Watson and Holmes #5
Publisher: New Paradigm Studios
Writer: Karl Bollers
Artist: Larry Stroman
Cover: Larry Stroman & Jay David Ramos
Before the meeting of Holmes and Watson in the first issue we glimpsed a horrible crime involving infants being left in dumpsters by a mysterious individual. Well, Bollers brings us full circle here as it seems that Holmes had been made aware of this case while on his way to the emergency room at the hospital where he met Watson. Now with their first case finished the two are visited by a young lady who was under the assumption her child was going to a good home. However the news about the abandoned infants drives her and her mother to seek out Holmes and Watson for some answers. Though, as can be expected, there’s a lot more to these events than what’s on the surface and as often with these cases, no one is whom they really seem.
With the first arc wrapped up Bollers slows things down just a bit in this issue. Though there are no high action roof top gun battles and intense chases through the streets this issue is just as intense. Just on more of an emotional level which gives the story a much different feel than the previous issues. Not only is the case Watson and Holmes are working on an all too real and heartbreaking thing but Bollers also takes some time to focus on Watson’s family issues. His ex-wife has a new boyfriend, his son misses him, and for the past few days he’s been trying not to get killed while saving a girls life. As the story progresses there’s also a moral element brought to the forefront when the reasoning behind the abductions is revealed. And while the ends may not justify the means it does bring to question issues of classism, race, and priority throughout this great country of ours.
The art is handled by the one and only Larry Stroman and though it’s been a while it’s good to see his signature style in comics once again. From the opening scene on Baker Street to the end of the issue it’s nothing but panel after panel of great visual storytelling here. There were a couple of panels towards the end where Holmes looked quite menacing because of the heavy inks. I’m not sure if that was intentional because the dialogue, though intense, didn’t reflect that visual mood. With that said, hopefully Stroman can come back from time to time and help make this title look good!
If you didn’t get a chance to read the first arc Bollers makes Watson and Holmes #5 a very comfortable jumping on point for anyone to just pick this up and enjoy the story for what it is. The recap page also does a good job of getting the reader up to speed on what has been going on but you’d be better off reading the first four issues. Only because the first arc was great! So whether you’re a fan of crime dramas or just want to try something new, this re-imagining of the classic Sherlock Holmes is well worth your time!