Sherlock Holmes in Comics – Revamps and Original Spins

Stories inspired by the original, but with different character takes or settings. (Arranged alphabetically.)

Holmes

In Holmes by Omaha Perez (AIT/PlanetLar, 2008), Watson has a hair-trigger temper and is alternately oblivious and credulous. Holmes is merely the sum of exaggerated sins: fighting, drug use, drag costume abuse. It’s a wallow through drunken street-fighting and a lengthy bordello visit, showing us an obsessed — and mistaken — addict and his overly faithful enabler. I found it unpleasant and ultimately pointless. “What if Sherlock Holmes was wrong?” is not a new idea, and this is unattractive visually and conceptually.

The Joker #6

In The Joker #6 (1976, written by Dennis O’Neil, art by Irv Novick and Tex Blaisdell, cover by Ernie Chan), an actor playing Sherlock Holmes thinks he’s the famous detective after being hit on the head. Chris is on Infinite Earths has posted a detailed writeup with plenty of art.

Sherlock: A Study in Pink

Sherlock: A Study in Pink (Titan Comics, 2017, originally published in Japanese) adapts the first Sherlock TV episode, as written by Steven Moffat, art by Jay. Sherlock Holmes lives in (then-modern-day, 2010) London, where he meets and rooms with a veteran Army doctor, John Watson. They investigate a series of murders in a tale based on A Study in Scarlet with many significant changes.

Sherlock: The Blind Banker

Sherlock: The Blind Banker (Titan Comics, 2017) adapts the second Sherlock TV episode, written by Steve Thompson, art by Jay. It has no significant connection to any Doyle Holmes story.

Sherlock: The Great Game

Sherlock: The Great Game (Titan Comics, 2018) adapts the third Sherlock TV episode, the final of the first season, written by Mark Gatiss, art by Jay. In it, Sherlock meets Jim Moriarty after solving a series of puzzles and bombings. One of the cases is inspired by “The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans”.

The three volumes are also available in a boxed set.

Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia

Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia (Titan Comics, 2020) retells the first half of the BBC TV show episode (the first of the second season). It introduces a new version of Irene Adler, created by Doyle in “A Scandal in Bohemia”. She is here a blackmailing dominatrix. The second volume, completing the story, is due out in March 2022.

Sherlock Bones

Sherlock Bones is a manga series by Yuma Ando and Yuki Sato where the detective has been reincarnated as a small dog (7 volumes in English, Kodansha, 2013-2014). There’s not much deduction, as most crimes are solved by people not noticing or caring about the presence of a dog who sees what really happens.

Sherlock Bones volume 3 coverSherlock Bones volume 4 cover

Sherlock Bones volume 5 coverSherlock Bones volume 6 cover

Sherlock Bones volume 7 cover

Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel Adventures

The Graphic Novel Adventures line of choose-your-own-path comics adds a game mechanism where the reader can try to solve cases as Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, or in some books, Irene Adler or Moriarty. They make choices to determine which panel to read next in these stories, written and drawn by CED and translated (from the French) by Adam Marostica.

Title Pub Date
Sherlock Holmes: Four Investigations 2018
Sherlock Holmes & Moriarty Associates 2019
Sherlock Holmes: The Challenge of Irene Adler 2019
Sherlock Holmes: The Shadow of Jack the Ripper 2020
Sherlock Holmes: The Beginning 2020
Sherlock Holmes: International 2022 (planned)

Sherlock Holmes and the Empire Builders

Sherlock Holmes and the Empire Builders, story by Joel Meadows, art by Andy Bennett, has so far appeared in two six-page stories. The first, “The House That Crime Built”, appears in Tripwire Winter Special 2020, while “Prey” will appear in Tripwire Winter Special 2021. In them, an older Holmes no longer lives at Baker Street.

Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer

Gillian Goerz’s Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer (Dial Books for Young Readers, 2020) features Shirley Bones, who is observant and solves mysteries for other kids, and Jamila Waheed, who is more concerned about building friendships. These two ten-year-old girls are wonderful revamps of the classic Holmes/Watson pairing.

Watson and Holmes

Watson and Holmes featured, as suggested by the title, Watson as lead, with the characters as Black men in modern-day New York. An excellent read, the stories were written by Karl Bollers and others and drawn by Rick Leonardi and others. Watson and Holmes: A Study In Black (New Paradigm Studios, 2013) was the first collection. The second was simply called Volume 2 (New Paradigm Studios, 2016).

My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #83

Finally, as a curiosity, My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic #83 (by Thom Zahler and Kate Sherron, 2019) retells the story of Silver Blaze with a horse detective and racing tortoises. (I had no idea which section to put this in, but it’s a charming take on the story.)