Sherlock: The Great Game #1

Writer: Mark Gatiss
Artist: Jay.

After solving a series of murders known as “A Study in Pink”, Sherlock and Watson must figure out the pattern behind an explosion before it happens again.

So, a bit of a disclaimer before I get into this review. I have never watched BBC’s Sherlock, and I’m not all that familiar with manga in general. Jumping into the middle of a manga based on BBC’s Sherlock, I was confused with the story, characters, and style in which it was presented. I found Sherlock: The Great Game #1 to be unengaging, but that very may well be because of how unfamiliar I am with the style and content of this manga.

Another disclaimer, I’m not certain if this is a true manga, i.e. written in Japanese, translated to English, or an English comic styled as a manga. So, I’m not sure if the blame for the clunky dialogue lies in the writing or translation. Mark Gatiss is credited for “script”, so I have to assume any blame lies with him. To that end-

The dialogue here is incredibly clunky and hard to follow and kept me at arm’s length from the story. Part of this is the script itself, part of this is the way speech bubbles are laid out in the panels, it’s hard to tell who is saying what most of the time.

The artwork by Jay. also left me cold. Again, I’m not certain if this is just because it’s a style I’m not used to or a problem with Jay.’s artwork. I do believe part of this is the latter, as the proportions of character’s faces are constantly shifting, especially their noses, and there’s very little sense of place. Occasionally an establishing panel for a location will be given, but other than that backgrounds are mostly completely blank. The action is also hard to follow, and once again(I apologize for saying this so many times), I don’t know if this is because I’m not used to the layout of manga, or if it’s a problem with this specific manga. Either way, my experience with the way the comic was drawn overall was negative.

Sherlock: The Great Game #1 isn’t bad by any measure, but I certainly didn’t enjoy it. I was bored and unengaged, but that might just be because I’m jumping into the middle of a story told in a style I’m not used to.  If you’re a fan of Sherlock or manga, then maybe it’d be worth reading this comic, but I can’t say for sure.

Rating: 2.5/5

For more information on Sherlock: The Great Game and Titan Comics, check out their Website, Twitter, and Facebook page.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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