Watson And Holmes by Karl Bollers and Rick Leonardi

July 27, 2014 Graphic Novels, Reviews 3

Two black men stand in a dark alley, on the left a short haired man holds a gun, beside him a long haired man in a hat and suit coat rests his hands casually in his pockets

I picked up issue one of Karl Bollers and Rick Leonardi’s Watson And Holmes at Comixology. Karl Bollers was new to me. I’d try another book by him but I don’t think I’ll be back for more of Watson And Holmes. There was a lot I liked about the issue. Watson is reimagined not as an experienced doctor but as a younger man. He’s still a veteran and a medic but this Watson is younger, more agile. I liked the visual concept of Watson, who had almost a Richard Roundtree feel to his presentation. We meet Watson on a challenging night, the sort of night where not everyone can be saved and you’re not even sure why they had to be. It’s an evening in the ER that could break a man. A black man in scrubs takes a moment in a busy ER before being called to the next patient.

Holmes arrives in a true Sherlock fashion. He’s slightly impatient with the lack of insight others provide. What keeps me from moving forward with this series is how much Holmes reminded me of Willy Wonka. This Holmes isn’t weary or tired by the idiocy of others, he’s energized. He leaves clues for Watson to puzzle out and waits to act until Watson is well snared. I didn’t emotionally connect to Holmes. The guy is basically in a Miami Vice suit and a fedora on the cover. In the pages, he’s wearing a suit and vest combo with a professor plaid scarf. Visually I didn’t get Sherlock Holmes off that. There’s a standard women in peril situation left as a cliffhanger. This Holmes isn’t terribly interested in her survival, he just wants to play the game. That’s fine for him but I felt Watson deserved more.A black man with long hair and a close trimmed beard strolls out of an ER confidently, wearing a cap, vest and suit jacket.

Bollers and Leonardi do an excellent job of translating other standard aspects of the Holmes world into modern Harlem. The street children Sherlock is known for are still here, as is his adoring yet overly involved landlady. If this series were called Watson I’d be up for another go, but Holmes is too off-putting to command more investment from me. A deeper initial mystery would have gone a long way to overcoming my Holmes aversion. The situation may flip in issue two, but I’m well past Woman In Danger as my introductory plot line.

Final Assessment: Great art, wonderful Watson, but Holmes is a snooze. C+

Source: Purchased Copy

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Meoskop

Meoskop's first non-compulsory book review was in 1973. Although a hit with the 3rd grade, concerns raised by the administration necessitated an extended hiatus. Reviews resumed in 1985 but the concerns are ongoing.

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3 Responses to “Watson And Holmes by Karl Bollers and Rick Leonardi”

  1. Meoskop

    Give it a shot and report back! The Wonka thing didn’t get me as much as the woman-in-peril. Something about the way Holmes reacts when talking to Watson was very Gene Wilder to me. Couldn’t shake it.

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