Comic - I, Holmes #2

It's more than elementary as Susan Omand reads issue 2 of I, Holmes thanks to Alterna Comics...

Is this something bad about to happen to the city of New York and is I Rose the only person who can stop at? Can she elude the cops long enough to find out who is the dark horse and what is the terrifying weapon he plans to unleash?

The story continues on from issue 1 with the wonderfully named I Rose and her friend Annie on the trail of the mysterious graffiti tagger, who is still spraying Jer 17:1 around town, in the hope that he might shed some light on the bombing in the underground and the plans of the man in the black unicorn mask. Meanwhile, said masked man, Dark Horse, is looking out for I Rose and seems to know a lot about her past as he field tests something very scientific. Add to this that Lieutenant Trade is on the lookout for both of them and a trail of cat-and-mouse develops while Annie, acting as mentor, tries to keep I Rose from straying too far from the law.

This was a surprisingly enjoyable read! Why surprising? To be honest, I didn’t really expect the story to grip me as much as it has. There are lots of different strands developing and, as well as the action and adventure, I’m enjoying the slight “Holmesian” touches of little classical quotes and scientific inferences. The weapon, too, that Dark Horse is developing has me totally intrigued as it is, theoretically, plausible. Talking of development, the character development of I Rose is really rounding out as we’re getting little bits of backstory in her talks with Dark Horse, without it being obvious and, although the other characters have yet to come into their own, I’m still interested enough in how they relate to the story to wait for that element.

The art is still of the same high quality, with a good level of detail and crisp lines, and an interesting change in colour palette from the cool, dark, almost jewel-like blues and purples of issue 1 to almost pastel warm tones of creams, yellows and browns this time. On the subject of the artwork, I also have to mention the innovative use of the panels in this issue, with pop-outs, overlays and irregularly shaped panels all adding interest to the reading process. I found the panel-shapes enhanced rather than distracted from the story, unobtrusively reinforcing and building on ideas and adding a new perspective, sometimes literally, to the story – I particularly liked the self-shaped panel used for Dark Horse (above - see the top right of that page) and that the panels used for a conversation, witnessed through a window, kept the shape of the glass on zoom in.

All in all then, another strong issue and, yet again, no mention of great-granddaddy Sherlock or any obvious link, apart from the homages in the names. As I said last time, this is a good thing, as the story is strong enough to stand on its own as a detective story without needing to trade off a well-worn franchise, although I am still interested to see how, or even if, they’ll make anything more of the fact in the next few issues.

Images - Alterna Comics

Available now on comiXology: HERE
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