Review: Sherlock Holmes Vs. Harry Houdini TPB

HolmesHoudini-TP-Cover_REVSir Arthur Conan Doyle and his most famous creation, Sherlock Holmes, have captivated the imagination of readers, and audiences, for more than a century. Many incarnations of Sherlock Holmes, have lived on, through various movies, including the most recent one starring Sir Ian McClellan, and two TV shows, one American with Sherlock living in New York and the other with him living in London, both set during present time. What most readers don’t know of is Doyle’s personal life, as Sherlock has eclipsed most reader’s interest in Doyle altogether, except for scholars and true fans of Sir Doyle. The reason I bring this up, is because, he had a long standing relationship with Harry Houdini, which is possibly the inspiration for this miniseries, Sherlock Holmes vs. Harry Houdini.

As the Diamond’s Previews originally listed it as “The 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. A new five-issue series by Anthony Del Col and Conor McCrery, the Harvey Award-nominated creators of Kill Shakespeare.”

Instantly I was excited by the premise and even more intrigued because of the writers Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery, as their work on Kill Shakespeare, was out of this world. The premise of using a imaginary character interacting with a real life historical figure, was another reason why I was intrigued, as it reminds me of John Cusack’s The Raven, which held so much promise, but failed to deliver, as he portrayed Edgar Allen Poe, investigating murders carried out in the style of his written works.

The series opens up with Houdini escaping another underwater trap, in London in the year,1900, which Sherlock quickly deducts how the whole trick took place, and both characters major flaws are on full display , everything from Houdini’s panache for danger to Holmes felonious drug use. Towards the end of the first issue, a man who was helping Houdini and Holmes with a trick, kills himself on stage, as he was under the influence of a powerful force, as this happened during one of his shows, the police suspect Houdini for the young man’s murder-suicide. Houdini and Holmes eventually team up to solve the case to both funny and interesting hijinks as well as deadly consequences, as it is a wondrous team up and an excellent character study of both of these iconic figures, including their famous supporting cast. The ending is completely flawless, as the villain of the story, Rasputin, speaks to the lengths that fanaticism could go, especially today.

As a miniseries, this was a tight well told, well drawn story, that entertained from start to finish. The story by Anthony Del Col and Conor Mcreery has elevated their craft beyond the level of quality in their previous work. The art by Carlos Furuzono, is a godsend, as his illustrations truly bring these characters to life. Overall, a great story, that proves teamups, can be done, without sacrificing quality storytelling.

Story: Anthony Del Col and Conor McCreery Art: Carlos Furuzono
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: BUY NOW

Dynamite Entertainment provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review