action sequences that fit in the movie’s style as well as a similar theme, as Enola sets out to make her own decisions.
There’s also a trailer for the book that incorporates scenes from the film.
The Irregulars (Dark Horse, 2005, cover by Ben Templesmith) would be a good read for anyone who enjoyed the short-lived Netflix TV series. As written by Steven-Elliot Altman & Michael Reaves, art by Bong Dazo, it’s a supernatural horror-flavored adventure that opens with Inspector Lestrade arresting Dr. Watson, who’s been seen committing murder. Sherlock Holmes enlists the six young irregulars to investigate, with cameo appearances by Irene Adler and Professor Challenger.
Major Holmes & Captain Watson, written by Jeff Rider and illustrated by Ismael Canales, stars a blond Sheffield Holmes, nephew of Sherlock and Mycroft, who goes on missions in 1914 with Captain Imogen Watson (4 issues, Cloudwrangler Comics, 2020-2021). The Adventure of the Vengeful Scholar is a dynamite wartime spy adventure, punctuated by diverse lead characters — gay, female, Black — who go beyond the traditional to create a nail-biting recommended read with plenty of classic references. Find out more about the series history and origin in this interview with Rider.
Moriarty (Image Comics, 2011-2012, collected edition 2013), written by Daniel Corey, art by Anthony Diecidue and Mike Vosburg, takes a “Victorian horror movie” approach in a world without Sherlock Holmes. The aging Professor Moriarty tries to find the missing Mycroft Holmes at the dawn of World War I before getting involved in mystic adventures in Burma. The supernatural threat of a psychic box gives him a chance to change his fate, with plenty of action and fighting (and a female ninja). A very pulpy, sometimes confusing approach.
Although numbered as volume 3 of the publisher’s Sherlock Holmes series, Moriarty Lives (Dynamite, 2016, written by David Liss, art by Daniel Indro, Olavo Costa, and Carlos Furuzono, cover by Francesco Francavilla) doesn’t feature the detective at all. Instead, Moriarty pulls himself from the Reichenbach Falls and, accompanied by an orphan boy, takes on the local bully, a Baron who practices alchemy, in what eventually becomes a heist conspiracy.
Son of Sherlock Holmes (Pyramid Books, 1977, written by Byron Preiss, illustrated by Ralph Reese) has little connection to the classic detective. There’s a prologue with him unable to find a missing treasure, but the majority of the book features a modern (for the times) detective character, someone rumored to be Holmes’ son, in a European caper, chasing around after the hidden fortune.
Violet Holmes, an original character and Sherlock’s adopted daughter, appears in Violet Holmes and the Agents of H.I.V.E.: Adventures of a Teenage Detective, written by Nicko Vaughan and illustrated by Georgia Grace Weston (Orange Pip Books, 2020).
Young Miss Holmes is a manga take by Kaoru Shintani starring Sherlock’s niece Lady Christie. The series moves from retelling Doyle stories to creating its own adventures (3 volumes in English collecting 7 Japanese volumes, Seven Seas Entertainment, 2012-2013). The Japanese original was called Christie High Tension and ran 2007-2011; the four-volume sequel, Christie London Massive (2011-2017), has not been translated into English.