A bit of nautical skullduggery leads to a brutal former sea captain’s murder in this graphic adaptation.
Consistent with series formula, it is retold in easy-to-follow framed panels of various sizes and shapes interspersed with prose transitions and capped by analyses of the significant clues. This case has Holmes and Watson helping a novice police inspector nab a hulking tar who left his victim pinned to a wall with a harpoon. The resultant confession reveals murky deeds in the pasts of both mariners. The gruesome elements here and in the co-published #12, Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Cardboard Box, are not explicitly depicted, and the simply drawn art’s dark palette gives the visuals a muted look. Characters have an unfortunately cartoony look; Holmes, in particular, lacks the expected gravitas. Still, the plots remain intact, and the language and settings have a properly period flavor.
Budding Holmesians not yet ready to tackle the originals will certainly get a taste of what’s in store. (map, reading list) (Graphic mystery. 10-12)