Editor’s note: I was provided with a review copy of I, Holmes by Alterna Comics.
I, Holmes is a fun look at placing a Sherlock Holmes type story in modern times, without transporting or transplanting the iconic detective into the future. I (yes, her name is the letter I) is the great granddaughter of Sherlock Holmes, and lives in New York in 2009. Rather than being a renowned detective, I is a delinquent resident of a group home in the city. She is intelligent, observant, reckless, and brash; all traits one expects when dealing with a character inspired by Sherlock Homles. Writer Michael Lent and Artist Dan Parsons give us a good opening to what has the makings of an interesting series.
Opening on Halloween night, in Chinatown, the story sets up our character’s personality and circumstances with a quick poker game. Right away we know that she’s as observant as her ancestor, as well as cunning and witty. Exposed during the game she makes her escape and during the chase the writer sets up the rest of I’s world for us. We get to see the beginning of a mystery, and I’s shaky relationship with the police. We are introduced to, who we assume is her only friend, her rough group home, and the jerk of a probation officer in charge of I’s case. So, while there doesn’t seem to be a lot going on in issue 1, there is a great deal of world-building and setting up expectations for the story to come.
That’s not to say there’s no story at all. The interaction between I and her friend, Annie, shows a complicated relationship which has a lot of room to develop. It’s clear that I puts up with Annie, grudgingly, and Annie seems to care about I enough to check up on her and make sure she gets to school. Annie is her university sponsor, and assigned to keep I in line, but it seems like she wants her to do well. They have the longest interaction in the issue, which leads me to believe that Annie will wind up being the most important person in I’s life. The only other apparent major player we see is the probation officer, and not for long. So far the story is intriguing enough that I want to know more, and have added it to my pull-list.
The art in the book isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either. I’ve seen much worse in indie comics, but I’ve also seen worse in books from major publishers. It was good enough that I want to keep getting the book. The colors are good, though the shadows are a little strange. There’s room for improvement with the art, but together with the story it is still a good book so far. I look forward to seeing what this team puts out in the future with this unique take on a popular theme.