Why did I get it: I know that zombies get added to everything at the moment. I also know that while I do love zombies, I’m getting incredibly sick of them being wasted on books that don’t seem to get the zombies are actually pretty gross and scary. Upon seeing that this graphic novel was coming out, I was very annoyed but I was unable to curb my curiosity and simply had to check this out. I am so glad I did.
How I would rate it: 5 out of 5 stars.
My Summary: The title pretty much says it all, I think.
My Review: Sherlock Holmes and Victorian zombies are, in fact, an entertaining and awesome combination! I am so pleased by this graphic novel. I definitely plan on purchasing it soon.
This is the first time I’ve enjoyed zombies being sicced on beloved characters from a classical work of literature.Why? Because the author took the general ideas from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s canon and then created something of his own to add to that. There’s no shoving zombies into “The Sign of Four,” The Adventure of the Crooked Man,” or any other adventure. Instead, the graphic novel’s story takes place sometime after Reichenbach Falls, referencing older cases along the way but without being a direct adaptation of any particular one.
The story flows quite smoothly from familiar Holmes’ haunts like 221B and the Diogenes to zombies in all kinds of location from subterranean city ruins to mine shafts to outside of Buckingham Palace. In terms of their characterization and friendship, nothing changed about Sherlock Holmes and John Watson, nor does their attitude alter much in response to the new set of circumstances they end up dealing with. While the zombies start wrecking havoc and even after learning about the zombie uprising cover-ups, they’ both allow themselves some vague dismay before they move on to dealing with the zombies in roughly the same way they would any other threat to England or the crown.
Although bad guy behind it all being Moriarty won’t be particularly shocking to anyone familiar with Sherlock Holmes on any level , I think all readers will like that said evil Professor is back as a smart zombie. The showdown between Moriarty and Holmes becomes even more epic this time around. Moriarty also provides the best bit of dialogue in a graphic novel with plenty of good lines to spare when he says: “I am a reanimated corpse* with a barely reined craving for human flesh– and only now you question my sanity?”
If this isn’t enough to pique your interest, let me also point out that the graphic novel also has Sherlock’s brother Mycroft overseeing a team of men who blowtorch zombies and Sherlock using Miss Hudson’s cake tray to examine a robot’s head.
I am still shocked by how enjoyable the experience was, I can’t think of a single complaint either so kudos to author Ian Edginton and illustrator Davide Fabbri for capturing both Sherlock Holmes, John Watson, James Moriarty, and zombies in a thoughtful, entertaining, and action-packed way.
In regards to the illustrator, I implore you to ignore the cover and give this graphic novel a try! Fabbri’s artwork is quite lovely for the most part and decidedly creepy when it needs to be.
* As a side note, I’m also amused that Professor Moriarty basically invented the day-glo green fluid that probably led directly to Herbert West inventing the same neon green stuff he uses in the Re-Animator movies to return corpses to life.