Review: Sherlock Holmes Year One #1

The Butlers Did It 

 Scott Beatty
Illustrator: Daniel Indro
Colorist: Tony Avina
Letterer: Simon Bowland
Covers: Francesco Francavilla, Aaron Campbell, Daniel Indro
Editor: Joseph Rybandt
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: 3.99 USD

This isn’t the first time I’ve read this comic, though I will admit that I did remember it differently. My first opinion of it was cruel and I realized I must have read it while tired. Taking that into account I am tired again, not as much so, but enough so not to bow down to the this comic as it might be deserving.


The characters are introduced well enough in this retelling of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous work. They are similar to what I remember reading  but younger and less developed (intentionally so I believe) than the famous Watson and Holmes so many no. If I took that knowledge away they paint an adequate picture of who Sherlock and Watson are at the beginning. The story is from Watson’s POV, and rightly so to keep with tradition. Overall good but the actual plot of the scheme isn’t something terribly exciting or devious. It falls short, becomes a mess of action and bullet-through-the-head work.

The Writing

Spot on when it comes to dialogue. I am impressed with the strength of it, though it should be there as this is a Sherlock Holmes story and Sherlock, if anything, is eloquent. Sometimes unnecessarily so and it pleases me to see that. However  I feel I’m lacking much else to say as before, it is  lacking the mystery so loved of Holmes.

The Action

Unlike the eloquence of text, the action is unnecessarily excessive. Behind view of a blowing up head in a flash back of Watson’s military years is hardly something I expected on page four. It’s a Sherlock Holmes story, and although they are trying to portray a youthful adventurous Holmes and Watson, the fack still remains that these are mysteries not action adventures. Or perhaps that is my perception of how the story should be. The problem with a mystery is that if the mystery isn’t very mysterious or exciting forced action sequences will not spice it up but merely feel out of place and unremarkable. Spoiler: The fact that he fell from a parapet and killed a man upon the fall but lived himself is not exciting, or gripping in any way. I read over it once and thought ‘Oh, okay.’ in a similar way I would react to hearing the neighbour is paving their driveway.  It was anti-climactic and a crime too simple for Sherlock, even in his beginnings.

The Art

Was pleasant and although dark (takes place nearly entirely at night, but also in tone: most forced movements looked slightly grotesque, all liquids look ‘bloody’ but that could be comic book conditioning on my part as this style often features in SPAWN titles) it’s a simple, clear and familiar comic style. Nothing to complain about, but nothing to rave on for.

My verdict?

I’m sad to say I will not be recommending this title. I’m not panning, I try always to judge fairly but for my first ‘Comic a Night’ read it was disappointing. Holmes should make me think and excite the mind but this comic was only challenging in the language used, not in the story told. If you’re a fan and you have faith pick it up! It can’t hurt, but I will not.

It does make me want to pick up my Holmes collection though and lurk about The Hound of the Baskerville tomorrow.


About UpsetAppleCart

A young, inexperienced yet dedicated Freelance Publicist. Branching out into the world with little knowledge of what will happen, how, where, why and when! But ready nonetheless.

Posted on October 20, 2011, in Reviews and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: