Why’s everyone gotta pick on Archduke Ferdinand?

Happy June everyone!  Last year I reviewed two LGBTQ books but this year it’s the month of Sherlock Holmes comics.  But never fear, because Sheffield Holmes is here!

Last review we had Sherlock Holmes (sort of) in alternate Victorian London where Lovecraftian Elder Gods ruled.  This week we have Sherlock Holmes (sort of) in an alternate 1914 London right before the beginning of World War One. 

Sit down friends because we’ve ticked all the boxes this time! Gay Holmes, a Watson harboring a dark secret, the best Detective Inspector since BBC’s Lestrade and Elementary’s Gregson, a female mechanic (shiny), and Mycroft Holmes being, well Mycroft Holmes.

I came at this series the back way. Major Holmes & Captain Watson began as a Kickstarter what made its backing and came out with a four-issue arc. I bought them this past April at 221 B Con where I met the author of the series, Jeff Rider. And they sat in my TBR pile until I decided to do a collection of Sherlock Holmes comics. I was quite literally (in my humble opinion) sitting on the best Holmesian comic series since A Study in Emerald. 

The premise is this: Sheffield Holmes, nephew to the infamous Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes is a Major in the 6th Special Intelligence Service, working for the British government and “the Colonel” aka, Uncle “Mike”. His partner is an American Red Cross worker by the name of Captain Imogen Watson.  Sheffield is roused from bed and his romantic interest to solve a murder.  The murder has been staged like the first case that made his uncle, Sherlock Holmes, famous.  Within that, Holmes and Watson uncover a web of terrorists and cabals that begin with the Black Hand and end with an even more terrifying underground cabal who are not only trying to bring about a war of the worlds but also trying to destroy Sheffield’s entire family legacy. 

The twists and turns in this four-part series had me on the edge of my seat, going back to previous issues and previous pages because I thought I missed something.  Detective Inspector Agamemnon J Brick, also secretly part of the 6th SIS, might be my favorite character. A large black man who is built like a tank and quite literally breaks through a solid wooden door in the basement of the Diogenes Club just has you cheering him on.  One of my favorite lines in the entire series was from Brick “they ambushed me, crashed my truck…I loved that truck” (Issue 3).

As the story goes on, the reader learns more and more about not only Sheffield (not who this mysterious third sibling is), but the secrets Watson holds as well as her close friend Juliette McKinnon, another American who is an expert on anything mechanical. If it can be built, she can fix it. There were a lot of things I loved about this.  The fact that Watson is as intelligent as Holmes.  He sees her as an equal. In that, it reminded me of the Holmes and Watson friendship in Elementary. Both Holmes and Watson know why she’s there, as a beard so the government and the police don’t look too closely into Holmes’ “illegal activities” (i.e., his relationship with a man named Anton).  Sheffield is not a fan of either of his uncles.  He tolerates Mycroft as he’s working for him and sees him on a semi regular basis, but his “drug-addled Uncle Sherly” and his “lapdog biographer” tells us that Sheffield is holding more than one grudge. The twist. Oh my gosh, the twist!

The introduction to hints of past characters and how they mix the relatives of those characters was done well without making it seem trite.  Also, I have never, in my life, seen a “post scene credit” in a comic book until I read this series!  I finished the last book, went to flip to the back to look at the supporters and found two more pages that blew a side storyline right out of the water!  I have theories (who is Anton, really?) and speculations (Where is you know who), but mostly what I want to know is if they’re making any more of this series? Because I have questions that need answered. 

If you’re a fan of comic, Sherlock Holmes, history, anything, pick these up and give them a read.  You can find them on Amazon Kindle, ComiXology and at the Cloudwrangler Comics.

Hopefully we don’t have to wait four years for the next installment.

Speaking of next installments, I realized I have one more Holmesian comic in my stash, so the next review will be on Mycroft Holmes and the Apocalypse Handbook.

Onto my next order, free books!  Or a free book.  Thank you to everyone who found my website, gave it a look, liked, and followed. I appreciate it. Clicking on my handy dandy randomizer, I want to congratulate JDCarlson. I’ll be contacting them for the genre of their choice and get that out to them.

Enjoy your books my friends.  Summer’s here which means laying out at the pool (is that still a thing?) with your sunscreen and getting comfortable with a good book.   

2 thoughts on “Why’s everyone gotta pick on Archduke Ferdinand?

  1. I LOVE Sheffield and this comic. I also have hopes for more to come. And I’m thrilled to have won!
    (Also, I’m about to review the Mycroft Holmes comic also.)


  2. I love Sheffield and this comic and I also have hopes for more. And I’m so glad I won, thank you!
    Weirdly, I’m also about to review the Mycroft Holmes comic.


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