FORMAT: PAPERBACK | RELEASE DATE: SEP 23RD
Sherlock: A Scandal in Belgravia takes the popular BBC show Sherlock and turns it into a manga-style comic book. The result is something rather charming - both Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman look absolutely stunning in the traditional Japanese style, with Sherlock Holmes looking like every inch the super-genius he’s meant to be.
We get plenty of meaningful glances between Holmes and Watson and this is intensified when Moriarty turns up. The character design and the stark black and white style hammers home the style over substance approach that Steven Moffat’s Sherlock is famous for. In terms of visual storytelling, this is a triumph. Unfortunately, the story this book is based on isn’t very good. Appearing on our screens in 2012, the two-part story was inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Scandal in Bohemia, but re-imagined the character of Irene Adler as a cross between a mastermind and the ultimate victim. The stakes are low and there’s no real way for the reader to engage with the mystery. Without the music and pacing of the TV show, all we really have is some nice art and Adler looking like a Disney princess.
The graphic novelisation of A Scandal in Belgravia exposes the TV show for what it really is - a tour-de-force in production and acting, but lacking in the way of anything resembling a crime/mystery story. And without that, can you truly describe it as a Sherlock Holmes story at all?