Comic - I, Holmes #1


The game’s afoot as Susan Omand reads issue #1 of I, Holmes from Alterna Comics...

Fighting to survive in a world of danger and intrigue is nothing new to I Rose, but after discovering that she's the great granddaughter of world famous detective Sherlock Holmes, I realizes that life is about to become anything but elementary.

Ah, the Sherlock Holmes canon. From Elementary and Sherlock on TV to the relatively recent Sherlock (Ironman) Holmes films to new stories coming out in paperback that are based on some of the peripheral characters in the original tales, it’s always ripe for riffing on and there’s always a new twist on an old idea. The foreword to this first comic in a new series from Alterna Comics comes from David Rambo, writer for TV shows like CSI and Empire, and picks up on the Holmes aspect, the strong lead characters and notes a “Shakespearian concept” of a character’s destiny being set out as part of their bloodline. So I was interested to see what direction this new comic series from Alterna would take.

The story in Issue 1 actually reads like the pilot of a TV series or the prologue to a novel. There is a lot of scene setting, backstory filling and character building as the origins of the lead character I Rose are explored. I should explain here that the main character’s first name is the letter I, the reasons for which are given in this first issue, and this may lead to some confusing grammatical constructs until you get used to the idea of which I is being used and it’s not just because I is being down wiv da yoof, innit. Massive. Or something. Anyway I (first person pronoun) digress.

Even though there wasn’t much in the way of plot in this first issue, other than the long story arc set up, there was much to like and a lot to keep me interested and intrigued. The use of the Jer 17:1 graffiti tag for example caused me to go dust off the old King James and look up the relevant passage (look it up for yourselves – I’m not going to do everything for you). Either it’s something utterly profound and I’m hooked already or I have been watching too much Mr Robot and am looking for symbolism and hidden messages everywhere now, even when there aren’t any. Talking of symbolism, I liked the nods to the original character names. The obvious one is Inspector Les Trade of the 5th Precinct and the other I noticed is a lot more subtle with I Rose’s college sponsor, mentor and general looker-afterer being Anne Stow (a play on Watson).

So really, there’s just two things missing from this comic so far, and it’s by far the better for it, and these are the words “Sherlock” and “Holmes” in the main text of the story. The idea and theme have been alluded to very well with I’s observations, memory ability, intelligence and disdain for the law and authority, as well as the fact that her room is also a laboratory/workshop of sorts, so the explicit mention is not needed although I can see from the marketing blurb that it’s going to become part of the story shortly since it hasn’t been broached as a topic already, so I can only hope that it is as deftly handled as the rest of it has been so far.

Have a look at a few pages from the start of the first issue, courtesy of Alterna Comics.

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Available from today on comiXology
Images - Alterna Comics