Review: Adler #3
Much like a traveler on a seventeenth-century steamship, I’ve waited months to return to Victorian England. The wait is finally over as Adler returns to shelves this week with Adler #3. If you need a reminder of how the series began, you can check out my thoughts of the first issue. Then in the second issue, we were introduced to the series’ true “Big Bad.” The last issue also set up the challenges the heroines will face moving forward. Issue #3 expands on these challenges by setting the stakes Irene Adler, Jane Eyre, and Lady Havisham will find themselves pitted against.
After the first issue, each subsequent issue has opened with a “the story so far” section. This section is a nice touch, especially because it’s written like a journal entry and not plain exposition. It’s interesting that we’re still meeting the characters and Tidhar does a great job of using their introductions to increase the reader’s sense of mystery. Even though we’re starting to get an idea of the plot, Tidhar purposely leaves it unclear as to how all the characters fit into that plot. As a result the character development naturally moves the plotlines forward. Often in comic books these two aspects of storytelling run parallel to one another. In Adler, Tidhar blends these two literary elements into an organic storyline.
I really like how McCaffrey draws the characters. Each of the heroines in this series has their own unique look and is drawn like an actual woman. McCaffrey also does a great job drawing the period setting. Everything from the backgrounds to the buildings to the clothing fits the image I have in my head when I think of Victorian England. However, I continue to be baffled by the page layouts. The scene transitions aren’t always clear, and it can make it hard to follow the story. There are occasionally boxes that denote a scene’s location, which helped me keep track of the events in each scene. Yet there were several places across the last two issues, especially as new characters are randomly introduced, that I was forced to go back a few pages and re-read the comic in order to understand what events were occuring in seperate scenes or within the same scene.
Adler #3 was definitely worth the wait. The third issue of this ongoing series had great pacing, fun character moments, and exciting sequences. I’m an avid reader and have read many of the classics. My favorite part about this series is seeing which details from history and literature Tidhar chooses to keep and which he chooses to embellish or take in his own unique direction. In the first issue we get an alternate take on Jane Eyre’s life after the conclusion of her eponymous novel. Last issue, Tidhar took us on a deep dive into the Sherlock Holmes mythos. This issue was my favorite so far as it brought in some of the scientists of the Victorian era. Plus we get our first real glimpse into some steam-punk tech promised by the original description of the series. Much like the works that inspired many of its characters, Adler is quickly shaping up to be a classic.
Story: Lavie Tidhar Art/Color: Paul McCaffrey Letterer: Simon Bowland
Story: 10 Art: 7.0 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy
Titan Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review
Purchase: comiXology – Kindle – Zeus Comics