world’s most famous detective meets the world’s most famous magician… and
death ensues! Famed detective Sherlock Holmes and brash showman Harry Houdini
must combine forces to defeat a mysterious mystic dedicated to destroying
Houdini’s career and killing anyone who gets in his way.
Anthony Del Col
In the realm of literature, it’s very common for two famous people to meet and share adventures. After all, we know poet and Romantic Lord Byron met many figures who we consider key people of their time, simply because of his wealth and station in life, so why not imagine what it would be like if two famous personalities met one another? It becomes even more fun once you start pairing fictional characters with those who actually existed- and so we come to how this comic was probably thought up initially.
So…how does the pairing of two of the great minds of the Victorian era (even if one never existed) work out? Well, pretty well actually. There have been many portrayals of both Holmes and Houdini throughout the past 100 years, one because of artistic licence and the other because Houdini himself liked to err on the side of theatrical, even with close friends. However, one through line between the two was that they were very both very logical and methodical people and both happened to enjoy exposing fakes who claimed to posses supernatural powers.
It’s this tack that the comic takes to bind the two, for though they are very different people, they clearly have an admiration of one another. The other through line is that they are both, and lets put this bluntly, kind of arseholes. Though Houdini is the one whom we seem to be taking the point of view of the story from, the comic still exposes his faults. And Sherlock Holmes, well anyone who has spent any time in the presence of any of his adoptions will know how as a character he always found ways to push people’s buttons. The art work brings both of these characters traits out well, Houdini being a slightly garish circus strongman, whilst Holmes is a smug aristocrat.
Despite all this though, it’s those slightly unpleasant elements of the character that make spending time in their presence enjoyable and the comic itself click. Much like the recent BBC Sherlock adaption or the Guy Richie films, the comic is mostly two people and who have respect for one another, but who nevertheless are irritated by the others mannerisms. Que fun quipping and continuous attempts at one-upmanship.
Were this handled by a lesser collaborative team I don’t think it would have worked, but Del Col and McCreery’s script, combined with Furuzono’s art which always has each character reacting to the other with a twinkle of amusement in their eyes, means the good natured humour shines through.
Bring on the next issue.
Cover image courtesy of Dynamite Comics
Sherlock Holmes vs Harry Houdini #1 is available from Dynamite Entertainment or your local comics retailer.
Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.